depression

[Video] Collages Feel, Fear and Nourish With Updates #headsup50project

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HeadsUp50Project Update With Video Over Tea!

Come to me, all of you who are weary and loaded down with burdens, and I will give you rest.
— Matthew 11:28 ISV

It's Mental Health Awareness Week until the 20th and the focus has been on stress.  Stress is a normal phenomenon of modern day living but it's when it spirals out of control that it can lead to a mental health problem.  

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Of course, some stress can actually be good for us because it enables us to push ourselves beyond our day to day limits ie. a presentation that we need to deliver at work.  It's when you are experiencing stress for prolonged periods of time that there can be a problem.  

I heard that 75% of adults (in the UK) have experienced periods of stress in the last year where they have regularly felt not able to manage and 80% of young people feel the same.

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This is a reminder for possibly ourselves and/or our loved ones to identify stress triggers, find and then practice relaxation techniques and know that situations often have a limited point in life and that they often will pass.  

These statistics remind me that I can always work, exercise, clean, cook and just be MORE in every which way but that doesn't serve me or the people I love.  I can choose what I fill my brain with and that I must make better choices wherever possible...

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Here are three more collages that I've finished this week and I've recorded another video that goes alongside them.  I share three books that I think are helpful, some personal thoughts, more detail on the collages and a cup of tea!  I do hope you'll watch https://youtu.be/HXDT1Lwg2SQ or, click the video below.  

Have a wonderful weekend - I'll be watching the Royal Wedding of Meghan and Harry on tv tomorrow!

Take care,

Jane xo

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Tender Art Videos and Talk on the Struggles of Mental Health

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Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.
— Etty Hillesum (1914-1943 Dutch-born Jewish Diarist)

#HeadsUp50Project - Art Collages + Process

I've been busy, busy behind the scenes (think swan swimming serenely, whilst in actual fact, legs are flapping madly under the water - that's me ;)). 

Today, I wanted to share three videos that I've created this week as part of my ongoing #HeadsUp50Project. This project explores the topic of mental health and the idea of trying to find that place of quiet, inner contentment whilst living in a busy world that wants our attention at every turn. It's a challenge for everyone and especially if you are feeling tender.

Click each video to watch (or click the links below and watch directly in YouTube).

https://youtu.be/TuLmsBRVjjghttps://youtu.be/hsTZ8fkhj6Ahttps://youtu.be/97Y86qJDIFw

This work is both a personal project exploring my journey off antidepressants that I've taken for the past 10 years and at the same time, my way of bringing this conversation out in the open and hopefully nudging that little bit further towards removing the stigma that is still prevalent in society.

Each video explores a different aspect to the overall topic of mental health and as I chat, you'll see me piecing together and adhering the fragments of each collage to the canvas. The different elements of the collage, for me, kind of signify the fragments of our lives.

I came across this really interesting and inspiring post entitled Tchaikovsky's Surprising Wisdom For Artists With Depression. Tchaikovsky experienced deep depression many times but I love how in spite of his suffering, he was able to find beauty and good things in his life.  

I assert that life is beautiful in spite of everything!
— Tchaikovsky

Lastly, it's certainly not always easy but if we are to find some solace; a sense of contentment, the quote below is a great lesson for all of us.  'It is our tremendous resilience as people that carries us through difficult times. There are thorns, yes. But there are roses, too' - thank you Lori Chandler for those words.

Thanks for being here...

Jane xo

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In A Rut - HeadsUp50 6/50 Collage - Expecting Change But It's Not Happening?

Change won't happen until there's a shift...

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
— Henry Ford

Yep, the quote above is so true isn't it?  Agh!  I first heard this quote in the mid-90's when I was seeing my doctor for post natal depression with my first child. Those words really clicked with me and it was like I'd never really considered how my thoughts could inform the present and future - this was a time before self-help genre became a 'thing'. 

I think we all can experience this reality in life - doing what we've always done but somehow expecting a different end result.  I know, it seems so silly to expect a change but somehow we do and when it doesn't come we can end up feeling sad, angry, confused, frustrated and if we're already feeling depressed, it can just make you feel worse.  It's like you're banging your head against a brick wall and there seems no way to break the cycle.   

For me, I have various triggers and some are more bothersome than others. Overwhelm, timekeeping, getting distracted and not having enough quiet time, are all potential situations that can trigger unwanted reactions and behaviours for me.  

My latest collage is called 'In A Rut' and in the video below, I chat about what helps me and my 'behaviours' whilst piecing together and finishing off my latest collage 6/50 from my #HeadsUp50Project.

Please note, 10% of the proceeds will go to the  Mind  charity.

Please note, 10% of the proceeds will go to the Mind charity.

I hope the video and my collage are helpful for you and if this resonates with you, it might be time to get your journal out and have a little ponder and reflection on this over ten minutes or so with a lovely cup of tea. Take things slow and remember to be easy on yourself... 

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Collages Now Available + #MentalHealth Young People + My Progress

Updates and Some Mental Health Statistics

Yay, I'm excited to say that my first two #HeadsUp50 collages (see below) are available via my online shop and so far I'm finding the process of creating these collages really cathartic and stimulating both from an artistic point of view but also it feels really good to be able to 'give voice' to some of what is on my heart from a visual perspective. 

I've been feeling pretty good (see here for a background) and would say that so far, I'm coping well and not noticing any particular changes to my mood.  Since the topic of mental health is very much on my mind as I'm actively working on my #HeadsUp50Project I would say that there have been a couple of occasions where a memory has popped into my mind and it's floored me, making me think that under the surface there is quite a lot buried and probably needs to have the light of the day shine on it at some point.  

As I'm reading and researching more on the topic of depression and mental health, I came across the fact below (UK based research):

Suicide is the most common cause of death for boys aged between 5-19 years, and the second most common for girls of this age.
— www.youngminds.org.uk

This is a big wake up call I think for society and our young people.  This statistic shows just how much our children are struggling and that the problem is growing.  Unfortunately, the majority of young people don't seem to be able to access the support they need due to NHS cuts etc.  In addition, a new survey tells us that more than a third of young people have self-harmed and as we all know, cyberbullying seems out of control. 

Listen, I don't have the answers to this scary reality but all I can offer is a little bit of hope from what I know:

  • The obvious but love your kids.  Accept them for who they are and don't dwell on how you would like them to be.
  • Talk to them openly about your challenges, difficulties and how you were when you were their age.
  • Help them to look after themselves and mirror to them how to do this.  If you struggle with this, learn some strategies yourself.  
  • Don't be afraid to say that you don't have all the answers but that you'll be there to help them discover their way through, bit by bit.  
  • Let them know that this isn't their fault - there is so much guilt and shame with mental health.  
  • If you are struggling to cope as a parent with a child who suffering, don't forget your own needs and seek professional help if you find yourself struggling.
  • Remove devices from their rooms whenever and wherever possible.  Encourage a healthy sleep routine.
  • Encourage your children to invite their friends over and try to get to know them.
  • Keep the line of communication with your spouse/partner open and talk often.
  • Know your family's boundaries and what is and isn't acceptable behaviour for your children.  
  • Sometimes you don't have to say or do anything, just be with them.  Watch a dvd together, go for a walk, make a meal together, go out for a drive or start a hobby together.
  • Remember, we all make mistakes, don't be afraid to admit that you don't always get it right but that you're trying and that you too are learning along the way.
  • Give your child the gift of self-expression.  If you can encourage your child to let out some of their feelings through art, journaling, poetry, writing or music etc. it will be a step in the right direction and give them a really worthwhile and safe way to 'let it out'. 

So, that's it from me and I do hope you have a wonderful weekend and Mother's Day if you live in the UK.

Much love and thank you for being here...

Jane x

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HeadsUp50 No 1 Collage and Two New Videos #Depression

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Here is the first collage entitled: It's A New Day from my #HeadsUp50Project

Incidentally, you might be confused because it was a different face yesterday - mmmm, that's because I changed it at 1am this morning!  Wasn't happy with her face... :)

Anyway, in the videos below, I'm sharing some specifics on why I'm doing this project, a little of my story and some specifics on the collage.  Please note, these videos are not edited, I've got no makeup on and yep, you get the gist of it - I'm speaking straight from the heart.

By sharing honestly, I hope to help others along the way and I also want you to remember that art really does help you to sort through the chaos in your head, even when you aren't necessarily aware of this happening.  

My artwork will be available to purchase in the near future.  

Have an amazing weekend...

Thanks for being here.

Jane x

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#HeadsUp50Project - Collages, Conversation and Depression

#HeadsUp50Project - An honest look into depression and mental health that concerns all of us...

I introduced my #HeadsUp50Project back in January and now I find that I'm typing this just one day before my project begins!  It's super scary and vulnerable but I'm also really ready to start examining my past history of depression and what that has meant in my life.  I'm feeling curious about who I might be without the medication (Prozac) but also and really most importantly, to have some honest chats with you and society as a whole on the broad topic of depression and mental health.    

From tomorrow, I will be following my doctor's protocol for reducing my medication and well, ultimately stopping completely, all being well. 

In the videos below, I chat a little about what's going on at the moment, how I'm feeling, supplies I'll be using for my 50 collages and how I'm treating this whole 'thing' as an 'experiment' and I'm finding that this helps take some of the pressure off me and removes the whole 'failure' thing and suits my personality of doing things in my own organic way.  This approach also fuels my curiosity and that I feel is a really good thing.

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
— St Francis of Assisi
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Both a personal journey and an opportunity to look at depression and help to rid the stigma associated with mental health issues through shared conversation, authenticity, kindness and embracing who we are and celebrating that. I will be creating 50 (just turned 50) collages directly onto antidepressant medication boxes of various expressive faces, Yorkshire Tea teabags, personal writing and treasured finds.
I've taken my last Prozac tablet and I'm going to start with my doctor's protocol for reducing from tomorrow. I talk about materials I'm going to use for my collages, insights and how I'm feeling. www.janehinchliffe.com

I do hope the above videos give you some sense of what I'll be doing in the future and I'd really love for you to come along on this journey with me by using #headsup50project is you so desire and maybe starting up a conversation with me if you have any experience of depression whether personally or with someone close to you.  

Thanks for being here with me...

Jane x

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