Blogger recognition award & happy holidays!

blog gift

I’m chuffed to be nominated by A Lot On Your Mind for the Blogger Recognition Award! When I set out to create The Truth About Mental Health in April of this year, I had very low expectations that anyone would actually read it.. initially it was a just a space to reflect; a virtual journal of sorts to contemplate and distill my opinions on mental health. If anyone happened to read it, well that was a bonus…

Now that “bonus,” to my amusement,  has become evermore frequent! I’m truly grateful for the people who have taken the time to read my blogs and explore the topics that are close to my heart. Your thoughtful comments, likes and follows have been a joy to receive.

blogger-recognition-awardI now have 200+ followers, (tiny in the scheme of things) but I’m still really pleased about it! Waking up to comments like “I love love love this so much” just makes my day and inspires me to consider what else is possible with this blog!

As part of the blog award process I’ve been asked to share some tips for new bloggers and to nominate 10 additional sites that I enjoy.

Here are my tips for new bloggers

  1. Set a challenge for yourself to help establish a blogging habit. Initially I set the goal of 30 blogs in 30 days which I found really helpful. Whilst I skipped a few days due to time limitations the overall goal helped me to get into the habit of blogging until I no longer needed a goal and it just became a natural tendency.
  2. Do random acts of blogging kindness. Look for like-minded bloggers and read their material. Show support to help foster a kindred community. Don’t worry if it’s not always reciprocal. Be kind and supportive because it feels good and will brighten someone’s day. If it comes back to you returned that’s a bonus too but don’t do it solely for that reason.
  3. Reply to blog comments. Sometimes it’s easy to get distracted and forget to reply to someone’s comment on your blog. If they’ve taken the time to be thoughtful be thoughtful back and make sure you take the time to appreciate the gesture.
  4. Be yourself. Your story and perspective matters no matter who you are and what your background is. You might not think you matter but you do. We often have an impact on each other in ways we don’t always see or appreciate. Authenticity is a light in a world that needs it right now.

Here are my nominees (in no particular order)

  1. Sue Dreamwalker
  2. Three Worlds One Vision
  3. Thriving Under Pressure
  4. Katherine Otto 
  5. Naturally Connected
  6. Crazy Little Things
  7. Warriors Not Worriers
  8. Neurodivergent Rebel
  9. Untangled
  10. A Fractured Faith 

(sorry if I’ve forgotten anyone who’s blog is awesome and deserves a nomination… so hard to narrow it down; there are so many awesome blogs out there!!)

To participate in this award:

1. Show your gratitude to the person who nominated you and provide a link back to the person’s blog.

2. Give a brief story on your blog.

3. Share two or more pieces of advice for beginner bloggers.

4. Choose 10 other bloggers to nominate.

5. Comment on each blog by letting them know they’ve been nominated and provide a link to your award post.

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How to like yourself

like yourself

Do me a favour. Grab a notepad and pen (or open your virtual notebook) and jot down 10 things about you that you’re grateful for. It can be anything from the basic fact that you’re alive and your heart continues to beat to some talent or skill that you possess. If you’re struggling to find things, go basic, and focus on simple fundamental aspects like the parts of your body that are healthy or your ability to be a kind friend to someone. This is my list for today:

I’m grateful for:

  1. the gift of my body and all of its function and capacity
  2. the fact that I can see, hear, walk, breath, taste, touch and think
  3. my ability to type fast
  4. a sense of caring for others
  5. a sense of caring for the earth
  6. my curiosity
  7. my desire to learn and expand
  8. my hopeful attitude
  9. my ability to sing and create
  10. how I don’t give up

Have you done your list? Do it now… go on!! …..

This is a really simple exercise but how often do you take a moment to really appreciate that gift your body? The gift of living? I find those basic truths like “I’m so glad my heart is beating and I get to live in this life,” really uplifting to reflect on. Often our brains jump to what is wrong with us and so we need to put some energy into what’s right from time to time. Otherwise we get the habit of distorted thinking and miss the opportunity to enjoy a balanced perspective.

Weirdly, as I’m writing this in a cafe I notice an infomercial segment the TV for a fat burning vibrational belt, lol… Wow! If I wear a special belt my abs can look perfect, tanned and toned like the women in the ad! And I don’t even have to eat sensibly or exercise. *facepalm.* Sadly these products sell because we are forever reaching for a beauty ideal is unattainable; we never achieve the unrealistic TV-induced cosmetic standards. We end up fundamentally rejecting ourselves as we are and so the urge to buy continues.

I find practicing basic self-gratitude provides a good foundation for other self-appreciating thoughts to live and thrive. It’s an excellent vaccination against the virus of unrealistic cultural beauty ideals.

 

The difference between medical minimalism and anti-medicine

Yesterday I read a smear piece on a holistic doctor who is “anti-medicine” according to the journalist because she is critical of conventional approaches to mental illness.  I’m not even going to share the piece as I think it’s a classic example of tabloid style click bait not even worthy of linking to in a blog post. In my opinion many holistic or integrative doctors are actually more like medical minimalists rather than anti-medicine practitioners, and I think there’s an important difference.

What is medical minimalism? It’s a cautious, critical and big picture approach to the use of pharmaceutical medicines. Medical minimalists use drugs only when they believe they are truly needed or helpful. When they do use medicines they use the lowest dose possible to get the desired result because they acknowledge the risks involved. They openly embrace lifestyle interventions as valid, and sometimes preferable to drugs and continuously apply a big picture cost benefit mentality to all their recommendations.

Medical minimalists are not against the use of drugs across the board but they use sparingly, or not at all depending on the illness or patient in question. They don’t believe drugs are necessarily bad but that the use of them can be destructive if better options are ignored. Just like minimalists believe less is more, medical minimalist believe less medicine can sometimes mean greater health. Since there isn’t research into the effects of prescribing a cocktail of different meds at once medical minimalists tend to avoid cocktail scenarios. They prescribe one thing at a time or give their patients a pep talk about lifestyle and diet.

Here’s an example of a very honest psychiatrist I came across on youtube who discusses the limitations of his prescriptions. Whilst he still prescribes at times when he believes it’s needed (always at the lowest dose possible) his aim is to get people off medications eventually and offer talk therapy and other strategies that he believe are more effective at helping people thrive for the long haul rather than just “getting through.”

I’ve really enjoyed watching some of his other videos on mental health too which are very helpful and refreshing. Also check out The forgiveness diet and How to let go of victimhood. Enjoy!

 

 

What you seek is seeking you…

Do you agree with Rumi’s quote “what you seek is seeking you”?

what you seek

It’s such a comforting idea but is it true? Does what we seek create some sort of magnetic force? When I first saw this quote I wondered if it could be used as an excuse to be slack about actually putting in the hard yards to reach goals… to make them happen. If your goals are seeking you then maybe you can just kick back and be lazy?

But after further consideration I think the quote is more like a catalyst for taking action. Seeking indicates searching, doing something… finding and that by doing so the world will match our efforts. That our searching is destined to be rewarded somehow. What do you think?