Alice Catherine Alice Catherine

There’s often a stigma about being an emotional person – just as there’s a stigma attached to mental illness. One that often makes me extremely sad, an ignorance that still seems to linger despite the growing number of people that experience it. That’s why I have always vowed to be honest and open on here – it’s primarily a fashion blog where I like to discuss my outfits and inspirations, but it’s also a platform that I want to connect with and encourage people. To share my experiences in the hope that something resonates with someone else, or even just helps them escape for a little while – that’s what blogging means to me. I thought I’d put together a few things that help me when I’m feeling bad – these points don’t just have to relate to mental illness either, but rather just health and well being in general…

I’ve written a few times now about my experience with anxiety and depression – I’ve suffered with them both on and off since my early teens. Instead of talking more about me, I thought I’d put together some little tips – maybe tips sounds preachy – so rather just a list of things that I’ve learnt through my experiences. Things that have helped me to help myself, but also to eventually help other people around me. They seem pretty simple, but often it’s the simple things that are the hardest to put into motion when you’re feeling rubbish…

1) Use your voice and utilise your platform (no matter how big or small) – you never know how opening up might effect other people – it could encourage someone else to come forward. Whether it’s mental illness, a personal trauma, or just a high school experience that stuck. If it resonates with someone, then it’s important that it exists. If it doesn’t, it’s healthy to talk about it anyway. These are the things that make us human, that define our personalities, and ultimately make us stronger. A lot of the time, people are just waiting for  someone else to raise the topic so that they feel confident enough to approach it…

2) I’m sure nobody needs a reminder, but it’s always important to be kind. Manners and good morals cost nothing, neither does stopping to help or speak to someone that you think might be feeling lonely or down. These little daily interactions can mean so much, trust me, I’ve been the one wandering around on my own in a new place – friendly people are essential!

3) Never compare someone else’s experience to your own – there will always be someone who has it worse, this doesn’t diminish your own reality or make it any less important.

4) Always ask for help if you need it – there’s no shame in asking for help, and that’s something I learnt the hard way. I’m a stubborn person by nature and often think that I can solve everything by myself without the support of others. I can’t, nobody can, everyone needs a support system to rely on from time to time.

5) Make time for social activities – surround yourself with good people who make you feel your best! Don’t put up with shitty one sided friendships or relationships, learning to put yourself first isn’t selfish. I remember reading somewhere that happier people tend to have better relationships, which seems pretty obvious to be honest. The happier you are, the happier you’re likely to make other people – you’ll have more energy to invest in the people around you when you’re less consumed by your own thoughts. At the same time, don’t feel guilty for having down days and wanting alone time – it’s normal! I can be the biggest hermit ever and I have no regrets, sometimes a social butterfly has to recharge their wings right?! That’s a cute/cheesy little way I like to look at it anyway…

6) Nourish your mind and body – taking care of yourself physically can have a huge impact on your mental health and well being. If I’ve had a week of eating rubbish, late night drinks, and an overall lack of sleep – this is usually reflected by my state of mind. Make a food plan for the week if it helps you stick to it, opt for healthy snacks when possible, and remember to stay hydrated. All really simple things that make a huge difference long term – take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to work if you can. Just generally get out in the fresh air and take five for yourself. Walk the dog (if you have one I’m obviously jealous), take a book, put your earphones in, just generally try and let go of your worries for a little while. Whenever I feel cooped up, leaving the flat in aid of even the smallest errand can make a huge difference…

7) Learn how to process stress and deal with it – this is something I’m getting better at as I get older. There was a time when having a to do list with more than a couple of things on would send me into a meltdown, I’d end up feeling like my head was splitting off in ten different directions, which would ultimately stop me from even attempting the first task alone. Now, I plan out my week in terms of what needs tackling first, rather than overwhelming myself with everything all at once. Exercise can also be helpful – I got really into the gym last year and it really helped me zone out and feel positive – I’m going to push myself to go more often and might even take up a few classes. Yoga and meditation are two things I’d love to investigate more…

8) Set small realistic goals for yourself – this pretty much reiterates the above point but has to do with long term rather than just the weekly tasks we might face. I like to write down a few goals for the year, and also for the approaching couple of months ahead. These could be places I want to visit, personal boundaries that I want to overcome, or something I want to achieve career wise. I’m a complete pro-list advocate and I really believe its a healthy way to organise the mind – plus, not to mention the satisfaction of crossing things out. It’s these little victories that we should celebrate more and be proud of – we are all works in progress and shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves!

9) Create a weekly routine or ritual – something that happens the same time each week pretty much without fail. Whether it’s meeting with a friend, attending a class, or just sitting down with a book – I find that building routine helps aid good habits and provides that much needed structure. It also helps you improve, for instance, if you write everyday, you are likely to become a better writer…

10) Think about a time that made you laugh – I reminisce all the time and find that it’s a mini form of therapy. Whether it’s on the phone to a friend, or just in my head whilst wandering around. I love to laugh and I love making other people laugh too – laughter boosts the immune system which can only be a good thing!

11) Practice positive thinking whenever you can – there’s so many books, videos, podcasts, etc available on this. Utilise the information available to you and refrain from always assuming the worst – making mistakes doesn’t mean you’ll always make mistakes. Nor does it mean that you’re doomed forever and won’t learn from them – I try to look at situations objectively (which isn’t always easy when you’re caught up in them), but it’s true that appreciating the positives can massively boost your mood. If I have a bad morning, I try not to assume that the rest of my day will automatically be bad too – it’s all about learning to train ourselves out of negative thinking patterns!

12) Envision a future and make a little game out of it – I do this all the time! I picture living by a big lake somewhere with a huge porch and lots of sausage dogs. My boyfriend Sam and I will always do this when we feel crappy – we lay in bed and make believe a whole future, where we will travel, how our careers will pan out, what our kids names will be. It’s healthy to look towards the future, even if it all happens completely differently…

I really hope this post was helpful to some of you, and that there was something here that you can take away. Obviously these are quite generalised points and won’t work for everyone – sometimes it’s not possible to boost your own mood and extra help is needed. I’m fully aware of that from past anxiety medications and as someone who has experienced that sense of hopelessness. I guess these are just some helpful ways that enable me to construct my life in a healthier way, one day at a time. Everyone’s experience is different and everyone has alternate ways of coping. I just thought it was important to share my mine in case they might help just one other person. I’d love this to act as a forum for any other tips/stories/experiences on mental health or well-being so do leave comments if you feel like it!

Alice x

Photography by Adriana

Blazer – Vintage (similar here) | Top – Sezane | Jeans – Vintage (similar here & here) | Shoes – Viscata | Bag – Beyond Retro (similar here)

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  1. Jojo says:

    Ur blog is ????. I love this post and ofcourse your fashion sense. Which makeup are you wearing in this. It’s stunning xox

    1. alicecatherine says:

      Thank you! I’m pretty much wearing everything I mentioned in my Spring favourites beauty post – there’s also a current make up bag post up in the same category if you’re interested 🙂 xx

  2. Jojo says:

    Thanku xox

  3. Gemma says:

    thank you for this post, going through a shit and hard time right now that seems endless and reading this was helpful and reassuring. ?

    1. alicecatherine says:

      Sorry to hear that, I’m glad this helped though – really bad times tend to feel endless but they aren’t! Look after yourself and do what feels right xx

  4. Antonia says:

    You look so pretty! I totally agree that it’s so important to learn how to process stres and deal with it. One of my goals for this year was to be more mindful and practice positive thinking. xo

    Antonia || Sweet Passions

  5. Natalie says:

    I absolutely love your style! So classic!

  6. Rachael says:

    Thank you for this post – it was really encouraging and inspiring, and it has given me plenty of ideas to help myself and others too. Really love your blog! xx

  7. Tara says:

    As someone who’s also been through depression & anxiety I think your tips were spot on! It was good to read them for a reminder to take care of myself & mental health (and I love this outfit too!) x

    1. alicecatherine says:

      Thank you! So glad to hear 🙂 xx

  8. Your hair is so cute. I am loving this style and your eye makeup

  9. Holly White says:

    Totally needed this post right now – perfectly sums things up and great advice xxxx

    1. alicecatherine says:

      Glad you liked it beautiful! xxx

  10. Juli says:

    Beautiful words! I really enjoyed , because I had times feeling down and depressive as well.
    The most important thing was to learn to love myself. It was hard work but there’s no reason to feel bad about your own opinion or feelings.

    Thank you!

    1. alicecatherine says:

      Thank you for your comment – so glad you enjoyed it and I couldn’t agree more! Self love is paramount xx

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