Laura Phipps, Her Mental Health Journey.
Meet Laura Norman-Phipps, a 22 year old blogger from Hertfordshire. She loves to write about all things fashion, lifestyle and a particular interest to mental health. Her blog came to life in 2016 and since then she has grown onto Instagram to encourage others to speak openly about their mental health. By day, Laura works in a pub but is hoping to get into her dream role of a social media manager soon. In her own words ‘I literally love everything, if you don’t find me blogging I’ll be playing with my cat and guinea pigs and probably obsessing over pictures of cute dogs, as well as browsing the shops.'
TELL YOUR READERS ABOUT THE BACKGROUND OF YOUR BLOG. WHY AND WHEN DID YOU START IT? AND IS THERE A THEME?
'I started my blog in 2016. I was in college studying Creative Media Production. I had just got back off my holiday from Turkey and thought I really want to share this with the world in a blog post. So that’s where my little blog started. I haven’t been too consistent in posting on it and it’s definitely in need of a major revamp but I hope that the content that is on there is valuable and of interest to people. I have people commenting to me about my blog posts saying that they’ve read them and they loved them. I started my blog before my Instagram and I guess that’s what inspired me with my Instagram.
There isn’t really a theme, it’s more a post about getting to know me type of thing. I guess I’m a mental health, lifestyle, petite blogger kind of girl. I definitely want to start paying more attention to my blog and putting some more effort into it, and definitely sorting out what it looks like. It is where I started and I never want to forget that.'
TELL US ABOUT YOUR E-BOOK? GIVE US SOME BACKGROUND?
'I am so passionate about mental health, as someone who has suffered for many years. So I thought why not help others? My eBook is all about mental health. In particular helping your mental health during lockdown.The situation we are going through currently is very difficult and has certainly not been easy for me. My mind likes to challenge me on the daily and I know I am not alone. So inspired by Ellie Blakeney, and Amy from @amylivingwithme on Instagram, I thought why not push myself out of my comfort zone and create an eBook.
Something where I could write all of my thoughts and some research based around mental health, alongside some activities to really help people’s brains start thinking. This eBook is about trying to help people find peace within themselves and about trying to help them day by day through these tough times. These tips and tricks can definitely be brought out of lockdown however, it is for helping your mental health in general.'
TELL THE READERS ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH JOURNEY?
'My Mental Health journey has been long, and definitely not easy. I knew I suffered with my Mental Health for some time but I wasn’t fully diagnosed. I believe my problems started when I was tiny, so I am not sure what age. But I know that when I was younger I refused to eat, I had to be forced fed and a food diary kept for me because I generally just did not want to eat. When I was 6 years old, my Mum passed away at the age of 39 from breast cancer. My Dad had already passed away whilst my Mum was pregnant with me. I felt numb for sometime. I knew it was not normal to be feeling the way I felt. I was taken to counselling and from reading the folder the counsellor made for me, I knew how heartbroken I was.
Life carries on and so did I. Then when I was in year 6, I witnessed my Grandad have a stroke. He had 3 strokes in total and was in and out of different hospitals and care homes. It hit me again how scary life really is. I was in and out of foster care since I was a few months old. My grandad having a stroke made me have to live in foster care full time. Until something dreadful happened and my sister and me had to leave. This majorly affected me. I had many months where I was going to meetings and court rooms. I believe that was the main thing that affected my mental health. I had a mental breakdown one night, I couldn’t sleep and I had to take medication to help me get to sleep. I was taken to the doctors and was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Since then I have had two lots of counselling, one emergency support where I was referred to CAHMs, and emergency support counselling to come round my house weekly. I was put on medication for my mental illnesses. I got to the stage where I couldn’t even leave the house. I tried to walk round the block (not far at all) with my boyfriend at the time and I froze, I had a panic attack in the street and couldn’t breathe. I was frightened of life. The second lot of counselling was when I was at University. I got so low, I felt so alone, even though I had people around me and I needed help. This time I recognised it myself and got referred for counselling through the University. Anyway, still to this day I struggle. I am probably at one of my lowest now. Lockdown definitely does not help things, my mind is so aware, I have so much time on my hands that I overthink. But I know that life is worth living and I know that these dark patches will eventually end. Life is always worth living.'
WHAT IS YOUR #timetotalktuesdays ABOUT? EXPAND.
'My #timetotalktuesdays is a weekly series I have created on my Instagram where I speak openly about Mental Health. I do on other days, but I thought I would start a series where someone takes over my stories each week and speaks about Mental Health, they have free range of what they want to talk about, whatever they feel is beneficial. I also share a post on my grid based around mental health and share all the users posts of the hashtag on my stories. I am so passionate about opening up the conversation on mental health and feel this series is a great way of doing so. I hope that by people seeing this they will feel comfortable to speak to me, to share something, to speak to anyone about their mental health and start a journey of self-love.'
ARE THERE ANY TIPS OR GUIDANCE FOR THE READERS TO LOOK AFTER THEIR MENTAL HEALTH, ESPECIALLY CURRENTLY?
'So my eBook is actually on how to cope with your mental health during lockdown and so I’ve written all about it there but, I would suggest to keep yourself busy. If you are not busy I find your mind starts to wander and thoughts start to creep back. I would also say find something you love and start doing that. Whether that be daily or weekly, take some time to yourself and give yourself some self-love. Also, try to keep away from the negative news. I feel since I have done this it has hugely helped me stay a tiny bit more positive about the world right now.'
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE IN THE FUTURE, WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
'In the future, I would love to release some more eBooks, as I thoroughly enjoyed creating my mental health during lockdown one. I would also like to grow on my Instagram, to reach more people so I can help them. I am so passionate about helping those around me and love giving back. So the more people I can reach would make me so so happy.
Ultimately I want to be in a home I love that is mine. I want to be in a job I love, at the moment the job I want is a social media manager but we will see. I want to own a dog and have a little baby as soon as the time is right and just generally be happy in my life. My ultimate goal is to be happy in myself, as I have never reached that stage and I would love to and therefore that can radiate off to other people.'
If you want to be further inspired by Laura follow her on instagram @laura.phipps and read her blog here https://www.lauranorman-phipps.com/?m=1.