I have suffered from Imposter Syndrome for many years but I didn't know what it was until recently. About 70% of people experience it at some stage of their lives and it is more common in women than men. Just like any other negative thought pattern there are things that you can do to combat it.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the bad news recently, you're not alone. In Australia we've had bushfires and now floods on top of a global pandemic. Plus there's the usual bad news - domestic violence, crime, tragic accidents... you get the idea. So how do you keep from being overwhelmed by all the bad news?
If you're not ok call one of the following numbers:
Lifeline: 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 or suicidecallbackservice.org.au
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636 or beyondblue.org.au
Headspace: 1800 650 890 Free online and telephone service for 12-25 year olds
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 A free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.
NOTE: These are Australian numbers. If you're not in Australia, look up the help lines in your area.
It's difficult adjusting to a new school term after a long summer break. Here's a quick Mental Health Checklist of things that I find useful if I feel like I'm running on empty.
Binging is a word you hear a lot - we binge on chocolate, fast food, Netflix, social media, alcohol... I know a lot about binging, I used to have an eating disorder. I know for a fact that in most cases, neither binging or completely denying ourselves is good. It's important to have balance in our lives. There is nothing wrong with chocolate, fast food, Netflix or alcohol as long as it is part of a balanced life (and you are over the legal drinking age). But when we have too much of them - it's not good for us.
Often binging is triggered by certain emotions or feelings such as despair, hopelessness, depression, guilt, shame, pain... Ironically, binging usually increases these feelings, rather than relieve them. There are things you can do to stop these binge sessions - get a big dose of fresh air, get out in nature, do some exercise, catch up with a friend, do a meditation exercise, get creative and make something, practise being mindful...
One of the most effective ways of getting our minds off ourselves, our problems and negative feelings is to do something for someone else. Being kind to someone can be a great release valve for those negative emotions. Next time you feel yourself spiralling towards another binge session, do something for someone else - ring or visit a friend (don't just text or message them), make someone a nice card and send it to them, help your mum with the chores, play a board game or computer game with your brother or sister, write positive, encouraging comments on people's social media posts, bake a cake and take it to your neighbour...
It's obviously a bit more complicated than what I've outlined above but next time you feel yourself spiralling out of control and tempted to binge on [insert your favourite binge here], be kind to yourself by being mindful and be kind to someone else. It might not solve all your problems, but it might help.
Christmas can be a stressful and busy time. Here are some tips on how to be kind to yourself, others and the planet this Christmas.
I've seen the "Look up" advertisements on a couple of buses recently so I decided to find out what it was all about. The Look Up movement is based on research by neuroscientist, Dr Fiona Kerr. We spend so much of our lives looking down that we miss out on really living. The Look Up campaign encourages us to put down our phones and look up, to engage with the environment and those around us. According to their website, "scientists have discovered looking up is good for our brains, our bodies, our relationships, and our shared experience of the world." You can find out more at www.lookup.org.au. I took the photo above on my morning walk today. Before you reach for your phone, look up!
Spending some time alone each day helps you to unwind and reduces stress. Life can get hectic and noisy so it's important to slow down and take a break from it all. You can create a cozy spot in your room to hang out or get out of the house. My favourite things to do during "me time" are to read, write, get crafty and listen to music.