World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day

In an effort to help end stigma attached to mental health, I wanted to just quickly share a few things about me and my own mental health journey.

I wouldn’t say I suffer with constant mental health troubles but I have been diagnosed with high-functioning depression. Meaning, for the most part, I’m pretty good at adapting to constant stress, pressure, and anxiety but from time to time it builds up to a point where I can no longer handle anything at all, I give up, I feel hopeless, and my life can feel like it’s completely falling apart.

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Making The Switch To Silk

For years I've heard of the benefits of sleeping with a silk pillowcase. I first heard of it on the Dr. Phil show many moons ago. I remember there was a woman talking about how she switched to silk as a means to help prevent wrinkles on her face. At the time I was in my 20s and wrinkles were probably the furthest thing from my mind which is why I never purchased one until now, as a woman in my 40s.

Skin care has become a very important topic in my life this year which is why I must've remembered this episode, hopped to to Amazon, and ordered the Spasilk 100% silk pillowcase, which arrived just a little over a week ago.

Now that I've had some time to test it out, what I can tell you is that it's too early to know if it's helping slow down any wrinkling BUT it has helped me have some fantastic hair! Every morning I now wake up with, what can only be termed as, "sexy bed-head" and my hair seems to be maintaining it's "day 1 hair" quality so I've not needed to wash it every other day. Basically, my hair feels a lot healthier and my scalp feels a lot less greasy, if I'm honest.

According to The Ethical Silk Company:

  • Silk is the strongest of natural fibers. It contains natural protein and 18 essential amino acids. It also contains natural cellular albumen which speeds up the metabolism of skin cells.
  • As it is a breathable fabric and a natural temperature regulator, silk helps the body retain heat in cold weather and excess heat is expelled in warm weather. Therefore your body maintains a natural, comfortable temperature.
  • Silk is hypoallergenic; it does not attract dust mites and is a natural fungal repellent.
  • With its extremely smooth and soft texture, silk proves to be beneficial for those with sensitive skin conditions (e.g. Eczema).
  • Silk does not conduct static electricity, it reduces hair breakage whilst helping the hair to maintain proper moisture balance.

I've definitely jumped on the silk pillowcase bandwagon and I can tell you that I'm a changed woman. For the rest of my life, I will only ever use silk pillowcases.

One caveat however is that, after some further research, I see that there are more ethical and sustainable ways of creating silk (in this instance it's called "peace silk") so I'll be looking into that the next time I need to purchase pillowcases and hope that I get the same effect.

Do you use silk pillowcases? What's been your experience?

Finding More Energy

I've had a number of things that have been big energy sucks for me over the last couple of years of my life. Some of these energy goblins have involved social media so I've been able to eliminate these by simply un-following and spending a bit less time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.. Other energy drainers have been due to bigger issues that I've struggled with such as anxiety, depression, and weight gain.

In my attempt to try and remedy this situation, I asked around to see what tips any of my friends might have on how to give my energy levels a boost. Here are their suggestions:

  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Water
  • More Sleep
  • More exercise
  • Eliminate wheat and sugar

All good suggestions! That last one is a doozy for me though so I'll have to put that one on the shelf for now. The others though, these are things I can do!

So, a week ago I started taking vitamin B complex and a type of multivitamin for women that is supposed to aid energy levels and metabolism function.

I had purchased the Boots brand Vitamin B Complex the last time I was in Bristol and then promptly forgot I had them so--bonus! The GNC Women's Ultra Mega Energy & Metabolism pills were a new purchase. These "Ultra Mega" pills have good levels of vitamin C and D as well as a few other energy-happy nutrients.

With vitamins now covered, I also went back to trying to get in my 8-8oz glasses of water a day. I've been finding that it's easier to do this if you have a water bottle that holds at least 16 oz. This way it doesn't seem like such a monumental task, if you're not a huge water drinker. To be honest, I'm not a big anything drinker so trying to get in 8-8oz glasses of any liquid is a big deal for me. Finding tricks like using my S'Well bottle (which also keeps my water cold) has helped.

On to more sleep. I've been pretty consistent in the last week in getting to bed at 11:30pm, doing a tiny bit of reading and then going to sleep with earplugs in. When necessary, I've also started adding in a Kundalini Yoga healing chant at the suggestion of a good friend in order to help calm my mind and body a bit more at bedtime (it works!).

As far as more exercise, this is always a bone of contention for me. I'll be honest I really hate gyms and I hate most exercise with the exception of going for long walks and casually riding my bicycle. The only other time I've enjoyed getting in shape was when I used to play roller derby (go Fog City Rollers!) which was many moons ago. One friend suggested martial arts which I would absolutely love but I don't feel I'm mentally or physically there yet when it comes to putting money down and committing to a sport. In the future though, I really like this idea. I have a friend in Australia (hi Erin!) who joined Jiu Jitsu maybe a year ago and I'm so utterly impressed and inspired by her. She's so cool! At the moment I live vicariously through her until I can find my own chi. Love you girl! In the meantime, my next hurdle is to tackle this suggestion head on with doing more of what I do love--making time for walking and riding my bicycle, even if it's just around the block to start. Those are things I can physically do.

Overall, I will say that after only 7 days of taking vitamins, drinking more water, and getting proper sleep, my energy levels have improved by about an additional 50%. I still have moments where I think a nap would be amazing but I keep myself rather busy during the early evenings now so that when I do go to bed, I'm tired enough to actually fall asleep.

Do you have energy slumps? What are some of your tips?