Tackling the Downward Spiral

Tackling the Downward Spiral

Many mental health issues can cause you to fall behind in work, education, and other responsibilities. This can feel like a ‘downward spiral’, where the problems caused by falling behind make you feel worse.

This is a common feeling, and there are many different ways to tackle it. Different approaches work well for different people. Other people may give you advice which does not work for you, but that’s OK – it just means a different approach might work better for you.

First and foremost, we would recommend talking to your GP if you haven’t already. If you are under 18, Childline provide some very helpful information on how to book an appointment. [Blog Post on how to speak to GP]. Please try not to feel like you are wasting your GP’s time – any issues that impact your day-to-day life significantly are worth talking about.

There are also many ways that you can help yourself. We couldn’t possibly cover all of them in one post, but these ideas might inpsire you to try something new that works well for you.

Habitica is an app that we have found useful for keeping on top of your daily responsibilities. It makes your daily tasks fun by giving you small rewards in the form of character upgrades for tracking and completing them. You don’t need to use an app though – any kind of structured system for tracking small successes can be beneficial.

Mindfulness is a thinking technique that encourages you to pay more attention to what is happening ‘in the moment’, and can help to tackle anxiety by focusing your attention on what is happening around you. Anxiety tends to build up when we retreat into our own minds, so being more aware of your surroundings can help you to refocus and enjoy the moment. This is particularly helpful in social situations where there are more demands on your attention. Mindfulness can be practiced by anyone, and is not dependant on any particular mental health challenge. You can find out more by visiting Mindfulness Scotland.

There are a few common pieces of advice your GP will give to improve your mental and physical health: Stop smoking, drink less alcohol, improve your diet, get more exercise. While it’s true that all of these things help, most of them require vast changes to your lifestyle which can be difficult when you are facing other challenges. You are more likely to succeed by making small changes over time than trying to do everything at once.

Over the coming months, we will be providing practical advice on how to get started with these self help techniques, and more. Keep an eye on the blog for updates!

Useful Services

Samaritans offer a free listening service for anyone who is struggling to cope. There is no age restriction, and you don't have to give them any personal details if you don't want to. You can call them free in the UK on 116 123.

Mindfulness is a useful technique for dealing with anxiety in your day-to-day life. It helps you to stay present in the moment and not retreat into your own mind, where anxiety can take over. Find out more about mindfulness from Mindfulness Scotland.

Habitica is an app which can help you keep on top of your day-to-day responsibilities. By setting and completing small tasks, you can unlock rewards, upgrades and even pets! Mental health challenges can often impact your daily routine, and having a rewarding way of keeping track of your successes can be very helpful.

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