R U OK? Let's Talk About Mental Health & My Journey

Today is R U OK? Day and in honour of that this week's podcast is dedicated to mental health awareness, how to coach yourself through tough times and my own personal struggles with mental health.


I want to encourage more open conversations, to normalise mental health and hopefully create less stigma around having or having experienced mental health problems.


Listen to today's chat below!


Disclaimer

I am not a mental health professional, if you or someone you know needs help please seek expert advice. You can find more info at www.ruok.org.au/findhelp


Trigger Warning

This podcast discusses body image issues and eating disorders so if this or the topic of mental health could be triggering for you, maybe check-in for the next podcast. Please reach out for support if you need it, I’m sending you all my love and just know there is nothing wrong with asking for help.



Please Note


I'm a confidence coach, I’m here if you want to work with me one-on-one to help you feel more confident in your body or business. I will help you build deep-rooted confidence that no one can mess with however, I am not a mental health professional nor do I ever claim to be one.


I want to make it very clear from the get-go that this podcast is not about giving you mental health advice because I'm not qualified to.


This podcast/article was designed to:

  1. Share my learnings from the mental health trainings I have completed

  2. Share reputable and informative resources: www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask

  3. Share my own personal experiences with mental health

  4. Share ways to coach yourself through tough conversations

  5. Encourage open conversation and normalise mental health problems


Self-Love first and foremost


You know I’m all about self-love and I want you to remember that you must put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.


R U OK? Day, 10 September 2020


R U OK? Day is today, Thursday the 10th of September and this year's message is 'There's more to say after R U OK?' so I thought we should dedicate a podcast to chat about it especially in the current climate.


Asking isn’t always easy, but it could change a life.

I want to remind you to check in on the ones you love, not only on R U OK? Day but whenever your gut is telling you to do so.


During my coaching sessions, I want my clients to understand I’m their coach but also a friend who they can be completely open with. I let them know that everything is 100% confidential and non-judgmental. I think it’s important to keep this in mind before asking anyone the question R U OK?


The following information was found on www.ruok.org.au


Before asking R U OK?

  • Imagine the conversation.

  • Take a moment to visualise the person you want to have a conversation with.

  • How will you start the conversation?

  • Where will you have the conversation?

  • What will you say?


Listen

Don’t say things like:

  • “I know what you’re going through” or “look on the bright side”

Do say:

  • “You’re not alone” and “how can I help out?”


Encourage Action

Do ask:

  • “Have you spoken to anyone about this?”

  • “what would help you manage the load?”

  • “What do you think could help resolve that situation?”

  • “What can we change to make life easier?”

You could say:

  • "When I was going through a difficult time, I tried this... You might find it useful too."


Check-in

  • “Let’s catch up soon.”

For more information visit: www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask


Remember, Labels are for jam jars NOT people

My Personal Journey with Mental Health


Believe it or not, having a negative body image is a mental health issue.


I have experience with mental health issues myself and in my family. I have been open about my eating problems and negative body image in the past because I know it's nothing to be ashamed of and I want you to know that too.


When I was a teenager wanting to break into the modelling industry I developed a difficult relationship with food. Changing our eating habits every now and again is normal but if food and eating feel like it's taking over your life it becomes a problem and that is what happened with me.


I had a period of time where all I could focus on was food and exercise.


At the time I thought restricting my eating and exercising daily was healthy/normal. However, the two things I used to love (food and moving my body) quickly became all of the negativity in my life.

I spent most of my time wishing I was skinnier, never feeling good enough and guilty when I did eat or didn't exercise.


While, I was too ashamed to ever tell anyone, or ask for help to get a medical diagnosis for my eating disorder, I can clearly see that my eating problems affected me in a lot of ways.


I would excessively exercise and restrict my eating, which led to feeling tired and continuously unsatisfied. It also often led to binge eating and then purging or fasting.


This didn’t mean I didn’t have a great life and amazing people around me, but even though I had so many amazing things happening in my life, controlling my food was my focus.


I felt as though I was in a dark hole no one could help me out of and it made me feel depressed and anxious on top of everything else.

I was so ashamed and never wanted anyone to find out. But when I would hint to people that this could be happening I had hidden it so well people would just say “you’re such a happy person, you would never do anything like that. Look at you, you're so healthy”, which made me feel more guilt.


I would go back a forth between putting on and losing weight and when I lost weight, I would get so many compliments on how I looked "so amazing".


But I felt the exact opposite.


I knew deep down that what I was doing was not healthy and that I was not happy.


My Recovery


I was using exercise as a form of self-harm, to punish my body for not losing weight or being skinny enough. So when it comes to recovering from body image issues, I personally understand why some people need to approach physical activity with caution.


My recovery has been a lot of self-discovery, self-awareness, asking myself "how am I feeling?" "What do I want to eat?" And just eating whatever that thing is, without feeling guilty and then moving on with my life!


I am so thankful that I had no lasting physical effects (that I'm aware of). I have been happy and healthy for close to five years now but my journey and every journey is never-ending.


I am back to loving food and exercise but for the way it makes me feel and not for the way it makes me look.

Lately, I have been really enjoying low-intensity exercise like yoga, walking around my neighbourhood and stretching.


Moving our bodies and physical activity


Now I move my body to feel good instead of change how I look and it has really helped me learn to appreciate my body for what it can do.

I love setting myself challenges like learning how to do a headstand because I feel strong and accomplished. I exercise because I love my body again and not because I hate it anymore.


Moving our bodies helps to reduce stress, improve mood and sleep!


Physical activity that you love is an important part of our physical and mental health but we have to approach it in a way that feels good to us personally.


Taking care of and coaching yourself


Before you can help anyone else remember that you have got to be in the right headspace.


Before you can look out for others and ask R U OK? You need to look out for yourself and that’s ok! If you're not in the right headspace or you don't think you're the right person to have a conversation, try to think of someone else in someones support network who could talk to them.


Here are six ways you can take care of your mental wellbeing.


1. Be active

Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting wellbeing.


Keep in mind what I said earlier, approach exercise as an opportunity to move your body in a way that feels good for you. Why not dance, roller skate, walks the dogs or simply take the stairs?


2. Take notice

Take note of your surroundings and how they make you feel. Are you in or creating an environment that feels good to you?


3. Be self-aware

Have you asked yourself recently “how am I feeling?” Are you able to look at yourself and your life without judgment or the need to be right?


4. Give to others

This is a big one for me because giving is receiving. I feel at my best when I am able to help others understand and feel confident, beautiful and capable within themselves, that why I love coaching women.


People with a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. Be generous with your time if someone needs to talk.


5. Connect with others

Social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing. Ask someone how their day is going, spend breaks chatting to colleagues and check in with the ones you love.


6. Learn

Develop a growth mindset where you thrive of continuing to learn and grow. Continued learning through life enhances our self-esteem, our confidence and encourages social interaction. The practice of setting goals which is related to adult learning, in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing.


Why not try something new and take an online course, work with a coach or read a book?


Resources


Some conversations are too big for family and friends to take on alone. If you or someone you know has been really low for more than two weeks please contact a professional as soon as you can.


Expert help: www.ruok.org.au/findhelp


We're all in this together


We're all in this together has never meant more (cue the high school musical song).


I have two spots for 1-on-1 coaching in September. If you want to to continue learning, working on your confidence and getting to know yourself, you can book a free consult here: www.bybrookelindsay.com/personal-coaching


Or connect with me on Instagram!


Don’t be afraid to ask R U OK?


I want to end this podcast by saying if you’re here reading this, you are bloody amazing. You are doing the work and you should be very proud of that. Please send this article/podcast to someone you love if they could use the listen.


Remember to ask yourself, is there someone you know that needs support where you can ask R U OK? Remember to:

  1. Ask

  2. Listen

  3. Encourage action - seek the right help

  4. Check-in


WORRIED SOMEONE MIGHT BE SUICIDAL?

Contact Lifeline for crisis support. If life is in danger, call 000 in AU or 111 in NZ.


Expert help: www.ruok.org.au/findhelp



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