MENTAL MUTHA MEETS NOT SO SMUG NOW
I first met Cat at a fabulous Hustle & Fox event and I distinctly remember discussing/comparing what anti depressants we were both on and the side effects we had both experienced. It was in that first five minutes that I knew 'Cat Sims is a keeper', because I had never found someone who chats about depression and medication like I do...completely unashamed. Cat is a breath of fresh 'self-care' air and 'I want to go to there.'
Even though it is getting easier in many ways to chat mental health and to truly 'own the crazy' part of ourselves, Cat is still my kindred spirit when it comes to not giving a F**K what other people think when it comes to our mental health, so interviewing the 'Not so Smug Now' bloggaahhhh was necessary for the MENTAL MUTHA MEETS series.
Also she is taking 'mental' to a whole other pose, by doing not 1, but 5 hot yoga sessions in one day (April 26th) to raise money for Cocoon Family Support - a London-based charity supporting mothers and families affected by mental health issues. Cat's HOT FOR MENTAL HEALTH campaign hopes to raise awareness of the mental and physical benefits of yoga, especially when it comes to managing mental health issues around motherhood and pregnancy. MAMASTE.
MENTAL MUTHA MEETS NOT SO SMUG NOW
Are you a mental Mum or a Mum that’s mental?
I’m just a mum trying to get from one end of the day to the other without putting my kids out by the bins, losing my job and/or getting divorced. The struggle is real.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Meditate? Talk? Hide?
Now, I try to just STOP. I’ve been through that over-whelmed, ramp it up, manic shit before and it never ends well. I’ve come to realise that there’s very little that can’t wait until you’ve taken some time to calm the fuck down…whatever that takes. For me, I’ll drag my ass to a yoga class, spend time with a friend (one who knows that just being there with me eating takeaway and watching shit TV is enough) or sleep. When you feel overwhelmed, you have to get away from it. By the time you come back to it, it never feels as bad.
Do you discuss your mental health with your mum mates?
For sure. I wasn’t really born with the filter that makes me embarrassed to talk about that. Plus I always quite enjoy watching their reaction. It’s not that I relish making people feel uncomfortable but it’s always interesting to see who reacts in a ‘Oh that’s a bit awkward’ way and who says, ‘Tell me more...' The ‘tell me more’ people are always the ones I end up hanging out with.
How do you tackle mental health chats with your kids?
I’m really conscious of teaching my eldest really good mental habits. When she’s losing her shit and in the middle of a big-ass tantrum, I’ll tell her that I understand she’s mad and ask her if she wants to take a time out to calm down and then come and tell me why she’s so upset about it all. She’s got to the point where she’ll say, “I just need to go to my room because I’m angry,” and I want to shake her and high five her and say, “Well done for being such a fucking awesome human being”. If only we could all do that?
Of course, there are some days when I shout right back at her and it all goes to shit, but you can’t be perfect all the time.
Who helps you in the dark? (in your pits, your mental rock bottom - who’s your hero?)
I really tried to think of a less butt-clenchingly cheesy response to this but it is my husband. He’s never dismissed or undermined me when I’m struggling mentally. He’s always given me the time, space and support I need. He’s an amazing dad, a great cook and a good shag…all very important in maintaining a great healthy state of mind. Ok, so he doesn’t remember to pick up wet towels and he never, ever puts a stinky nappy in a nappy bag, but when I’m losing my shit he’s there every time.
What helps you in the light? (Meditation? Procrastination? Perspiration? People?)
It’s easy to forget that you still need help when things are good. I’ve been guilty of forgetting to look after myself in the past only to have the whole thing come crashing down around me. I stick with my yoga, try to read more, try to get more early nights, try to drink less. All those things make me more creative, which makes me more productive and efficient which makes me feel like I can’t handle whatever is thrown at me. When I feel like that, I’m a powerful force for good.
Is it hard to talk about your mental health? (Doesn’t mean on Instagram necessarily but do you feel the stigma slighting and do you feel safe to speak your mind, even if it’s possibly ‘mental’?)
Not anymore. I remember the first time I uttered the words, “I’ve suffered from depression,” to someone I’d met who didn’t know much about me and I think I was almost sick saying the words. The more you do it, the easier it gets and I’m passionate about talking about it. The chance to discuss it comes up a lot more than you’d think and so many of us back away from it because we’re ashamed, scared. I’m reading Sarah Knight’s The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A Fuck at the moment, and worrying about what other people think of our mental health experiences does not deserve a single fuck to be spent on it.
Where’s your head at?
Right now I feel like I’m killing it. I’m tired but healthily so. I always know when I’m struggling because I have no creative juices flowing at all but I can write and that really helps. I’m drinking less, exercising more, sleeping as much as is possible with a nocturnal toddler and carving out enough time for myself.
Soft play or rehab?
After soft play, I need rehab.
Jacobs Creek or Jacobs Crackers?
I’m off the booze at the moment so crackers…but can I add cheese
Nut job or Nut Allergy?
Nut job every time.
Self Care or Sabotage?
Journal or jog?
Little bit of both.
Ask for help or happy to hermit?
Always ALWAYS ask for help.
Co-founder of brand consultation agency www.hustleandfox.com
HOT FOR MENTAL HEALTH CAMPAIGN - April 26th - 5 hot yoga sessions in one day.
Follow instagram for more information.
If you'd like to read more conversations with Mental Muthas, click HERE.
Women talking unashamedly about their mental health and parenting innit.