Dealing with anxiety, or mental health issues of any kind, can often be a lonely place, and sometimes, we find that those closest to us can struggle to understand the difficulties involved.
For some, such struggles might be mild but for others they can be very severe and even the smallest things can become a mammoth task. Having a supportive community is vital when you are feeling low. A friend to make you giggle, thoughtful advice when you think things are falling apart, or even just a sympathetic ear to help shoulder the burden. These are things that nobody should take for granted, and something which we believe nobody should be without. Humans are social creatures, and it is no coincidence that friendship and mental well being are so interlinked. Something as small as an invite for a cup of tea means nothing to many of us; but for those who are floundering small gestures can mean the world.
My GirlCrew Experience…
I’ve been in GirlCrew for almost 2 years now and it’s hard to imagine a time when my phone wasn’t constantly buzzing with event invites and messages from new friends.
The main reason I joined was because I have anxiety. It was getting so bad; I couldn’t leave the house without panicking. But one day, while in work, I heard a sweet girl’s voice on the radio, talking about a group she had set up for women who wanted to go out dancing. That was Elva. I immediately looked up the Girl Crew website and joined up. I think it was around this time, the crew was really starting to take off so I never heard back from Elva (I think she was only getting used to being a social media queen LOL).
A few weeks went by and an email had popped up in my inbox. It was from Elva. She was asking members if anyone would be interested in being an admin for the Dublin Facebook page. I jumped at the chance – which thinking about it now, is really funny because I hadn’t met Elva or any of the girls yet from the crew. But for some reason, I wasn’t daunted by it. One Saturday afternoon, which happened to be Valentine’s Day, I wandered into KC Peaches, excited and nervous for my first event. I was greeted by the biggest smiles and girls who made me feel so welcome. None of us had met each other before but we instantly became friends.
From then on, my confidence and friend list grew. I got out more and began to try new things. I even went on a weekend away to Galway which was brilliant, a big knock out for my anxiety! Of all the events I’ve been to, that coffee meet up in KC Peaches will always be my favourite memory, because that’s when I started my new adventure and joined the madness that is GirlCrew.
Ellie – GirlCrew Dublin
A healthy, happy life is built on a strong network, as they say “no (wo)man is an island”, and nurturing relationships can help to keep you smiling. It’s time to become a joiner and put yourself out there. Widening your social circle is the ideal way to find your niche and your new partners in crime (not literally). Opening up to those around you will yield results and by being honest you can get the conversation going.
Start off slowly, perhaps a meeting for a cinema trip. With no pressure on you to talk, this can be a great start as you get to relax and enjoy a shared experience. If that seems like too much, why not start a conversation? Seen a new TV show that love, bought a new beauty product you adore, perhaps you have an unusual hobby and would like to share it? These are all good places to start when making new connections and empowering yourself. Adventure can take many forms, and trying something new is always a little daunting at first. But don’t worry, everyone is in a similar position and are happy to have you join in.
This week challenge yourself to push your limits and try something new, it doesn’t have to be world-record breaking, but aim for personal-best record breaking. Like Ellie, you never know where that first leap will take you, and with your GirlCrew family cheering you on, you’ve got plenty of support in your corner.