I don’t know about you guys but lockdown has my mind racing. I’ve never been one to suffer with my mental health or anxiety but I’ve noticed since finishing university in a pandemic my mind has gone a little crazy. With the uncertainty of the near future, looking for jobs and filling the void that uni has left behind, I have been checking in with myself a lot more.
Last Christmas I received Camile Knowles book The Beauty of Eczema as a present. After following her for some time on instagram, I was excited to read this and feel a personal connection to it. I find reading other people’s stories not only empowering but also comforting in knowing I am not alone with my condition and there is a whole heap of support out there. The Beauty of Eczema is one of those books that inspires you to become a better version of yourself and I learnt a lot about self care and self preservation in this book. I never saw the beauty in eczema before reading this and now I understand why she says that.
One particular task that stood out to me was journalling. I have never been the type to stick to this sort of thing and despite loving to write, I haven’t spent much time writing about myself or even thinking about myself. Stress is a major factor in most people’s journey with eczema, stress can trigger some of the worst flare ups! Allowing yourself even 5 minutes a day to off load some negative energy could help put your mind at rest.
Journalling also isn’t just for bad thoughts, I have utilised it too document important things that have happened or moments that I have been proud of. When I look back at some of the entries I am reminded of positive times which put me in a good head space.
Just before lockdown started (March time) I decided to begin writing simple ‘diary’ entries about my skin, my current mood, particular events that happened that day. I also didn’t force myself to write everyday as I wanted it to be an organic process of only writing if I felt like it. I now feel like journalling is a safe space for me to mull over ideas and thoughts, there is nothing worse than overthinking something and letting it fester and bring your whole mood down.
Recently it’s been hard for me to feel a sense of fulfilment which has lead to negative thoughts lingering in my head. I’m naturally a list maker and I love to write so when I put pen to paper I always feel a sense of relief, even if that relief is small.
What I find most helpful is reminding myself what I’m grateful for, this helps me push past the fog and remember how much good I have in my life, even if I can only think of a couple of things that day its something positive to think about.
For those of you who follow Camile, you will know that she created her own journal aimed at us eczema warriors. She believes in the HOPE principles to find a life beyond eczema and the positive scribes journal, which I am yet to buy, offers a guide to journalling if you are unsure on what to write. Sometimes looking at a blank page can be unsettling when you need to get something off your chest. Journalling obviously ins’t for everyone but I highly recommend it as an exercise to add to you life, I have definitely benefitted from it.
If you have any tips in keeping that positive mental attitude up, I’d love to hear them in the comments.