Navigating Difficult Times
A slightly different post to our usual, but then we're not exactly living through usual times right now!
One thing that has always been important to Brush is our sense of community and providing a support network. This usually entails the support we offer to our brides in what is an exciting but also stressful time when planning a wedding, and to our fellow wedding and beauty industry professionals, an industry that thrives on making connections and supporting each other. Those qualities have never been more important than right now and while many people are struggling at this time, we want to open up a discussion and encourage people to talk, support and open up.
The biggest challenges facing us all right now include loneliness, money and job worries, health concerns, future uncertainty, the list goes on, and while we can't help with all these, we can do our part in tackling loneliness and opening up discussions to show people they aren't alone.
Looking after our mental health should be just as important as eating well, exercising and looking after our physical health. If our minds aren't healthy, then our bodies never will be. We've focused below on a couple of areas that are big factors on mental health and how we feel we can improve them :
We are obviously huge social media fans! It's a great way for us to connect with our industry, showcase our work and meet new clients. However, we also try to remember that social media is a reel of everyone's best bits. Nobody is showing their bad days and it's easy to sit and compare your life to others highlights but this is simply setting yourself an unachievable comparison that will ultimately lead to disappointment and negative feelings. That old school friend who's life looks like a movie? She's probably looking at someone else's feed feeling the same way!
How many times have you seen the quote "unfollow accounts that makes you feel bad about yourself" and how many times have you taken that action? Trust us, pressing unfollow on those accounts is the best feeling, because you're making that decision for your own wellbeing and what's better than that? Curate your instagram into a hive of positivity, follow accounts that entertain you, accounts that talk about important topics, that promote mental health and body positivity. Trust us, scrolling will be a lot more therapeutic when you're seeing posts that put a smile on your face. Here are a couple of our favourite accounts -
@womenshealthuk - health, wellbeing, body positivity, need we go on?
@aliceliveing - We love Alice, she's a fantastic advocate for taking care of yourself physically and mentally and always keeps it real!
@theselflovesummit - Does what it says on the tin! Sometimes all it takes is one of these posts popping up on your feed to remind you you are fabulous!
@deliciouslyella - Ella has grown a hugely inspiring empire and with her health food range, podcast and mental health advocacy, she's a great inspiration to follow
@womenontopp - inspiration for your ambitions!
@livpurvis - founder of @theinsecuregirlsclub (also a great account to follow!) Liv's little corner of the internet is a lovely, friendly and positive place to hang out
@i_weigh - founded by Jameela Jamil, a great account for those who want to dig a little deeper into important social topics
@chinaealexander - all about the self love!
@humansofny - real people and real stories for some true inspiration
@thehappybroadcast - all the happy news that we need to know
@abeautifulmess - we are big fans of getting creative as a form of therapy and this account does just that!
@bornfreefoundation and @wwf - incredibly important in raising awareness of causes very close to our hearts
Mental health is much more widely discussed now which is amazing but we still have some work to do to break that taboo. On top of the difficult year we have had, many people find the darker, colder days affecting their mood and motivation and it can be easy to fall into a bad cycle.
A Womens Health article described how we should have a mental health 5-a-day just as we have a fruit and veg 5-a-day. While this may not be for everyone, it's a good mindset to have. Encouraging yourself to have regular social interactions is important in tackling loneliness, boosting your mood and you never know, you are probably doing the same for someone else and spreading that good karma round!
A step on from this is to make sure you talk if you feel that your mental health is suffering. Talk to your loved ones, talk to your colleagues or employers, many employers have support in place for employees who need it, or if you prefer something more anonymous, try talking to a professional at a charity such as Mind, Calm or even Citizen's Advice Bureau who can help with a variety of issues many people are facing due to covid.
Remember that a problem shared is a problem halved, talking and getting support from those you trust will make you feel better and less alone in your struggles and may encourage others to do the same if they're struggling.
While we never advocate forcing yourself to do something you don't want to, sometimes it's helpful to question and check yourself. Perhaps you're thinking of cancelling a social plan because you're tired or you don't feel like it. Try asking yourself if missing this plan will ultimately make you feel better or worse? Sometimes when we are in a bad mindset, we need to snap ourselves out of it which may mean dragging yourself off the sofa to go out but once you're out you realise how much better you feel!
While we all know that we shouldn't do nice things to receive nice things in return and acts of kindness should be selfless, you can't mistake that warm feeling you get when you make a positive difference to someone's day!
Being able to help others in need is a privilege and there really is no better feeling than seeing the positive effects your kindness can have on someone else. The happy side effect of this is that it will almost certainly improve your mood and often can remind us of how much we have to be grateful for when we can get bogged down with negative thoughts. However you decide to do this, be that donating to a cause, volunteering, or even having a socially distant cuppa with your elderly neighbour or someone you know lives alone, making a positive impact on someone's life is a great way to spread some happiness.
Lastly, remember to focus on the positives! We as humans always tend to focus more on the negatives and push the positives to the bottom of the pile. When you're feeling low, take a moment to remind yourself of all the good things in your life and put those negative thoughts into perspective. We can't all be happy all the time, but we can take steps to make more room for happiness at a time when we really need it