MENTAL MUTHA MEETS LYDIA MARTIN
MENTAL MUTHA MEETS LYDIA MARTIN
Are you a mental Mum or a Mum that’s mental?
I'd like to say both depending on how you want to define mental. Mental as in I have a super dry sense of humour and find people stacking it incredibly hilarious (as long as they don't hurt themselves), but I am a mental Mum in that I believe the power of being mindful and practising gratitude can really contribute to a healthier mentality. Once we have the power to take control of our thoughts we can really start to heal that negative self-talk process.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Meditate? Talk? Hide?
I suffer from severe anxieties so there are a lot of everyday situations where I feel really overwhelmed. Social anxiety is huge for me, being a Mum you get thrown into so many social occasions that feel extremely threatening that make you want to run and hide (before my Son I would have). For my Son, I can't do that I want him to be able to cope with social situations and I know that means putting him in as many scenarios as I can. I actually practise breathing exercises when I am in a new social environment and I go armed with a list of premeditated questions so that I don't sit there like a stunned mullet or unapproachable. I get very drained of energy quickly so I allocate myself time and leave when I need to. I do meditate when I can as I feel it's an extremely valuable tool to practise. I am a part of headspace - I love it!
Do you discuss your mental health with your mum mates?
YES, YES & YES!!!!! I was adopted into another NCT group and these women have been so invaluable to me. I am beyond lucky that I can talk about my mental health without judgement. I think they know me well enough by now that if I am feeling drained and need to depart they really understand. I don't feel I need to hide anything from them. It's like being in a relationship, where you can really talk about your darkest thoughts and know that you are loved no matter what. I've never really had friendships like this before, it definitely spurred on my campaign #thepowerofmumchat. I know there are so many people who don't have connections like this and I just believe it's SO important that we reach out and make ourselves available for others who need to talk on this level without shame or judgement.
How do you tackle mental health chats with your kid’s?
My Son is only 6 months but my husband and I have discussed that it's something we want to be really open and honest about in front of him. He should know that it's a normal illness and needs to be treated the same as an infection or broken bone. I don't want him to have to ever go through what I did when I was younger and carry that shame with him, believing that he is broken or not good enough in this world. The more we normalize this for our children's generation the more help they will openly ask for and be able to receive.
Who helps you in the dark? (In your pits, your mental rock bottom - who is your hero?)
I've worked really hard over the years to understand and recognise my mental health triggers. When I start to get down I completely become introverted and become a little agoraphobic. I start to decline offers of going out, I don't leave home. I stare at the TV, I lose interest in almost everything. But because I know these triggers I can help myself or my husband can. He knows how important it is for me to get out of the house and get out into nature, generally by water. So he will take us out to Brighton for a walk and fresh air. But overall I want to say I am my own hero - I'm not a narcissist I swear, I am fortunate enough to be able to force myself out of the door when it gets really bad because I know that's going to be the medicine I need. It's hard, it's uncomfortable, I have OCD in the form of extremely intrusive thoughts. But I know because I have been there before that it will get worse if I don't get out and I can't allow that for my Son.
What helps you in the light? (Meditation? Procrastination? Perspiration? People?)
Definitely practising gratitude, when I am in a good place I make sure that I am thankful for everything that I have and have achieved. I reach out to new Mums if I can especially locally and try to make new connections. I meditate, make sure I am going to baby classes and generally being out there and being social, the complete counter opposite of when I am in that dark spot. I work on my blog and see what I can contribute to the parenting community from my own experiences. And I love to be creative, so working on a little side business I'm hoping to launch later this year really keeps me in good spirits - WHEN I can get to it, as babies are so demanding and increasingly so as they grow!
Is it hard to talk about your mental health? (Doesn't mean on Instagram necessarily, but do you feel the stigma is lifting and do you feel safe to speak your mind, even if it is possibly 'mental'?)
I used to feel so ashamed of my mental health I can't even describe the humiliation of it. In fact, my ex-partners father had said I was using it as an excuse to go out with my friends and drink. I was drinking heavily at that time but I was also going through a breakdown. I was on medication provided by a psychiatrist that was only given from several serious assessments. So I wasn't using my mental health as an excuse, going out was a form of escapism from living in a really toxic environment with them. That comment will stay with me forever, that level of ignorance needs to be stamped out! I had a full breakdown shortly after this and it was my rock bottom. That comment was pivotal in my life, once I started to get better I decided that no one should be subjected to such stupidity and ignorance by someone who hasn't walked in my shoes. SO I decided to take control of my mental health and a part of that rebuilding process was to be open and honest about it. Once you can put something out there and not care what people think you no longer attach power to it. Seems to be working so far :)
Where’s your head at?
We are Cot transitioning which is sleepless hell!
Soft Play or Rehab?
Jacobs Creek or a Jacobs Cracker?
Jacobs creek - I think I am the official sponsor at the moment
Nut Job or Nut Allergy?
Self Care or Self Sabotage?
Journal or jog?
Ask for help or happy to hermit?
Ask for help!
If you'd like to read more conversations with Mental Muthas, click HERE.
Women talking unashamedly about their mental health and parenting innit.