Mental Health Spotlight: Georgia Dodsworth, Self Care Queen

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Mental Health Spotlight: Georgia Dodsworth, Self Care Queen

Throughout January, we will be spotlighting the work of incredible advocates and organisations which focus on providing spaces of healing, joy & community.

In this article, we find out more about the aims, motivations and goals of self-care advocate, Georgia Dodsworth.

What were your motivations behind starting to advocate for Mental Health online?

I started to advocate for mental health online because I was frustrated at seeing stigmatising posts about mental health and horrible misconceptions. I wanted to start using my voice to share my experiences, to educate, and to encourage people.

Social media can be so very toxic, with so many photos filtered and that effects our mental health so much even without consciously realising. I wanted to create a social media presence where when people land on my page and they feel empowered.

When I first started my social media pages which are focused on self-care, self-love and body positivity, I was at rock bottom with my mental health. I felt frustrated with the lack of access to services and sitting on long waiting lists. As a young Black Queer woman I felt so misunderstood and alone with my own dark thoughts. I remember thinking to myself “There must be others out there who struggle with their emotions..”I wanted to reach those people, and share how self-care, self-love and self-compassion saved my life.

I wanted to show that whether you have a mental health diagnosis or not, we ALL have mental health, and we all experience intense emotions at times. I wanted to show people that even if you do struggle with your mental health, you can still achieve and thrive on life, you just have to understand yourself inside out first, and then you can communicate your needs to others. Knowing yourself is so important, as from there, you can love and accept yourself for who you are.

What were your motivations behind starting to advocate for Mental Health online?

I started to advocate for mental health online because I was frustrated at seeing stigmatising posts about mental health and horrible misconceptions. I wanted to start using my voice to share my experiences, to educate, and to encourage people.

Social media can be so very toxic, with so many photos filtered and that effects our mental health so much even without consciously realising. I wanted to create a social media presence where when people land on my page and they feel empowered.

When I first started my social media pages which are focused on self-care, self-love and body positivity, I was at rock bottom with my mental health. I felt frustrated with the lack of access to services and sitting on long waiting lists. As a young Black Queer woman I felt so misunderstood and alone with my own dark thoughts. I remember thinking to myself “There must be others out there who struggle with their emotions..”I wanted to reach those people, and share how self-care, self-love and self-compassion saved my life.

I wanted to show that whether you have a mental health diagnosis or not, we ALL have mental health, and we all experience intense emotions at times. I wanted to show people that even if you do struggle with your mental health, you can still achieve and thrive on life, you just have to understand yourself inside out first, and then you can communicate your needs to others. Knowing yourself is so important, as from there, you can love and accept yourself for who you are.

What is your proudest moment through being a Mental Health Advocate?

My proudest moment of being a Mental Health Advocate is the messages I get after my talks/workshops/events.

I love public speaking as every time I share my story, I am reaching a new audience of people that will hopefully go on and speak more openly about mental health.

After the events, some of the messages are really moving of people sharing their experiences with me and how I’ve helped them.

What are some of your 2021 plans for your work? How can we support your work?

I want 2021 to be a year of transparency and change, both internally, and on social media. We all need to be mindful about the content we share, and the audiences/individuals we impact.

I want to run more events (online of course due to COVID) for Black Queer people to support them with their mental health focusing on how to prevent burn out and how to have healthier relationships with themselves and others.

You can support my work by checking out @selfcarequeen on Twitter and Instagram!

Could you give us a final message of hope for any LGBTQ folk who may be struggling right now? Any self-care tips?

If you are struggling right now with your mental health this is what I would suggest:

  • Cry/Scream/Shout – Let it all out. It’s okay. Many people feel better after a good cry!
  • Identify your emotion – Try and work out exactly how you are feeling and all of the factors that may be contributing to it. Maybe write them down and make a list.
  • Tap into your senses – Bring yourself back to the present by checking in with your senses. What can you smell? What can you see? What can you hear? What can you taste?
  • Hold yourself – Emotionally and physically. When we are sad, our body temperature often drops and we feel cold. Wrap yourself up in something warm and comforting. Self-soothe and stroke your arm and/or tap your body to remind yourself you are alive and breathing.
  • Reach out – To a friend/family/doctor. Everyone needs support sometimes, and there is no shame in reaching out for help. If you feel like you need further support with your mental health, call your GP/healthcare professional.
  • Remind yourself – This emotion won’t last forever. You are loved. You are valued. Your life matters. Maybe you could make some affirmation post it notes/cards and stick them up around your place.
  • Take regular breaks away from social media and the news – Being on a screen most of the day can be super draining, although it is a great way to connect, try and take a break and reconnect with yourself.
  • If you don’t manage today, there is always tomorrow – If today didn’t go as planned, it’s okay. Forgive yourself. We are in a pandemic. We are living in unusual times. You can try again tomorrow.

 

Images from Georgia Dodsworth