Mental Health

Ask Twice

Saying “I’m fine” is an automatic response when someone asks if I’m okay. This can be for various reasons, I don’t think people actually care, people wouldn’t understand or I don’t want to burden people with how I’m actually feeling.

Mental health is something that still has a stigma around it. How crazy is that?! Like still in this day and age we cannot talk about how we feel without the fear of being ridiculed or shamed. I know that’s not the case everywhere and it is starting to stop but it is still the main reason people say “I’m fine”.

Asking twice is where this comes into play. If you know someone is going through a hard time or is just not acting their usual selfs, let them know you’re there for them. “Are you sure you’re okay?” Or “okay, how are you really feeling?” are two phrases I’ve used but have also been asked myself. It’s scary to open up, and honestly sometimes I do feel like if I keep everything to myself it may miraculously go away. Side note: it doesn’t. It gets worse and you can feel like you are spiralling.

Remember you don’t have to know all the answers or any answers in fact. Sometimes if you’re worried about asking it can be because you don’t know the right thing to say (I’ve definitely been there and always try to avoid foot in mouth situations). By being able to ask twice and just listening it lets the person know you’re taking them seriously and that you want to listen to them.

To find out more about Time to Change’s campaign you can click here.

Remember, be kind to everyone you meet. You don’t know what people are going through.


Mental Health · Miscellaneous · Uncategorized

“I saved a life but I’m not a hero”

I’m not a hero, I’m just someone who was in the right place at the right time. On the 1st of August, my cousin went into sudden cardiac arrest which caused her heart to completely stop. I was walking back to my house after going shopping and heard my Aunty shouting/screaming me from a few windows down. I dropped my shopping and went to see what was wrong and well I saw my cousin lay there non-responsive. She had no colour, her eyes were rolled to the back of her head, no pulse or no breath.

I think I must have just went into auto pilot, I moved her so she wasn’t slumped and just started CPR. Listening to the instructions my uncle was giving me from the caller on the other end of 999. I just couldn’t think of anything else. My aunt had opened the door ready for the paramedics. They were amazing, they arrived within 5/6 minutes of being called. When the paramedic told me she was going to take over, honestly I was relieved. In my mind though, I was thinking have I done enough, will she be okay. These thoughts were constant.

In the end there ended up being 2 ground ambulances and an air ambulance. The sound of the defibrillator will haunt me for the rest for the rest of my life. Hearing the sound of that going off again and again, bringing my cousin back every time she slipped out of life again was horrendous.

She ended up in ICU in an induced coma on life support for 3 days before being moved to a critical care ward in cardiology. Seeing someone you love on life support is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. That moment again, I was just praying I’d done enough before the paramedics came to keep her going.

She’s now in recovery with the diagnosis of long qt syndrome waiting to have an ICD fitted to help her if it happens again. Today marks her second week in hospital and second week since it happened.

I’ve had Paramedics, Doctors, Specialists, family and friends call me a hero. I don’t feel like one, I was in the right place at luckily the right time. I still can’t get my head around any of the events of that day, what happened or just anything to go with it.

I don’t feel like a hero, my thoughts and my actions make me feel like a fraud. Heroes are supposed to be brave right? Every time an ambulance goes past I feel sick and can feel panic coming back. Every time I see a sign for a defibrillator my heart goes just that bit faster. I’m hoping these feelings will soon become easier to handle but what I do know is I’m just so grateful for the fact my cousin is still here.

Crissy xo

fitness · Mental Health

How Exercise helps my Mental Health

Exercise isn’t just good for your physical health, it’s good for your mental health too.

When I’m feeling down, I just want to hide away and try to avoid things. However when I am feeling like this, I know I need to take more time to look after myself.

For me exercising helps with my stress management. Wether it’s walking with my dog or a full hour/hour and a half at the gym. Let’s be honest though, after some workouts I’m not necessarily happy. I’m shattered, sweaty and normally wanting to eat. I do feel more motivated, proud of myself for actually getting through it without quitting and everything seems just a little bit brighter. Wether it’s home workouts or a gym work out I love it.

Clothes from Wearwolf Clothing

Weight lifting especially really helps me. It makes me feel strong and like I’m invincible.

I’m totally not invincible but it’s fun to pretend I’m Wonder Woman sometimes. I’ve struggled with joint and muscle problems for most of my life and honestly that has affected my Mental Health for definite. Being able to go into a gym, stick in my headphones and just lift helps so much. It reminds me I’m not my illness and if I put my mind to it I can be anything I want. When I hit a personal best, I can say that it does lift my mood even more. Exercise gives you positive endorphins anyway so doing something I love especially when I am having a low day really helps me.

I hate running, I’ll only run for two things. Food and charity. I do enjoy little fun runs or when I’m doing 5k/10k with other people but it’s definitely not something I do for enjoyment.

So for me exercise definitely does help with mental health even if it is sometimes only temporary.

Do you enjoy exercising? Does it help you?

Crissy x

Mental Health

Time To Talk Day

Time to Talk Day is an initiative from Time to Change. Time to Talk on the 1st of February is to encourage people wherever they are whether it be in a coffee shop, on a bus, at work etc to talk about Mental Health. I know what some of you may be thinking, “why on earth would you want to talk about Mental Health in these places?” Well why not?!

Having a Mental Health problem is scary at times, you feel alone and well ashamed at times because of the stigma around it. There is never a ‘right place’ to talk about most problems and issues in life but if we take the step and begin to talk about it, it may just become a little easier. People who don’t know about Mental Health Problems may just feel easier about asking about it and finding out more.

Now more than ever it is time to talk. We live in an age where so much is going on for every single person. People shouldn’t be ashamed to talk about how they’re feeling. People shouldn’t be afraid of being silenced or being judged. It’s time to continue to break the stigma and ensure that we start to be there for one another.

There isn’t really a right way to talk about Mental Health, everyone is different and will express themselves differently. It might be awkward and even silent at times. Silence is okay though. Make sure you are giving the person your full attention, don’t play on your phone or do anything that shows you aren’t listening to them.

Keep things normal, just because someone has been diagnosed with a mental illness doesn’t mean they have changed. Trust me we don’t grow two heads and we don’t have random changes. However I could potentially have two heads when I’m hungry as that’s never good! We’re still the same person, don’t treat us any different.

For me talking about my own mental health has been a struggle. In secondary school/sixth form and well university there wasn’t really anyone there for me to speak to and if I did it was “Oh you’re just a bit stressed with the work. You’ll get over it”. Over the past few years, it’s been getting slightly better. I still have the odd comments from people which I’m starting to learn to bounce off me. I’m now using my own experience to help others especially young people by volunteering with HeadStart. I’ve had the honour to talk with HRH the Duchess of Cambridge about young people and Mental Health at the recent HeadStart Learning Conference in London alongside one of my fellow ambassadors Hannah and the HeadStart Hype team.

It’s Time to Talk, it’s time for the stigma to finally be broken and it’s time for people not to have to be ashamed about how they feel. So sit have a cuppa or a coffee and a little natter. Remember it’s okay not to be okay.

Crissy x

*Photo from EBPU

Lifestyle · Mental Health

2018 Life Goals

Hi everyone,

Hope you all had a joyful Christmas wherever and whomever you spent it with. I had a lovely family day with my anxiety rearing it’s lovely head only once which I was very thankful for.

With 2018 approaching I’ve been thinking about what I want from the year. I had setting resolutions as they fail and then I get mad at myself. So I’ve split them into 4 categories to help me keep track a little more.

Mental health

⁃ Work on building my resilience.

⁃ Keep working on my coping strategies for my anxiety.

Physical health

⁃ Eat healthier.

⁃ Stick to a gym schedule.


⁃ Take better care of my skin (cleanse, tone, moisturise).

⁃ Spend at least an hour reading.


⁃ Take a MH first aid course.

⁃ Go sky diving.

⁃ Enter a new job.

⁃ Pass my driving test.

So these are my goals for 2018. Honestly I’m looking forward to entering a new year. This year has been full of ups and downs and looking back now I’m thankful for it. I’m coming out the other end a stronger and wiser person.

Do you set any goals or resolutions? Or do you just go with the flow?

See you all in the New Year

Crissy x

Mental Health

Christmas and Mental Health

“Tis the season to be Jolly fa la la la” Honestly it’s the season to feel however you want to feel. Now don’t get me wrong I’m literally like buddy the elf when it comes to Christmas, you’ll hear me singing and see me trying to spread Christmas cheer. Sometimes though I do want to lock myself away and just have some me time.

Christmas season can be overwhelming and with stress levels rising it can be challenging for everyone. Crowds of people literally everywhere and just the planning and organising to see people, what to get family and friends is challenging. For myself, I love getting together with friends and family. However the crowds around the shops, making sure everyone’s cards get sent off on time are just a few of the things that can set me off.

Last year, I had one of the worst panic and anxiety attacks I’ve ever had. I was on my way to Birmingham to do some shopping, the train was packed and it just kicked off. My heart was racing, my chest was so tight that I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t get two words out. I slumped to the floor just to feel stable as I knew I wanted to pass out. Luckily for me the people around me were so helpful but it could of been a very different story.

Anxiety and Panic attacks come in many different forms. During a panic attack:

Focus on your breathing. It can help to concentrate on breathing slowly in and out while counting to five.

Stamp on the spot. Some people find this helps control their breathing.

Focus on your senses. For example, taste mint-flavoured sweets or gum, or touch or cuddle something soft.

Try grounding techniques. Grounding techniques can help you feel more in control.

(Tips from Mind) after a panic attack try and find somewhere quiet to rest and compose yourself, if you feel like you need to eat or drink ensure you do. Self-care is seriously important!!

If you know someone who is suffering this seasonal period please try to check in with them to see how they’re doing and if they need anything. Sometimes it’s the people we’re not in contact with regularly are those who need a listening ear or a friendly face.

If you’re suffering this seasonal period remember it’s okay not to be all jolly all the time. Looking after yourself is the most important thing. Talk to someone you trust, let them know how you’re feeling and let them know if there is anything they can do to help you. Most importantly be kind to yourself, whatever you’re feeling is perfectly fine!

You can go onto Mind if you do feel overwhelmed or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed. Samaritans is also there if you need to speak to someone or if you don’t feel like you can speak you can text this number and someone will respond 07725909090.

Crissy x

Mental Health

Resilience and why it’s okay not to be okay 

You need to get thicker skin” That one little phrase can really mess your day up. If someone is upset that is okay, no-one has the right to make you feel bad for feeling upset. I’ve always been someone who is sensitive and well ever since my depression and anxiety kicked in it has been considerably worse. I get that the world isn’t sugarcoated and full of rainbows and that is perfectly fine but what is not fine is having a go at someone when they have the right to be upset. You have the right not to be okay when you need that time. 

We’re currently in a society which loves to use phrases such as ‘perk up’ ‘You just have to deal with it’ ‘what do you even have to be depressed about?’ and my personal favourite ‘you’re strong, you’ll be fine’. Okay so first off let’s start with the fact that mental illness is NOT a choice. Trust me if I was able to choose anything I’d quite like longer hair and the ability to contour properly but hey sometimes we don’t get a choice. 

‘You’re strong you’ll be fine’ so this phrase literally makes me want to cover my face and scream. I consider myself strong physically sometimes especially when I’m at the gym with my hair in a bun ready to squat. However I also consider myself equally not strong physically or mentally at times. There are times where I have to stick on a brave face, pretend I’m coping and just get on with life until I get back to my room. I can feel weak and helpless at times even when I don’t have the time to be feeling like this, again another lovely effect of mental illness you don’t get to choose when or where it happens. 

It’s only recently I’ve learnt that it is okay not to be okay. I’m allowed to have days where maybe the only thing I do is get up, washed and put on a fresh pair of PJs because that’s all I can face doing. Some days can be great and I live for those days and then you have those other days which I used too call fog days when I was little. These are the days where everything can hit either all at once, or during the middle of the day or even when you are having a laugh and a joke with your family/friends. 

The one thing I have learnt to help me at these times is to be resilient and it is harder than it sounds. Some days I can be quite good at it, other days it goes out the window completely but I gave it a shot so it counts. For me going to the gym helps a lot, exercise = endorphins. I love being able to stick my headphones in and zone out of the world for an hour. I feel relaxed when I leave and can face the day again. Sometimes I just take a step back from everything and try to focus on having me time, this can be reading a book or taking my dog for a walk or even just having a chat about anything with my bestie. I’m not completely there yet and I don’t think at the moment or anytime soon I will be but as long as I keep trying and becoming stronger with it that’s all that matters. 

“Resilience is very different than being numb. Resilience means you experience, you feel, you fail, you hurt, you fall. But you keep going” 

I love this quote and well it explains the steps I’m currently on loop with and that many other people are too. Remember be kind to yourself, it’s okay not to be okay and just take it one step at a time. 

Crissy x 

Mental Health

6 tips to support someone with their mental health

In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week. This means that yourself, a friend or family member could be one of those six. It’s really important that we begin and continue to understand mental health as the more we understand it, the less of a stigma it will hold.
I got told recently that “I didn’t realise anxiety was an actual thing until I experienced it for myself”. This is what we need to change, we need people to understand but also to be able to help a friend, family member or work mate when they need it.

So here are a few ways you can offer support:
1. Listen – Listening is really important. Sometimes the person may not even be able to express themselves as they don’t know what’s going on. Just take time even if it’s 5 minutes to show that you are there as a listening ear. You don’t have to have the answers or give advice they’ll appreciate just knowing that you are there.

2. Talk – Moving on from listening, sometimes talking wether talking about how they feel or about something completely random to distract them from their thoughts.

3. Keep in touch – This might be a little text or just in the world of fb tagging them in a cute/funny video. I personally love cute dog videos but each to their own! Honestly though, sometimes on bad days, I find it difficult to text people. So even just a text so they know you’re thinking of them makes a huge difference.

4. Do not believe Fake News – Yes I said it. So in today’s lovely, delightful news world (a girl can dream right?) we have this lovely way of portraying mental health. Please please do not believe everything you see and hear, there are a load of made up things which get passed around. If you are unsure look it up, there isn’t anything shameful at all and in fact you’ll be helping your friend by being able to understand more.

5. Respect their bravery- It is so hard to speak out about how you are feeling. I felt like I would be judged, would lose friends over it and just scared how people would react. It takes a lot to stand and say “I’m suffering with a mental health problem” so when someone does come to you please respect their bravery!

6. Look after yourself- Okay so this may seem like a strange one but you can’t help someone if you feeling overwhelmed or stressed yourself. You can’t pour from a jug when it’s empty so it’s important to make sure you are okay first.

Remember though everyone copes differently, so I hope these tips are something you can refer back to if you aren’t sure what to do or how to help.

You can find more Information on mind, rethink and young minds. I hope this post has helped you in some way and started you on the step to help break the stigma around mental health.

Crissy x


Image from Healthy Place

Mental Health

Looking okay and feeling okay are two different things.

Having an invisible illness is literally one of the most infuriating things to explain. If it can’t be seen then you get some people who do try and say :
  • ah well you don’t look ill
  • You don’t have anything to be anxious about
  • You can’t be in that much pain, you’re always running about laughing and joking
So those right there are some of the most annoying phrases I get to hear every now and again. Lovely eh? My illnesses are invisible and whilst I can’t control that, people do need to realise that just because they can’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not real.
My illnesses don’t define me, and they certainly don’t control me. Okay maybe the second one is a little white lie as if I’m having a rough day then i do want to scream but hey ho life goes on.
Even during my darkest days, I’ve gone out and put on my brave face. I have smiled, laughed, danced and been out enjoying myself. Somedays can be harder than others as at the end of the day I had to go back and deal with however I was feeling and try to find the cause of it.
Trying to avoid letting people know how I’m feeling is something I’m trying to become a master of. Comments and murmurs are something that really doesn’t help and can actually make me feel a hell of a lot worse.
Regardless of if my illnesses can be seen or can’t be seen doesn’t mean I cannot go out and have a good time. Quite the opposite, anything to help me feel even the slightest bit normal (which is totally overrated by the way) is welcomed!
So before you speak, have a little think. Be nice to people we are all battling something.
Crissy x