Mental Wellness and Mental Illness: A different Perspective

I think it’s important for me, and for you, to understand mental health for me and why I’m so excited about The Mind and Body Project. This is my warning, my disclaimer, that I have no guarantee of a solution, no qualification and no authority on which to base my views and advice. But don’t let that put you off! I do have experience and a passion. I have spent years trying to understand my own mental health and doing what I can to preserve it. I’ve had my own struggles and for the most part I keep them under control.  And hey, I’m good at thinking so I’ve done a LOT of that too.  I’ve done research and I love trying new things to keep my mental health on track – or bring it back on track. I’ve struggled with mental health illness and I’m passionate about mental health wellness.

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So what even is mental health? The health of your mind perhaps? Sounds simple and surely something that’s easy to talk about. We’ve become so obsessed with only ever using this term when preceding the words ‘issue’ or ‘illness’. I don’t understand that. I want us to start talking about mental health wellness. That’s the change that I’m excited about and that I’ll work hard to pursue.

I should make it clear that I’m not saying that any mental illness is simple. I also believe it is important to talk about mental health illness and I’m not afraid to do so. But, there is a distinction between mental illness and mental wellness and it’s important to consider them both.

Could it be the case that isolating mental health in the sphere of mental illness has created the taboo that people are working so hard to overcome? If I told you I was working with a therapist or a counsellor or life coach, would you presume I have a mental health illness? My guess is that you would. Unless we weren’t in the UK perhaps.  It certainly wouldn’t be something I’d want to share with an employer for fear of them jumping to conclusions.  Yet, if I told you I was seeing a personal trainer would you presume I struggle with obesity? If I had a personal trainer, I’d probably put that on my CV.

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So I’ve drawn the distinction and for now I want to talk about mental wellness. This is what The Mind and Body Project is all about. I want to share with you all the ways in which the wellness industry can help you look after your mental health and I want players in the field to start promoting these benefits of their products and services. I want us to be open about mental health and to share with each other tools to help keep our minds healthy or to get them back on track when they’re not healthy.

The wellness industry is booming.  In the last few years the industry has exploded.  Amidst so many scare stories and statistics surrounding obesity it’s not surprising there has been a focus on healthy eating and weight loss.  So what next? I truly believe the future of the wellness industry is in mental health and I want to get the ball rolling.  The US and Australia are leaps and bounds ahead of us here in the UK and we have some catching up to do– I suppose it’s not very British to talk about our health at all but it’s important that we do.

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I’m really excited about the future of mental health.  People are recognising the importance of talking about mental health and sharing experiences. There are some powerful campaigns to shake up the NHS’ approach to mental health and employers are slowly realising their responsibility to take mental health seriously.  I fully support all of this but I haven’t seen the start of any change in the wellness industry.  There is such a long way to go and I hope that The Mind and Body Project can have some impact on making a change.

There are so many inspiring people out there and some exciting health and fitness concepts.  Look out for my next post where I’ll share with you my favourite brands and products which help me to keep my mind healthy and feeling my best.  But for now, let’s take a different perspective. Let’s think about mental wellness as well as mental illness.

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Something For Everyone This Valentine’s Day

For any last-minute shoppers, last minute Valentines and to be honest, absolutely all of you – I bring you The Mind and Body Project Valentine’s Day gift ideas.  And for those of you who just aren’t convinced that your loved one needs spoiling then hopefully I can convince you otherwise. If you don’t usually celebrate Valentine’s Day, why not make a change this year? And if you’re single or a stubborn sceptic then treat yourself! Or share some love and surprise a friend in need of some TLC. In fact, I hear this year it’s all about mate night instead of date night!

Whatever your circumstances, why not give someone, or yourself, a gift of health and happiness? There’s no better gift if you ask me.  You don’t have to blow the budget either– unless you want to of course.  Often the best presents are the thoughtful ones. Even if someone else has done the thinking for you!

LiEBES: Get fruity with the LiEBES limited edition Valentine’s Buckinola

 

It’s my favourite meal of the day and said to be the most important one too so I love discovering new breakfast ideas. I’m a huge fan of the LiEBES turmeric and orange buckinola (buckwheat granola), so I love that they’ve released a limited edition Valentine’s variety.

LiEBES use only the best ingredients and all their products are dairy, gluten and refined sugar free. Handmade with love and packed with berries and an unusual mix of other ingredients, this will make such a luxurious breakfast treat. Head over to www.liebes.co.uk to order your limited edition buckinola.

HYGGE: Get cosy with your Valentine

I just love this word and everything about it! Pronounced ‘hue-gah’, Hygge is a Danish concept that has no direct translation in English but in essence is a whole way of living or feeling of comfort, happiness and simplicity. It’s often associated with getting cosy and at this time of year, there could be no better time to discover and incorporate some Hygge into your life.

Your Valentine’s gift could be a simple gesture; a cosy night in with a movie and hot chocolate. Alternatively, you could find one of the numerous books that has made its way to the shelves since this has become such a craze. Our pick would be either ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ by Meik Wiking or ‘Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness’ by Marie Tourell Søderberg which are both available on Amazon.

OM & AH: the warrior workout

Who else is in love with the fabulous tees and hoodies from London based Om & Ah? Well, they’ve announced there’s an active wear collection launching soon! The girls behind the brand have teased us with a sneak peak of what to expect and I can’t wait.  

I absolutely love the ethically sourced tees which all feature inspiring words and quotes. The Mind and Body Project is all about finding brands that promote feeling great and we think Om & Ah have hit the nail on the head by incorporating these words into an active wear range.  Check out The Mind and Body Project favourite with the ‘Warrior’ words: ‘I’m a warrior, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been’. The perfect work-out affirmation! Keep an eye out for the collection and in the meantime find your favourite tee at www.omandahlondon.com

THIS WORKS: the gift of a good night’s sleep

So apparently this really works! I must confess, I’ve not used this but I am a huge fan of sleep sprays and oils to aid a good night’s sleep. Treat your Valentine to this pillow spray and it’s win win for everyone – a little beauty sleep can do wonders. For those who have trouble falling asleep, there’s the bestseller ‘deep sleep pillow spray’ and for help staying asleep there’s the award winning ‘sleep plus pillow spray’.

The This Works products have rave reviews all over the web and many friends swear by the spray. So many people struggle with sleepless nights and this is a great natural remedy. And this will look pretty next to the bed too – which is no surprise seeing as this was created by former Beauty Director of Vogue UK.

And if you do want to go big, plan a wellness getaway

If none of my ideas grab you, or if you’re able to splash out, then there’s always the option to spoil yourself or your lover with a weekend away. Everyone is a winner with this option. There are some fabulous retreats and spa options for you to recharge your batteries and relax. 

Let us know, where is your favourite romantic weekend getaway?

H x