How to Get Yourself Out of A Bad Mood • HEALTH & FITNESS

Image is not my own - edit from tumblr
Dealing with mental illnesses is hard. No one tells you how hard or prepares you for the moments when suddenly out of nowhere you are in a low mood that seems so insufferable and painful you feel that you will never get out of it. But living with mental illness for the past decade one thing I have learnt is to step back from what you're thinking and look at your life from an outside party perspective. This post is an honest insight into how I have learnt to smile when I feel like crying and the thought process I run through to get out of a bad mood.

If you're reading this because you also suffer with a mental illness, welcome - you are not alone (even though it feels like it's only you going through this and that no one can possibly understand how awful you feel) or if you're reading this because you know someone is going through something you don't quite understand, welcome - you are already helping them by trying and wanting to be there for them. It's incredible how reaching out and talking to someone can change how you feel.

I suffer with depression, anxiety and an eating disorder, a concoction of mental illnesses that I manage through routine and rigorous organisation and planning of all life events. One of the main issues that gets me 'down' is the feeling of being unproductive and not achieving things in my life. I can often feel like my life is 'failing' and that it's all a chaotic mess of wasted time and that's what inspired me to write this post. What you're about to read is an appreciation post which I hope inspires you to count your blessings and think of all the positives that you have rather than the negative thought patterns you are currently battling.

When I'm in one of those moments of feeling that I am doing nothing good with my life, I take a step back and watch my achievements (big and small) from the point of view of someone else. I get a lot of people asking me questions about my life and all the parties and events that I go to, what it's like sitting at the front row of all the fashion week shows in London and hanging out with celebrities at launches, going to the worlds top fashion school and in general just living in London.

Maybe this fascination of others stems from the fact that I used to live in a small, quiet, countryside area, which was run by the domination of middle class ideologies - a place where everyone knew everyone and everything that was happening within a 10 mile radius. To me this was enough to make me think myself into a bad mood, where in between my twice daily runs and watching Netflix (because there generally wasn't a lot else to do) I would constantly compare myself to others and think about all the things I could be doing with my life if I wasn't stuck in a village where I saw farm animals more than I did people.

Fast forward to now and I have a lot to be thankful for. I have done some unbelievable things that I should be proud of and that's when I make a mental list of things that are pretty damn good about my life. This technique of going over the highlights of 'being you' has really helped me ground myself and not let my bad mood overcloud my reality. This is the time to think about what people are impressed by, what you can brag about in your head and give yourself credit for. Don't hold back - if you're proud of it, someone else probably is and it's something to add to your list.

If I had to pick a top 10 it would go something along the lines of...
  1. I live in one of the most glamorous and interesting capitals in the world with one of my best friends, who I love living with (thumbs up to Hattie).
  2. I got into a top university straight out of A Levels after getting 100% in everything for both AS and A2.
  3. In the past two years have been to 6 festivals, working with artists backstage, travelled around Tanzania, climbed Kilimanjaro in three days and had some beautiful adventures with life changing people.
  4. I have got to an age where I have fine tuned my circle of friends and now can say I have a strong selection of incredible people who bring me up and make me happy and smiley whenever I'm in need of a pick me up. (Natasha, Kayleigh, James, Connie and Georgia thank you for being there for me through it all) As well as friends who despite not seeing as often due to university and the general interference of adulthood, I always know that when we finally get to catch up it's as if nothing has changed and no time has passed. (Abbie, Emma, Kiera, Anna, Ben, you know who you are)
  5. I get to model in photo shoots for stylists and photographers, write for fashion magazines, work with the coolest celebrities and be part of the fast paced fashion industry.
  6. I always have people complimenting me for my hair, my figure and my style, I have so many lovely comments to hold onto whenever I'm in self doubt.
  7. I have invitations to events and things in the city every day, so many that sometimes I just decline them all and choose to stay in and have a rest and relaxation day so I can carry on with my busy schedule.
  8. My day to day life could be summed up by: Selfridges, going out for dinner, going to social events, vlogging, editing and travelling.
  9. I have the most inspiring and incredibly supportive family, who I wouldn't know what to do without. I don't have enough words to describe how much they have impacted my life and been there for me.
  10. Finally... I have an incredible boyfriend who I've known for nearly 10 years of my life, and although he lives the other end of the country to me on the way to a PhD in BioChemistry I still have his upmost attention, we Skype for hours every night and he is honestly my rock. So thank you Connor. 
These points aren't things that I really thought about until I had people saying how jealous they were of the things they saw on Facebook and how well and happy I looked. My friends would always point out these factors of my life in comparison to theirs and it stopped to make me think that perhaps I'm overreacting. Although I'm not an oscar winning actress, or I don't have my own TV show, doesn't mean that people don't look to me and see something that inspires them. We forget that everyone wants what they haven't got, be it blonde hair, blue eyes, a tan or a huge house. But you can't dwell on what you can't change. So focus on what you can. Reinvent your idea of you and how you want to be seen. Think about the smaller things such as the time you went to Paris, spending time shopping with your friends and going to lunch, getting your nails done, your personal collection of gig tickets, how often you get asked out on tinder. Whatever it is that gives you a little buzz and a moment of pride is what to focus on to gain a new sense of perspective.

When I'm down about anything I always turn to my boyfriend, who is always amazing and helps me anyway he can. However I am aware that it's not fair on him to burden him with (what seems like my constant bad moods), whilst some may argue that it's a boyfriend's job to love and support their partner no matter what, I don't believe that's what a relationship should be about or revolve around - to me it's just a lovely bonus of being with someone and having that person to help guide you when you're feeling lost.

If the thought of analysing your life seems a little daunting or hard to see when you're in that dark place, one of the things Connor suggested was instead of looking at the overall picture, look at what you can see now and make a small list of 3-5 points of things that have made you happy/smile today.

Mine generally looks like this...
  1. I saw a ridiculously cute pug or French bulldog and most likely stroked it and/or took a picture of it.
  2. I planned something fun and exciting to do with my friends or my boyfriend Connor that I can look forward to all week.
  3. I got points off my to-do list done, which made me feel productive.
  4. I ate healthy all day and don't have any guilt from caving in at anything sweet and sugary.
  5. Speaking to Connor.
This initially may seem a bit unhelpful, and you may ask yourself why looking at your life from someone else's point of view is going to change your personal perspective, however, people who look at you from the outside in brush past the negative points that you are focusing on. They don't see the bad bits because thanks to the world of social media, we only post the highlights of our lives and things with friends that have made us happy. 
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  1. You are so astoundingly positive and I think it is so inspiring. Thankyou

    1. Thank you so much for this comment! It really made my day. :)