Mum of two, wife (of one!) and an owner of 3 (yes 3!) dogs; Kirsty is chief vlogger over on her family YouTube channel www.hakzvideos.com and personal finance and family blogger at www.themoneysavingmum.com
Since having children she has encountered mental health issues including stress, anxiety and depression mainly caused by her role in the public sector. She regular talks across all her networks about the way she is now, after 5 years of struggle, getting the help she needs in the form of medication and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
1.) Do you suﬀer with stress frequently or occasionally?
Very frequently. I remember going to doctors and telling him how I was feeling wasn’t right, I was stressed, I was struggling to concentrate and was encountering some discrimination in a job role I had been in for 5 years prior purely because I had decided it was the right time in my life to have a child and I chose to go part time; doctor told me that i was feeling the way I was feeling because I was now a parent! I chose this life so pretty much put up and shut up was the impression I got from him! So I did….. for 5 whole years!! ??♀️
2.) What sort of things cause you stress? Work, family, parenthood – no right or wrong answer, it can be anything.
Work! I 100% bloody love being a parent… I would have a football team if I could but unfortunately my mind overrules my heart because it’s the stuff that goes alongside being a parent; the doing things not necessarily for you but ‘what’s best for the family’ that i’m struggling with at the moment. I can see me retiring and regretting completely how long I spent stressed and how often I woke up daily on work days with heightened anxiety but right now there not much I can do about it (but believe me I am working very hard towards it though!)
3.) Does anything in particular make stress worse for you? For example, workplace pressure or lack of understanding from friends/family that stress is a real mental health issue.
I think there’s been a few factors for the way I’m feeling at the moment; if I hadn’t encountered the discrimination when I returned to work with my first born, if my doctor had diagnosed me with what they now say probably started off at Post Natal Depression and I didn’t have to go down the flexible working appeal route AGAIN after been made to feel that ‘childcare was something I should’ve thought about before I had children’ them yes I probably wouldn’t be feeling the way I am feeling right now!
4.) Does stress have an impact on your physical health?
Yes it does; I’m on an anti-depressants at the moment and have been for a good 18 months now as it’s those that get me up in the morning. Without them, especially on work days I just would want to stay in bed!
5.) What do you do to alleviate stress?
I vlog! Some might think it’s crazy and it is timely (the editing!) but I fine it ridiculously therapeutic to talk to no one (even though I know technically I’m talking to thousands) I feel I can say what I want, when I want and be me. I don’t have to not say anything in case I come across as being negative, if I don’t have time to edit or I don’t feel like editing; I don’t edit. My audience are so understanding and they totally get if there isn’t an upload there isn’t an upload… but I am constantly in front of a camera because it makes me feel so good!
In addition to vlogging I love running too; but I have to really be in that frame of mind to go otherwise (like for the past couple of months!) I’ll not go.
6.) Do you think more needs to be done to raise awareness of what causes stress and the impact it has on us and those around us? If yes, what would you do or like to see done?
Yes 100%! I’m loving all the flexible working campaigns that are continuously helping not only employees but employers too. I would love to get on board with someone similar. Businesses, MD’s, managers etc also need to understand that people are people and not just number.
7.) Do you have any tips for anyone dealing with stress.
As I’ve already mentioned I LOVE to share with others across all my networks about things that I do; I would never say do this, that and the other because I know how difficult it is to do anything some days and I very much praise the small things but I love sharing what works for me. I’ve had so many messages from people saying thank you I am really touched that by sharing my struggles can help so many realise that small physically achievements are big mental achievements when it come to mental health issues. But if I had one tip I would say try everything… there’s something for everyone you’ve just got find what that something is for YOU!
If you want to see more about stress awareness then please search ‘stress awareness’ to read all the posts throughout April.