Reflection Friday: Mental Health

July is Mental Health Awareness Month, a topic I believe needed to be touched on! I think in today’s world, we put so much focus on our physical health, that we often lack looking after our mental health, and that so many people sit thinking that they are alone with their battle/s, when the person across from you, is most likely fighting one too!


Depression is a pervasive health issue today, currently affecting one in five South Africans with a staggering 1-million+ Mzansians on some form of antidepressant medication. What’s even more worrying is that this figure only takes the private sector into account as statistics for the public sector are scant, which means the true figure could be more than double that.

Mariska van Aswegen, spokesperson for Pharma Dynamics – a leading provider of antidepressant medication and advocate for mental wellness – says modern-day society is in the throes of a virtual epidemic of depression. She goes on to say:

  • “Eating too much junk food, for instance, has been scientifically linked to depression. A team of researchers from the University College London discovered that people who regularly eat dessert, fried food, processed meat, refined grains and high-fat dairy products are 58% more likely to be clinically depressed. (I love Marissa Peers article here on diet!)
  • Science too has proven that consumerism – seeking happiness in things that intrinsically cannot provide lasting happiness – leads to chronic depression.Van Aswegen refers to research conducted at Northwestern University that found that those who place a high value on wealth, status and material goods are more depressed, anxious and less sociable than those who do not. “Materialism is a major modern-day affliction,” she says.
  • Not exercising also increases one’s risk of depression. “Sadly 49% of South Africans don’t exercise regularly,” she says. “Moving your body releases feel good endorphins, which helps with detoxification and increases body temperature, which has an overall calming effect on the mind and body.”
  • Ignoring negative emotions could also lead to depression. “Feelings like sadness, hurt and grief are meant to be expressed. The natural flow of emotions cleanses the feelings from your body and ultimately aids in the recovery process.


Since I’ve been back in Dublin and back into routine, I’ve read some great articles that you might enjoy!

Kendra tells us to do a life audit and both her and Gary V have done this one thing too! They share the no.1 trend amongst those in old age homes or on their death beds, REGRET! And no one wishes they had put in more house at the office, it’s usually along the lines of, I wish I didn’t care what others thought of me and having spent more time with their kids etc

So, are you ready to bust out of a rut, try something new, and start *really* living the life you know you are capable of? If so, you should consider my friend Kendra’s course FACING FEAR. Use the word COTTONCANDY at checkout to save $100 (next 30 people only!)

Which leads me to another very cool video – How to Hack Your Past, Present, and Future to Become Unfuckwithable. 3 tools to become Unfuckwithable! Do it! 🙂

My top tips and what I’ve learnt:

Practice Gratitude I think of a few things every morning that I am grateful for, whether it’s that quiet coffee in bed before Harry’s awake, winning a new client, my health or that the sun is out! When you do this every day – you’ll begin looking back on your life and noticing how great it really is.

Exercise Some days it’s hard to get yourself out the door, but I’ve never regretted it! ENDORPHINS, Headspace and me time! You’ll find the busiest and most successful people in the world carve out time to exercise.

Eat Well: CHUCK THE PROCESSED CRAP! Eat real food with lots of colour! Cut back on alcohol (Ehem, Kim Bubbles Gray) & sugar. Wonderful, relaxing and delicious in the moment, but this is an anxiety and self doubt time bomb waiting to go off!

Sleep: You do not want to be in a dark alley with me on no sleep! My hunger spikes, my anxiety spikes, my “Go get em” spirit just wants to be under the covers! It’s positivity sapping. Get more sleep!

Watch your screen time: Being on your computer, social media etc sends so many messages to your brain, that your brain just cannot quiet – build in some breathing space. Hello paperback! Plus, seeing what everyone else is doing, all the time, can create anxiety and the soul crushing  belief, “I am not enough”.

Talk: Just this week I was feeling all over the show, until I realised my husband and I hadn’t fully grounded ourselves since coming back from South Africa. Sitting down, looking at calendars, talking about our wishes, commitments and future, made all the difference. It’s a silly example, but I felt grounded again. Like there were no thoughts or worries flying around my head. I’d put them to bed. And I slept like a baby that night. ( The kind that sleeps through.)

Let Go: Sjoe this can be difficult, especially when you’re a blogger and have access to so much cool stuff. But by doing a home audit and letting go of stuff; it can be a wonderful, self cleansing, uplifting exercise – immediately making one feel lighter. It opens one up to what’s important.

Bring Out The Post It Notes: Stick an affirmation on your fridge, bathroom mirror or bedroom cupboard! Anywhere and everywhere if you must. Marisa Peer is the “You Are Enough” guru and tells us more about it here! 

And so while I’m not a psychologist and while we all carry different battles and different degrees of battles, I hope one of these links may help or inspire you! Wishing you much happiness x

(Love this Birdy song – People Help The People)

If you are experiencing feelings of worthlessness, constant fatigue, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, loss of appetite or interest in activities that used to bring you joy, speak to your doctor or contact Pharma Dynamics’ toll-free helpline on 0800 205 026, which is manned by trained counsellors who are on call from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. xx

P.s. Here’s a book I really enjoyed and often go back to reference to see that my diet is getting the full spectrum of vitamins & minerals, let alone try the delicious recipes. It lists all the things you should eat to make sure your getting those specific vitamin / minerals in your diet. i.e. best sources of magnesium – cashews, leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, quinoa



One thought on “Reflection Friday: Mental Health

  1. “There is no passion to be found in playing small..” is actually a quote from Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. Many of us erroneously attribute this to Nelson Mandela who used her words in his inauguration speech.

    Thank you for your insights on depression which is prevalent here in South Africa.


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