I came across Dr Jessamy on Instagram and began getting on board with her daily self care “think better feel better” strategies. She has such a positive and uplifting Instagram feed, her smiling face is contagious, she always makes me feel happier. She also has flamingoes on her feed, and anything involving flamingoes is a winner for promoting happiness in my view. I wanted to find out a bit more about her own strategies for mental health and a positive life.
Tell me about yourself! Tell me more about your day job, how long you’ve been doing it, how you came to write your books…
I’m a mother of three and a Clinical Psychologist. I work one-to-one with adults experiencing common mental health problems like anxiety, depression or low self-esteem. I feel very fortunate to have the job I do – I get to work with some amazing people and it’s incredibly rewarding seeing them work through a difficult period in their life and come out the other side.
An app! That sounds exciting, can’t wait to hear more! Do you find that people are more keen to nurture their souls, more aware of their mental health nowadays and understanding of modern life’s potential effects on it?
I think it’s definitely changing for the better, I’ve had such a lovely response online so far and I think the pressures of modern life mean that you have to be more aware of how to take care of your mind. It’s also been amazing getting to know people through Instagram (like you!) who share similar ideas and goals. I think there’s still a lot further to go though, sadly there is still a stigma attached (though thankfully it’s slowly changing). Most of us don’t think twice about looking after our physical health – we need to be looking after our mental health in the same way.
What are your personal mental health tools in your own toolkit?
My motto is that what you do everyday is what makes the biggest difference.
How we feel is a natural product of our choices, particularly the small choices that all of us make each day. It could be practising gratitude, using the mind-body link or trying not to let small upsets spiral into a ruined day. I definitely practise what I preach, so the strategies I post on Instagram are ones I also like. But to narrow it down…
Gratitude is my favourite strategy. I love how it turns around the way you perceive your life in such a simple way and it has huge health benefits.
I love a project or goal – I like having something to focus on and work towards. They give you a sense of purpose and fulfilment and it’s good to do things that mean you step out of your comfort zone.
Taking a step back, slowing down and remembering there’s more than one way to look at things is helpful when things feel a bit much.
For me exercise is a big one – I find it an amazing stress relief. Running gives me time to think and put my thoughts in order and I love the high! I particularly like Park Run, it’s such a lovely event just being part of it makes you feel good.
I love my sleep – when I’m tired I find everything harder. A good night’s sleep (when possible!) makes all the difference.
Family and friends are really important, as a source of support, fun and advice.
Time outdoors always makes me feel better, especially with the kids – whether it’s the park, beach, bike ride or a walk.
I also have a saying – “always reserve the right to change your mind“. If something’s not working, it lets me look at it and make a change if I need to.
How do you balance work and life?
Finding a good work life balance is an ongoing pursuit. I feel very fortunate that I love my work and working 3 days a week I have a good balance of work and family time. I try to keep work and family time separate as I’m not good at juggling both at the same time. My husband is a great support and helps with the balancing act, I know it sounds a bit cheesy but it’s a team effort.
Since going back to work after having my littlest I’ve become militant about taking holidays when the children are off school, which I’ve found has made a real difference as it means you regularly switch off and it gives me good quality time with the kids when they’re off on their holidays.