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  • Writer's pictureKate Warren

Reflecting on the Year: A Recap of 2023

Welcome to the Stay U Blog...

This year has gone incredibly fast. Stay U opened its doors 8 months ago... but it only feels like yesterday. I want to thank everyone who has been on board with my practice - it is a labour of love, a passion, and a dream of mine, and I hope it continues to grow and benefit those in the community who need it.

This blog has covered many different topics since its inception, so let's recap:

  • APRIL: Our first-ever blog focussed on the Post Concert Blues, a type of depressive episode resulting from not only concerts but any large events that had a long build-up, a great deal of planning, anticipation and short-term high levels of excitement - such as a wedding, major birthday and overseas holiday. This was followed by a look into Imposter Syndrome, a psychological occurrence in which people doubt their skills, talents, or accomplishments and have a persistent internalised fear of being exposed as frauds. Social Anxiety, which is often closely connected to Imposter Syndrome, rounded out the month and gave some great tips on how to overcome your fears of socialising with others.

  • MAY: Continuing the theme, the first blog of this month looked at Relaxation Techniques - in particular, ones that can help with anxiety and panic attacks. This continued onto a passion of mine - Self Care - and gave a link to a very helpful Self Care plan by our friends at the Black Dog Institute. We then switched gears and discussed Gender, before a Winter special on Self Care and surviving the colder months.

  • JUNE: We started the month with what has been our most-viewed blog by far - Setting Healthy Boundaries. We discovered that setting personal boundaries is not about isolating or cutting yourself off from others, but rather establishing what you are accepting from another person and what you are not. Without healthy boundaries, we allow others to override our values, desires, and feelings. Along the same subject, we talked about Personal Safety, which included the important, but often difficult, topics of harassment, bullying and abuse.

  • JULY: Continuing from last month, we started with a blog about Cyber Safety with a focus on online dating. In this modern age, being safe online is of vital importance. As part of the same blog, we lightened things up a little by talking about Thinker versus Feeler personality traits and how they affect your everyday life, and especially your communication and connection with others.

  • AUGUST: This month's blog was one of my favourites, as it talked about celebrities who are working toward Breaking The Stigma of mental health issues and mental illness. We touched on the work of Lady Gaga, Wil Wheaton, Demi Lovato, Pete Wentz, and one of my favourite actors, Jared Padalecki.

  • SEPTEMBER: For this month's blog we talked about books that are inspired by Lived Experience. Learning from lived experiences can be helpful in many ways. People who have gone through a particular experience often understand the complexities of dealing with it, which is why it is important to include their voices in helping and educating the community on mental health issues.

  • OCTOBER: With Halloween just around the corner, this month's blog was all about the world of Phobias. We touched on a variety of phobias, including the most common and a few rarer ones, and discussed symptoms, treatments and coping techniques.

  • NOVEMBER: This brings us to the last blog where we discussed Stress in the upcoming holiday period - or "silly season" as I like to call it. This was part light-hearted with gift ideas and tips, and then moved onto overindulgence and how we often cope by drinking to ease our stress. We recognise that when it comes to this upcoming holiday season, just be sure to take care and stay true to yourself. Plan ahead, recognise triggers, and remember that it's not about spending every last cent you have - just be grateful for your family, friends and people around you. Be kind to your fellow humans and look out for those who need a helping hand. If you ever need help yourself, don't be afraid to ask for it. There are plenty of us out there willing and able to help.

This year has been difficult for many. The events that have taken place overseas remind us that life is fragile and challenging. Although they may not be on our doorstep, we as humans feel empathy, fear, despair, and anger toward the suffering of others. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, make December a time to connect with your family, friends, fellow students or work colleagues, and most of all, yourself. Know that you are important, unique and loved. Know that help is always out there - all you need to do is ask. You are not alone - there are others out there who feel your pain, confusion, and fears - and there are those of us who have experienced it and made it through to the other side, and you can too.

If you feel you need to start talking to someone about your feelings and get help, drop us a line at Contact | Stay U. If you need more immediate help, here are some wonderful organisations who can help:

  • Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636

  • Lifeline - 13 11 14

  • QLife - 1800 184 527

  • 1800RESPECT - 1800 737 732

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season, and as always please remember that a problem shared is a problem halved. Love and peace to all. Take care. xx

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