London, Over the Influence
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In a world where you can be anything, BE KIND

Sarah here 👋. We sent this out as a newsletter at the end of Feb (if you want to sign up you can here) and I decided to hijack this post (sorry Seth, although I’m sure you’re out there somewhere happily sipping on some wanky mocktail), as I wanted to speak out after having felt the effects of the ridiculously sad and untimely death of Caroline Flack a couple of weeks ago.

Anyone who has signed up to our newsletter probs did so to get tips on how to get less wasted in London, but there has been a lot of talk around mental health over the last week or so and I wanted to take a minute to talk about this.

The topic itself is so multifaceted and I do want to caveat that my suggestions below are merely a guide – if you’re suffering in any way, we’re definitely here for you, but also recommend that you seek professional help.

Over the last week there has been an incredible amount of press surrounding the death, with many opening up about their own struggles. While it is devastating that it takes the untimely death of someone famous to raise awareness, it is good to see that people are talking about their mental health more than ever. While some speculate it is becoming, if it hasn’t already, a bit of a taboo subject, I wholeheartedly disagree. Talking helps – since the 1800’s, the term ‘get it off your chest’ has been widely used by writers and poets, and with bloody good reason! You may not want to speak all the time, but ‘bottling emotions’ is proven to be very unhealthy for the mind, and therefore the body. You get me?

What is good to see is that the conversation didn’t die a couple of days after the news, as is usual with the UK press. And I want to say well chuffing done to the hair salon that took gossip mags away from their salon in the wake of Caroline’s death, prompting others to do the same. It is small changes that see the biggest impact and I want to see more more more of this!

So now the personal bit, or as personal as I can handle being right now. The very reason I wanted to start the Over the Influence community is to feel comfortable enough to truly open up, be myself, own my flaws and celebrate my successes. And I want to do this with Seth and you guys. Opening up has never been easy for me and as a result I’ve suffered with a huge amount of pent up anxiety for as long as I can remember.

I’ve been to therapy a few times and can’t say I ever felt it worked for me. But the more I talk to people with similar experiences and open up, I figure out just that LITTLE a bit more about myself each time. Enough to reflect and make any tweaks to my lifestyle that will ultimately lead me onto a better path.

The suggestions below have massively helped me with my anxiety. Am I fixed? Well, what even defines the word fixed in human terms (sorry, deep chat)? Maybe not – I still have my wild times and go into what someone close to me once coined ’self destruct mode’, which I thought fit quite nicely.

One of my favourite sayings is ‘out of every negative comes a positive’. The more I think about this saying, the more I realise this might just well be my coping mechanism. My way of processing anything potentially harmful or hurtful is rushing to find a solution, an adaptation, a fix. I am not in any way saying that someone’s death is a positive, but if positive change can come as a reaction to the pain and hurt, then surely there has to be some good in that?

Anyway, enough of my rambling – here are my suggestions 😃

  • Do regular exercise and stick to it. I’m currently on week 3 of 12 of the Vertue Method and Shona’s educational and general badass approach to fitness and life in general is proving to have a positive (albeit slightly sore) effect on my mind and body.
  • Go caffeine free. I spent years jittering my way through life, until I switched to decaf life in December. The yummiest cup in London is from Lundenwic. They use Assembly decaf and if you buy a bag, you get a free coffee. It is wicked!
  • Read. Despite English being my strong point (and I work in comms) I have struggled my whole life to read a book from start to finish. With the help of a little mindfulness I’ve managed to make a start with turning this around. I’m currently reading the hilarious Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis and can often found lolling at some point on the Central Line.
  • Focus on your sleep and read ‘Why We Sleep’. This book changed my life. Seriously. You’ll learn the importance of sleep, how to do it properly and the health benefits above and beyond sleep being able to help with anxiety and depression.
  • Follow Russell Brand on Instagram. Just because. You’ll see. *Disclaimer – I hated Brand during his narcissistic days, but today his words are like breathing fresh air while being tickled with a feather duster.If you have any stories you’d like to share, head across to our Facebook group, Insta page or email us using the button below.

Also, any London based singletons out there who want to try their hand at some (almost) sober dating, stay tuned as we have an event announcement coming REAL soon.

Ta ta for now. x

If you need professional emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website

 

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