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How you can join in with raising awareness on Mental Health… “IT’S A WIN!” As a Helen’s Journey blog is a chosen feature blog in #MentalHealthMonday Twitter Competition

It’s an honour joining in to put the spotlight on the issue of Mental Health!

I’m proud to of had two of my blog’s chosen in this #MentalHealthMonday Twitter competition.

 I think this is a brilliant idea to shine a light on Mental Health issues and struggles that many people face and that some are brave enough to write about and highlight.

My chosen blogs are (click on titles to open blogs in a new tab to read after this post):

  1.  “MY WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY SPENT WITH THE ARTS”
  2. “YOU ARE…” A SELF-LOVE AFFIRMATION TO REMIND US HOW AMAZING WE ARE!

How can you join in with raising awareness for Mental Health?

“Just how does this competition work?” I hear you all ask. Well on the 1st Monday of every month tweeters are invited to share their blogs on Mental Health attached to the meme for the #MentalHealthMonday competition.

Then the creator of the competition posts a blog to announce the handful of those shared blogs that have been chosen from all the entries, as that months Mental Health Monday’ featured blogs for readers.

Below is an explanation from Mel at her blog The Book Moo who is the joint creator of #MentalHealthMonday with Rebecca Burke from the blog BexCapades:

“The idea came from Rebecca revisiting her depression diary from 2015 and deciding to share her experiences to show that light comes out of dark times.

So now, every first Monday of each month will be a Mental Health Monday, where everyone can share their own experiences and a handful will be chosen to feature on Rebecca’s post each month.

helens journey blog wins mental health monday twitter competition

 

Having ‘Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome’ meaning I have a delayed body clock, really came in useful on Nov 30th 2017, as this all came about from me being awake and on my Twitter and seeing a late night/early morning tweet by Rebecca with the ‘Mental Health Monday’ competition meme in – that I basically wouldn’t of seen if I would of been sleeping!

I didn’t think twice in replying to her pinned post thread with one of my blogs regarding Mental Health, which you can all read here: “MY WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY SPENT WITH THE ARTS”.

Then by the end of Dec 1st 2017 I was surprised with the lovely news that my blog had been chosen as one of her favourites to feature for the month of December 2017. You can see the list of all chosen blogs featured alongside my blog, in Rebecca’s 1st official results blog: Mental Health Monday and I’d also encourage you to read Mel’s courageous post about her experience with depression here too.

December so far has been a brilliant month for HELENS JOURNEY as along side this achievement, after 8 weeks of Blogging I was also nominated for my 1st blogger award, which you can read about here: “MY ‘MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD’ NOMINATION & MY ANSWERS FOR YOU TO GET TO KNOW ME BETTER”.

*UPDATE on Helen’s Journey wins*

Then I entered my blog “YOU ARE…” A SELF-LOVE AFFIRMATION TO REMIND US HOW AMAZING WE ARE! and it was chosen as a feature blog for #MentalHealthMonday competition for February 2018! (Click on blog title to take you to read the chosen post).

I’m excited to update that February 2018 have been exciting month for blog awards and competitions too as I won “The Sunshine Blogger Award”  and also won the “Feature Friday” Twitter competition too! Yay! #grateful #thankful #proud

(click on the blog title to open the blog posts in new windows)

So, I will close in saying “Thank You” to Rebecca for choosing my blog posts, along side saying “Thank You” to every person who has past by http://www.helensjourney.com and followed my footsteps through reading my blogs and poems! I appreciate every click, like, comment, share and encouraging feedback from you all. THANKS x

mental health monday win for helens journey blog as feature blog about mental health issues to raise awareness

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Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE

My ‘World Mental Health Day’ Spent With The Arts. An event review, all about using the Arts to discuss Mental Health, in a fun & creative way!

So the 10th October marked another ‘World Mental Health Day’ aka WMHD.

Although I assume some of you reading this, who are living in this world with us, didn’t know… It’s okay you can put your hands up and admit it, as that is what makes awareness days needed = to do just that, make more people aware!

I spent my WMHD at a local community centre hosting an event by ‘Life Balance Arts’ a local Arts Community Investment Company who use their profits and assets for the public good. The afternoon was all about Mental Health and using different art forms to express ourselves, but also to create a comfortable atmosphere for people to openly and safely share their personal stories regarding Mental Health.

I went along with my trusted pillow in hand and headed for the more comfortable option in the chairs available (As Fibromyalgia makes sitting uncomfortable & sitting for long periods at a time in one position, flares up pain & stiffness etc – this trusted pillow has travelled all around the world with me and indeed could tell a few tales!! lol)

 

Arts & Craft workshop to help people express their feelings:

Giano Johal, the founder of Life Balance Arts ran craft workshops tailored for the day’s focus. There was mask decorating, which grabbed my conscience straight away as I know the masks I daily wear when trying to hide pain & falsely say “I’m ok, thank you” when asked how I am.

We all wear masks in life to different degrees:

  • That telephone voice we all have for important calls.
  • That false calm voice we talk to the children if even when we all stressed to the max!
  • The mask we wear at work to behave appropriately so we don’t get sacked.
  • The mask the victim puts on even to their family when they are secretly being abused behind closed doors.
  • The chronic illness sufferer trying to put on a brave face and push through the pain just to do a ‘normal’ activity and actually feel like they are living not just surviving.
  • The person battling depression that may not tell a soul about it.
  • The person who smiles at you, as they park next to you on the top story of a car park, before they walk to the edge as they want to jump off.

The last one may sound harsh to some but it really is that serious. Mental Health can be a matter of life and death!

art workshop using masks and words to express emotions www.helensjourney.com
What words would you write on your “I AM…” mask? how do you see yourself?

 

Okay Helen, now BREATHE!

A Breathing Exercise to help with dealing with emotions:

A breathing exercises workshop was next, facilitated by a Guru Ram Daas Trust teacher, who run sessions in the surrounding city. We learnt techniques to relax our bodies and calm our minds down through using our breaths, alternating nostrils and changing over from shallow breathing to deep inhales and exhales. We all felt our heads were clearer and our bodies calming after these breathing exercises. I’ve actually completed an introductory beginners course in Breathing Techniques, so this just reminded me of the importance for me to be do breathing exercises daily, as lately I admit I only do them ever so often. (Shhhhhh don’t tell my old instructor!)

art workshop using masks and words to express emotions www.helensjourney.com
What are you grateful for? I am a firm believer in practising Gratitude daily, that’s why I created a free printable Gratitude Diary for all my readers! Click HERE to download it & read this blog post.

Nutrition for better health workshop:

Following, was a subject close to my heart: Nutrition. As this has been why my journey has changed with discovering things about our body systems, our foods, and natural healthy living as a whole.

Parveen Talwar a nutritionist talked all about the gut being our 2nd brain & the importance of what we eat actually affects our brains and moods. I agreed with everything she said and the fact I already knew the things she was saying also gave me a confidence boost for knowing how informed and correct my discoveries and education has been so far. Obviously, the short time factor meant she couldn’t expand further after giving a quick but precise summary of key things to change for better health and mental health effects. However, I would love to hear more and will look out for more sessions from her in the future.

 

Sharing Stories regarding Mental Health:

Spoken Word came next with Anita Louise Kaur sharing her story of a mental breakdown & an encouraging recovery. She also read aloud her poem she had written all about depression – which was very moving. Find it on her twitter feed: @anita1967

The sharing stories section actually brought a physical tear to my eye… okay, okay, a few tears as I turned away to wipe my face!

A beautiful kind soul Bella Singh spoke of opening up her home for people in the local community who need respite care and it was truly humbling. Her amazing husband supported her venture of providing care and so over the years has had bigger property premises to house people.

One of the elder ladies who lives with her asked to say something and so she told the group what a wonderful ‘mom’ Bella had been to her these past 15 years (that is when the tears started).

Susan Brookes shared her news of setting up a magazine for children’s mental health ‘Positive Kids Magazine’ which sounds a brilliant initiative – you never know maybe one day I will write an article for her magazine… (Just putting it out there! heehee)

music workshop to express emotions and increase endorphins www.helensjourney.com
“HOY!” I think I enjoyed this a little too much, I was still doing the ‘screw in the lightbulb’ dance later that evening 😉

Dhol Drumming Workshop:

To loosen us up & to help us lose our inhibitions we then took part in a Dhol drumming workshop by Tubsy Dholki Waller. It was a really fun workshop that we all needed at that point for some light relief from emotions.

We all left there not only dancing away screwing in the light bulbs with our arms and bending our knees while shouting “HOY!” – but also smiling, laughing and carrying less tension than when we first stood in a line waiting for instructions like we were frozen in the spotlights! 😉  (I’m not sure if I should admit that there are videos of this on facebook?! haha)

The day reminded me, why working as a Drama Practitioner, I love using acting to speak to people about sensitive subjects such as Mental Health, but also as an outlet for people to work through their own emotions through joining in with specific drama exercises.

I honestly came away from the day feeling inspired & so I got home, sat on my heat pad and started to type and let my reflections unload onto the screen, and then this blog was created!

[This event was held at the Afro Caribbean Millennium Centre in Birmingham, England, UK and sponsored by NewStyle Radio 98.7FM a local community station.]

Why don’t you read my other blog post: How you can join in with raising awareness on Mental Health… “IT’S A WIN!” As a Helen’s Journey blog is a chosen feature blog in #MentalHealthMonday Twitter Competition

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