So here in Ireland May is national mental health month and it’s all about raising awareness for mental health and reducing the stigma around it. I decided to publish a couple of blog posts about mental health as it’s mental health month. It’s so easy to put ourselves down and focus on the mistakes we make or the things that go not quite as well as we would have hoped but it’s so important to reflect on the good things that have happened to us and all the things we have gotten through. In this post I would like to share with you five of my very own personal mental health achievements. I’m not doing this to brag in any way at all, instead I’m doing this to share a bit of my story with you and highlight some good things that have happened as well as raising awareness for mental health and the importance of acknowledging and celebrating the good times.
- Getting through my exams- The Leaving Certificate which I think is the equivalent of the A Levels in the UK is something that I thought I could never get through. I was terrified and the mere thought of it made me feel instantly anxious. Now a year later I’m proud of myself for sitting seven exams, some which had two papers and having a big improvement from my mock examinations both in my grades and in my anxiety.
- Managing my anxiety when eating out- This is something that I’ve struggled with for a long time now and I spoke about it a few posts ago. I’ve been working really hard on this to try and be more comfortable with it. A few weeks ago I noticed a huge improvement while I was eating out with family. Now, the next time I went out for dinner after that I found a little more difficult but I need to remind myself that every time will be different and I am taking baby steps. It’s given me a little confidence boost to have managed it a little better!
- Going to a nightclub- This was something I could never in a million years have imagined myself doing. When I went into first year of university I made a decision that I would go at least once throughout the year so when final week of university rolled around and there was an opportunity to go I jumped at it. I was anxious leading up to it but I dealt with it, I was able to go to class and go to meetings and do some study. But it turns out I had a really great time there, dancing and singing and just having a laugh with my friends. I was exhausted when I came home and my ears were ringing which all made me a bit anxious to say the least. But I am so happy that I went, I wouldn’t mind trying it again as it wasn’t half as bad as I’d expected! This was a huge thing for me!
- Speaking positively about myself when going for committee positions in college societies- If you want to go for a committee position in a society in the univerisyt I go to you have to stand up and say a few words for about 30 seconds to a minute about yourself and why you think you deserve the role. Committee positions can be anything from secretary or president to PRO or festivals co-ordinator. I really wanted to try out for one for quite some time but I was to scared to get up and go for it and speak in front of people I didn’t know. I didn’t like saying I was good at something and didn’t know what skills I had to speak about. But as the year went on I gave it a go and tried a couple of times and had a laugh doing it. I am now VP for Seminars and Conferences for ELSA- European Law Students Association, so I was delighted with that! I got involved in a couple of societies and got to know some of the other students which was great!
- Speaking about my mental health more frequently- Now I don’t go giving people my whole life story and the ins and outs of my mental health but I’ve been trying to be a little honest with close family and friends when they ask me how I am doing or if I’m having a bad day. Talking can really help, just knowing that advice can be offered or support given, it can make things a whole lot easier.
Thank you so much for reading my post, as you can tell it’s quite a personal one so I was a bit nervous about sharing it but I felt like it was important to do so. Feel free to share any of your recent achievements, mental health or anything else, in the comments if you’d like to do so!