CW: This blog is the slightly gritty version of why I am here. Talks about eating disorders and my own mental health challenges.
I’m here because I think now more than ever people need access to simple, honest and relatable advice on how to manage and protect their mental health, and find the tools to really support you in daily life - not just the one’s your think you *should* be doing.
In the past few years, the things we’ve been through, the rising stress of modern life and the seemingly constant rollercoaster we’re riding it’s apparent that more and more of us need support for our mental health - sometimes life doesn’t feel all bad, but things get on top of us, stress can get in our way, and the doom and gloom can really darken the bright things we actually love in life.
I’ve acquired (a lot of, but by no means all of) the knowledge and skills to help you do this and I’m ready to open my doors to wonderful 1:1 clients & groups, host workshops and hopefully help loads of people feel better and find balance. But this isn't a post-pandemic spurred career change, or a new spark of interest. My coaching career has been brewing, quite possibly, forever...
My personal journey with my mental health has been anything but smooth. Ever since I can remember I’ve been anxious, highly sensitive and very empathetic - which basically means I was constantly worried with turbulent emotions and almost constantly absorbing everyone else’s feelings around me (and can still find life pretty similar at times). But over the years, not really knowing, this ultimately led to worsening of symptoms, finding unhealthy coping mechanisms, and developing an eating disorder.
I got help, eventually after not wanting it, then getting it and it being completely unsuitable for me, and finally finding a therapist (privately) who would help me massively over the years to come. I put in a lot of work over a number of years before I reached a point where I felt 'better'.
But even with that therapy that helped me unlearn and reframe unhelpful thoughts, validated my experiences and gave me space to feel whatever I felt in those dark moments, I can still find life rather overwhelming.
And then I was confused, I’d done the work, I’d made huge changes, and I’d come a long way - but things still didn’t feel good all the time, I was still getting swamped by stress, and choosing habits that left me miserable disguised as happiness (drinking, smoking, partying ya get me 🥴).
I went back to my therapist, and started rebuilding my tool kit, I broke new barriers in my way and recognised new patterns and behaviours. I learnt an awful lot this time round -
Here’s what I've learnt ⬇️
1. Your mental health isn’t a project to complete, it's an ongoing thing that requires care and attention (probably forever). Even just feeling wobbly could be a reason to seek support, work on your toolkit and protect your mental health.
2. Without understanding yourself, the tools, advice, and tips, it just doesn’t feel relatable, and therefore never seems like it will work. We have to learn about ourselves, our emotions, thoughts, reactions and interactions in order to figure out how to manage them.
3. Finding the tools is about trial and error, practice and patience, and keeping the toolbox flexible and adaptable. There are so many tools out there (some pushed and praised more than others) that finding the ones that work for you can be a challenge. And then life can change at the snap of your fingers, and we've out-grown old tools and need to find new ones again. It's not easy, but it is doable.
And the main thing being - this was what I wanted to do for other people. I didn't want other's to feel as lost as I did, and unable to find their tools. So put my butt in gear and studied and studied, completed 100s of hours of courses and professional development, and have been creating wellbeing accessible content for the last 3 years.
This isn't a newly sparked career change, but it has taken me a rather long time to feel anywhere near ready to share what I have with the world (daunting doesn't even cover it). Practice what you preach and all that, I'm here and ready!
I am fascinated by the mind and it’s ability to change, learn and relearn, and grow when we find the tools that work for us. However, I am also very familiar with feeling like you’re constantly in a battle with your mind, not knowing what’s true, right or what it should be doing.
Sometimes, we just need a helping hand to put things back together again, to find the tools that actually suit us, and to make space for those ugly and uncomfortable feelings that we all face from time to time.
Your Honest Coach x