I like the idea of an over-riding topic about women taking the time to look after their mental health and well-being. I have personal experience knowing how important it is to nurture your own mental health and well-being, from a recovery perspective. This topic is incredibly important to me, and I’m always trying to spread the word about mental health.
My mum is a mental health nurse, so I’ve grown up with a very non-judgemental view of those who may be mentally unwell. Mental health is something that should be kept in check, it’s just as important as exercising to look after your physical being. It’s a topic which really interests me and definitely needs to be spoken about openly more often. Not only is it common, but it can be treated or managed with the right tools.
It is truly important for us to look out for not only each other, but ourselves. I feel like as women, we often put everyone else before our own needs, this is especially the case with mothers. When you have others to care for and financially support it can be really hard to put ones self first. If you’re a busy boss lady tackling a million different jobs that can affect you too. Don’t even get me started on adding anxiety or depression into the mix…
Everything in this world, can start to chip away at you if you don’t take the time to just ‘exist’.
This is exactly why I decided to write this blog post… a reminder to you to take a step back from time to time. Assess how you’re feeling mentally, and if you feel like you’re not 100%, start looking at ways to boost your mood and happiness back up again. It’s so important.
Whether that’s by telling your kids/husband/wife/housemates to give you an hour of undisturbed reading time, going for a refreshing walk in the evening once a week, doing your hair and makeup each morning with your favourite music on, drinking a cup of tea with your pet, going for a swim in the ocean, making yourself a really yummy dinner, running a bath with delicious oil infused bath bombs, giving myself a full body moisturise after a shower (my favourite) or just laying back on your bed and doing nothing for 30 minutes. Just do you… find undisturbed time to spend in your own mind. This may sound really weird, but it’s actually really important to just do nothing sometimes. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary.
I wanted to chat to Lady Lipstick because I know that she feels incredibly passionate about nurturing not only her own mental health, but helping others is just important for her too.
How did you decide that you wanted to work within mental health support services?
In 2010 I earned my Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Modeling was really a hobby I fell into in 2012 while attending classic car shows with my classic cars. When my Instagram account soon started building followers, I realized that I could post on the topics of mental health and have an audience that was receptive to wanting positive inspiring messages. My wish has always been to help others, since as long as I can remember, that’s just the type of person I am. So, it didn’t surprise me that my social media platform turned into a place to help others as well.
How do you think social media impacts the mental health of today’s women?
I believe everything has its positives and negatives and social media is no different with regards to women’s health. The positive side of social media is that lot of positive feedback comes from people liking and commenting on ones post. If a woman wants to help build her self-esteem or body image, one can get a lot of positive affirmation from just a simple post about their body with a photo in a swimsuit. Regardless of their shape or size, the majority of people will build up their self-esteem.
So many positives come from social media. A “normal” women with a social media account can soon become transformed into a “pinup”, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. Having a little notoriety, and the ability to give back through having a big social media presence is a very positive experience. Until, the negative aspect of social media brings you a reality check. Before I became “well known” I was warned about the negative side of social media, “be careful”, “have you had any haters?”…people would mention things here and there. I always thought because I was such a nice person I would never get “haters”, how could I? I’m nice to everyone.
Unfortunately, there are many people who don’t like to see others succeed, in the pinup world we call these people “haters”. They can be other pinup girls, social media followers, etc. These people will campaign against you, start vicious lies, and want to ruin your success in social media or pinup. This can be very difficult on the mental health of today’s women, as bullies are continuing on social media even into middle age.
The best way to deal with these people is to
- kill them with kindness
- ignore them
- block them.
Unfortunately, there will be some sad souls who will continue to bully, but the support of the followers who continue to give you positive feedback and support will outweigh the negative words of these bullies. Remember back to the real reason for having a social media platform in the first place which wasn’t for anyone but for your own self-worth.
How do you think being a pinup helps with mental health?
I started doing pinup for that very reason, to help build my self-esteem and having better self-care. Being a pinup requires one to pamper themselves, even when you don’t feel like it. Before pinup – painting my nails, or wearing sexy undergarments was a chore, and if no one else saw them, I didn’t put in the effort. I soon learned how to do the self-care required to be a pinup, and soon I started feeling like one
What are some of your own tips for every day mental well-being?
For myself, I have some bi-weekly or monthly things I do for myself which are getting my nails, hair, and eyelashes professionally done. Daily I walk 2 miles after work on a beautiful horse path. I eat healthy non-GMO, gluten-free foods, and shakes with nutrients, this helps balance my energy level and mood. I am in the process of building a sanctuary in my backyard with a saltwater pool, Jacuzzi, waterfalls, koi-pond, and botanical gardens. I meditate and pray daily, and go to spiritual services on Sundays.
Living a holistic life of balance between work and rest is the key, but the most important things I’m learning is to not overbook myself. I do not book anything I have to wake up for earlier then 10 am on the weekends, and I limit my photo shoots to 2-3 per month. I limit the amount of social media “work” I do to less than 1 hour a day. Hobbies and social media are fun, but to keep a good balance they need to stay hobbies and never turn into work.
🙂 Follow the lovely Sarah – @lady_lipstick 🙂
Give yourself permission to ‘feel’ the emotions you feel at any given moment. You are allowed to feel whatever emotions you feel, it’s just important to keep yourself in check especially if these feelings are negative towards yourself or others. If you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts about yourself or others, pull back and ask yourself ‘Why am I feeling this way, and is it actually of importance to spend my time thinking about it?’. Keep yourself in check, only you can be accountable for your thoughts and feelings.
“Everyone deserves to feel whole” – The Mask We Live In (and one of my favourite documentaries!).
Try and scroll through your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or whatever other social media outlets you use without comparing yourself to others. It’s really hard… and I too have fallen victim to this but it really isn’t good for your mental health. You are so unique and incredible, and you offer something that nobody else has because there is only one you. But to do this, to compare yourself to someone else is damaging your own authentic beauty. It’s something that really hurts sometimes, especially when seeds of doubt and thinking less of yourself start to creep in and overtake. Everyone is beautiful, talented, and amazing in their own unique way. Remember this.
I asked my readers who follow me on Facebook to tell me what it is that dressing pinup/vintage does for their mental health. Here’s a few ideas that sprang up:
“Enjoying my femininity”.
“Steering away from modern clothing where everyone dresses the same”.
“Viewing my dress sense as part of my personality”.
“Thriving off a community of like-minded people”.
“Gives some of us a reason to get up and get ready”.
“Suffering from postnatal depression and post traumatic stress – dressing this way helps to embrace my own thing and take control as well as building confidence”.
“Sewing my own pinup style clothes gives me something to do”.
“Attracts the good kind of attraction with lots of compliments. This is turn makes me feel happy”.
“The ritual of hair and makeup can take a mood from down in the dumps, to instant happiness”.
“Being true to oneself even though others might not get it”.
“My state of mind is at peace”.
“A relaxing process to put my look together each morning”.
“It’s the one type of style that feels ‘at home'”.
“A form of self-care for those with anxiety or depression”.
Isn’t that awesome to read? I love that a complete ownership of a style can greatly impact your mood, behaviour, self-worth, confidence and so many other aspects of our mental health.
I find the pinup community in general mostly positive. It’s an amazing group of supportive, uplifting, body positive, welcoming and generally inspiring people who seem to want the best for everyone involved. Feeling like a part of something bigger brings about a greater sense of self, and it’s so awesome to hear and see stories of young women who have finally felt that sense of belonging.
Find peace with yourself, be happy, and be proud of the unique soul that you are
PS, if you love being encouraged by articles like this one and want to be sure not to miss any of the tips, resources and guides that I share, hop on my email mailing list. I’d love to connect with you there!
Please comment below with your thoughts, let’s keep this conversation alive!