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The beginning of a new year can be a great time to set goals, reflect on the previous year and make positive steps towards feeling more fulfilled in all aspects of your life. However, winter and the darkness it brings can also be a challenging time psychologically. With this in mind, this could be a good opportunity to be gentle with yourself and to take extra time to look after your own mental health.
In this insightful and personal blog series, we chat with students that explored the subject of mental health as part of their Ravensbourne Unit work in their second year. Using a mixture of media, they delve into different aspects of mental health and reflect on what helps them personally.
Here, BA (Hons) Digital Film Production student Lucy Galliford shares insights into her own personal mental health journey. Lucy is a courageous individual who uses her film-making skills to shed a light on mental health with a series of YouTube videos. People resonate strongly with her videos and she already has over 9k followers on her account.
I decided that for the Ravensbourne Unit, I wanted to create a project all about being a misfit. I am someone who forced myself to conform to societal expectations in the past to fit in.
As a result of a life-changing event, I stop conforming and choose to be my true self. I wanted to make a film about this to help inspire others to do the same.
This project is for those who feel that they do not fit in – for the outcast and the misfit. If you need a sign to tell you to choose yourself over conforming to the social norm, this is it. Choosing yourself is a hard battle, but when you get to the other side, it truly is the most liberating feeling.
Depression is something that I struggle with and so I take specific measures to help control my mood. There are so many pieces of advice on specific self-care routines you can take to help with your mental health, but something I'll always advocate for is focusing on your goals.
Having a clear focus on your dreams and using tools such as vision boards and visualisation gives you purpose and something to work towards.
Having purpose and clear steps to follow each day can move you closer to reaching your goals. This will provide you with motivation and will help to boost your mood when you ultimately see your progress. This will help to keep your mindset positive.
Other things I do for my mental health:
Spending time alone: This is vital for growth, as spending time alone allows for you to go within and connect with yourself. It allows you to find out who you truly are and what you truly want, and to process this information. If you do not process, then you suppress, which can trigger mental health issues to arise.
Routine: Creating a routine for yourself, getting up early, exercising at a certain time, going to bed at a certain time. Routine is super important.
Time management: Planning your day hour-by-hour to ensure you get everything you need and want to get done. This helps reduce stress levels.
Boundaries: Surrounding yourself with positive people who elevate you. You become who you surround yourself with.
There is a lot more I could say on this topic - I make videos discussing topics like this on my YouTube channel.
Ravensbourne University London
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