Some quick mental health tips and topics

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The following short articles and more can be found on my social media pages.  Please contact me at fayepackertherapy@outlook.com or on Instagram @the_undiscovered_therapist if you would like to use or commission any articles on various mental health topics.  I regularly create and publish social media content so feel free to follow me!

Ever been the only young/non-white/trans/anxious/inexperienced person in the room? (04/12/2020)

Picture the scene...you're all set to smash that big interview or that important meeting or that speed dating night your friend managed to persuade you to go to.  You walk into the room and that familiar wave of insecurity hits you as you realise that you are different in some way.  You stand out.  You don't fit the box.  Maye you want to withdraw.  Or start self-hating.  Or just want to leave the bloody room and go back home.

Don't.  Start seeing the positives in difference instead.  You can offer an experience of interaction that is entirely unique.  You can create opportunity with your individuality.  You are a representative of the beauty in human diversity.  This is your time to shine - OWN IT.

Let's Talk: Social Media Is Not Real Life (05/12/2020)

Hey, we're on social media right now so let's talk about it!  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter...whichever one is your poison, there can be no denying that social media has transformed the way we interact and communicate with each other.  Most of the time, that's great.  We can feel closer to friends that live far away, bring together communities, fight for good causes globally - the list is endless.

But social media also has a shadow side that may bring out the darker parts of you too.  Maybe you feel like everyone else is living their 'best life' on sun-soaked beaches with endless cocktails while you're stuck at home with only Netflix for company.  Maybe you feel like everyone else is stunningly beautiful with clear skin and perfect make-up but you're battling a pimple outbreak and body image issues.  Everyone seems rich but you're skint.  Everyone looks happy, content and care-free but you feel insecure, worthless and depressed.

Remember that social media is not everyday life.  In fact, it's not even close.  It's a show reel of highlights, a compilation of the best parts of people's lives.  There is a context to every photo too that you can't see..

Take me for example.  My very first post on Instagram may look well put together but what you can't see is the enormous pile of ironing at my feet or my other 30+ attempts at taking a decent photo.  You can see I'm smiling but inside I was actually really stressed and anxious about taking that photo and putting myself on social media.  You might not have guessed the truth by just seeing me on a computer or phone screen.

Social media is a fantastic tool but take care in how you use it.  Enjoy the public successes of others but don't compare them with your own behind-the-scene moments.  Finally, remember that you too have a life worth living so start exploring!

Attention all people - pleasers! (08/12/2020

Are you someone who cannot bear to say "NO" to anyone?  Are you someone who sacrifices their own needs all the time for the sake of others?  Are you someone who needs to be liked by everyone?

If you answered "YES" to any of these questions, the chances are you might be a bit of a people pleaser!  People pleasing is a tricky one...it might look like a kindly and non-problematic characteristic but it often hides a much deeper issue - not having much self-worth.

People pleasers get their self-esteem boost from the praise, respect and acceptance they get from others.  Saying "yes" to absolutely everything allows people pleasers to feel needed and loved - even if the love is only conditional on what they can do rather than who they are.

Constant people pleasing is HARD.  You put pressure on yourself to put everyone else first. You take on too much responsibility for others.  You neglect your own self-care.  So...how do you break the habit?

1) Hold that "YES".  You don't owe people immediate answers.  Try using the phrase "Let me think about it and I'll let you know."  This allows you to take control of the situation and gives you time to make a decision that's best for you.

2) Find ways to work on your self-esteem.  If you appreciate and respect yourself, the people around you will be much less likely to take advantage.  Ask yourself: What are my strengths?  What do I want for myself?  You ARE allowed to put yours needs first.

3) Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries!  Setting boundaries tells people what you will and won't accept.  Before you agree to something, think: Why am I agreeing to this?  Do I want to do this?  Can I reasonably do this?

Finally, if people pleasing is seriously affecting your life, consider getting some therapy.  We all struggle with different issues in life and there is never any shame in asking for help.

Strive for authenticity, not perfection!