Natasha, Leeds J-Soc
Natasha has recorded a series of vlogs about mental health for her YouTube channel.
Watch three of our favourites here, and see the rest on her channel.
Natasha also blogs for Reclaim:
You don't really understand until you've had them.
You can’t breathe.
You’re light headed
An uncontrollable response.
I personally only suffer from panic attack during exam season or from something that has made me particularly worried or stressed, but some people have anxiety attacks daily and seriously suffer from it. It’s difficult to describe it to someone who has never had one, I’ve been told to ‘calm down’ or ‘just chill’ and ‘relax’ before and even though I know it’s from a good place and they’re trying to help – it really doesn’t. Honestly, if we could just ‘chill’ we wouldn’t get panic attacks.
The photo I’ve used to put with this (below) I didn’t actually like at all when I took it, it was blurry and didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to but now I feel as though it’s a good representation for panic attacks. The blurred face and lines coming from her head illustrates the panic and anxiety coming from the individual.
Also, much like after looking at the photo from a different angle I could see how useful it was, by looking at panic and anxiety a little differently, people with anxiety could feel a little more comfortable and possibly benefit from others knowing more about it.
Natasha's second blog for Reclaim:
'Beach body ready'? Body positivity
I'd like to take this moment to say a bit about body positivity.
In this world we're presented with social media showing models with very small frames or very muscular frames, whatever it is, we're shown what we're told is the 'perfect body'. This leads to many young girls and boys to be insecure about the way they look leading them to starve themselves, or becoming depressed about the way their body is.
The reality of it is that there is no ‘perfect’ body, in fact in some ways every type of body is their type of perfect. Your body is your body and that's all there is to it. If you need to lose some weight for a health reason, then sure go ahead and exercise and eat healthily, nothing wrong with doing that but we also need to learn to accept that everyone is different. The photos we see in the media are photo-shopped and don't represent what real life bodies are.
I’ve always been on the skinnier side of things which means that according to the eyes of others I have always fit into the more socially acceptable end of the spectrum and very rarely having trouble finding clothes I like. I will openly admit that I haven’t really been a victim of body negativity. However, despite this, the media still manages to tell people that even if they’re slim, they should work out and become more muscular, there seems to be nothing that tells anyone to be happy with how they look. I certainly have been one to worry about needing to go to the gym because of thinking I look too skinny and that because my body isn’t perfectly toned then I need to do something to change that. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with going to the gym and I do really enjoy working out but it’s only really recently when I’ve wanted to go because of enjoyment rather than feeling the need to tone up my body. To be honest, when I go purely to see results, I’m usually less motivated because my expectations become too high and I give up quicker.
The fact that anyone of any shape and size is made to feel as though their body isn’t good enough is terrible and we should be promoting self-acceptance and positivity. Especially with summer coming up and the whole thing with having a ‘bikini body’ coming into play, we really need to strongly stress how having a bikini body is as simple as:
You have a body
You have a bikini
You wear your bikini on your body
TA DA! You now have a bikini body
Whoever you are and whichever size or shape you are, you should be made to feel comfortable in your body and not to be body shamed from wearing particular pieces of clothing.
Natasha's third blog for Reclaim:
I took this photo recently and it made me think of how much we think about the future and how much everyone generally worries about it. If you’re someone who suffers from anxiety then even the immediate future can be terrifying.
If someone asks you to speak in front of people without much notice
If things go wrong without you being prepared for it
Even something as simple as talking to someone new can be terribly daunting!
From someone who’s had a panic attack from not knowing where to park, I can completely sympathise and understand how small things can set off a whole whirl of anxiety.
Of course everyone who experiences mental health issues uses different things to combat it but the thing I like to do is try to sit back and think of the bigger picture.
The photo I have taken made me think of how the future is a funny thing. It’s full of uncertainty but if you think about it you actually have full control over it. Think about the choices you want for the present moment. As each moment passes it becomes the past but you are still present. Each moment unfolds because you are presently here. The future you’re wondering about will eventually be your present. The present you’re in now was the future to your past self. So hey, past self, you’ll be ok! The present is always certain, and you’re always in the present, how can we worry about the future when you will never be in the future, you’re always present.
The present is what really matters and by focusing on the ‘now’ could maybe relieve at least some of that tension and anxiety about what will happen next.
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