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H is for Healing:

*Disclaimer* this is written from the personal perspective of one of our volunteers. Others' experiences may be varied or different. All opinions and experiences are welcomed, valued and valid.


Any and all aspects of mental and physical health.

#itsOkNotToBeOk #ok #heal #Healing #healingjourney #Realisation #SCUFF #ScarCoverUpFreedomFund #mentalhealthhealing is what we believe will happen when seek help or begin to move through our mental (or physical) health journey. Taking a retrospective view - healing looks nothing like we expect it to look once we are on or down our own path.

For example, we may expect that healing will be being free of our intrusive thoughts or feelings, whereas when we reach a milestone in our journey, we realise that these feelings are still with us, but the way they affect us or we react becomes different.

We may have hoped to overcome triggers and may later learn that the triggers will remain but that we can learn to control the size of our reaction or that a new technique or approach makes us see or feel something in a new light.

Healing may also follow a different path to that which we expected. Perhaps we thought that time on medication would provide a "cure" when in fact we come to realise that more often than not a holistic approach is what is needed - that inner and outer work are both necessary; medication, therapy and perhaps a change in lifestyle are the combination we personally need to reach our "healed" state.

This might include looking at our job, home environment, interpersonal relationships or even diet and the way we move our bodies. It could include taking up a new hobby to refocus or often includes letting go of some of the things that put too much on our time or commitment "plates". Learning to prioritise ourselves is often the biggest shock and learning curve in the healing process.

The healing timescale is most definitely what shocks and surprises most of us. It is not by any means a "quick fix" (and it is certainly not easy). But that bigger shock comes when we do look back and reflect on how far we have come on our healing journey; things that we may for so long have not thought possible become part of our day to day life again, other things we thought we'd never be able to let go of have been cast aside and we can feel massive benefits from this.

A big part of healing that most of us don't comprehend at the start is the realisation that some (maybe all) of what we are healing from will stay with us, but that is ok and our thoughts, feelings and emotions about it are valid and that this#mental

is ok too.

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A Guide to Self Harm

Self harm and mental health are things we all need to talk about more. If you want to learn more about self harm for yourself or to help and support others this guide from The Mighty is a wonderful resource to start with...

#Selfharm #MentalHealth #SCUFF #ScarCoverUpFreedomFund #emotionalWellbeing #wellnessToolbox #wellnesstools #wellness

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W is for wellness tools.

***Trigger warning***

Drugs/alcohol/medication usage, stress, PTSD, health care professionals, mental health and personal experience.

Wellness is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing. There are 5 main types of wellness:

* Physical - to maintain a quality of life without undue stress or fatigue.

* Social - establishing and maintaining positive relationships.

* Emotional - understanding of oneself and coping with life’s challenges.

* Spiritual - establishing and maintaining a sense of peace and harmony.

* Intellectual - being open to new ideas/experiences and the application thereof.

(As well as 2 additional types; occupational - a sense of fulfilment and balance in one’s chosen career. And environmental - taking responsibility for the world around us).

Wellness tools are used to stay well and help relieve symptoms. These can be used at the onset of symptoms, to prevent future symptoms or to maintain a feeling of wellbeing. A past, present and future approach - basically; keep your wellness toolbox handy whenever and wherever you are.

Examples of wellness tools are:

* Talking to a friend/family or healthcare professional.

* Counselling (including; attending a support group/peer counselling or exchange listening).

* Focusing or relaxation/stress reduction exercises, such as; meditation, journaling, affirmation exercises or guided imagery.

* Diet and exercise considerations.

* Using a light box or hot/cold packs.

* Extra rest; taking time off responsibilities (at work/home).

* Taking medications, vitamins or herbal supplements.

* Getting a second opinion/medication check.

* Doing something “normal”/routine based (eg. wash your hair, tidy up, go to work etc).

* Calling/texting a hot line/support line.

* Looking through old photos/scrapbooks etc.

* Making a list of accomplishments/things that are “good” about yourself/you are proud of etc.

* Taking a warm bath, reading, listening to music, or creating music/art.

* Avoiding stimulants, eg: drugs, alcohol, caffeine, sugar.

* Avoiding certain people/places that may be triggering, overtiring or unsupportive.

The tools I have in my own personal wellness toolbox are; surrounding myself with positive and caring people, making myself laugh, doing things for others and most importantly for me - focusing on and appreciating what is happening right here and now and seeing the positive moments in each day.

Questions: what wellness tools have you found work for you? Do you have a preferred author, artist or musician for wellness?

#mentalHealth #mentalwellness #physicalwellness #emotionalWellbeing #wellnessToolbox #wellnesstools #wellness #Wellbeing #SCUFF #ScarCoverUpFreedomFund

(References: psych central, Pinterest, google, NHS Occupational Health.)

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Sometimes it can be hard to find balance and make sure you are taking care of yourself. For daily mental and physical wellbeing here are some simple self-care tips to practice. One's that you can use every single day to help you find a better work/life/self balance.

Because when you have better balance between action and rest it actually makes you more productive, nicer to be around, happier, AND able to give more to others!

Self-Care Tip No1 :: Take time to unplug!

Schedule time each day to consciously log off social media + email each day. Even for 10 minutes - take a walk, take a quick reading break, spend time making a meal

Self-Care Tip No2 :: Spend time on your own

Taking time each day to be on your own isn’t selfish, it’s essential. Time alone allows our Brain to decompress & process the day, unwind, and focus on your feelings & needs

Self-Care Tip No3 :: Make at least 1 meal a day from scratch

Take the time to create a nutritious meal for yourself. Good food fuels your mind & body making you feel good inside and out.

if you can make more than one meal yourself a day, even better!

Self-Care Tip No4 :: Get comfortable saying No. Don't feel pressured to say yes to every social engagement or work project. Saying no and SETTING boundaries is not only healthy, but it's also liberating - it gives you the power to choose how you spend your time.

Self-Care Tip No5 :: Lean on your team of people

It may feel like you need to do all the things or be perfect at everything you do. But this just leads to stress, anxiety & burnout.

Trust family, loved ones & colleagues to make decisions and get things done without you — don't be afraid to ask for help, lean on others when you need them

#mentalhealth #selfcare  #Selflove #SCUFF #ScarCoverUpFreedomFund #dailyselfcare

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B is for Breathing


Mental health, anxiety, depression, stress, PTSD.

Breathing is an automatic bodily response, to take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide; it's something we mainly do without much thought - but in times of pain, anxiety and stress it is our automatic response to hold our breath, or breath shallowly and fast.

We can utilise our breaths and use breathing techniques to help with mindfulness or grounding exercises.

Breath training can also make us feel more physically well by ensuring we have an optimum oxygen intake at rest or while exercising.

Some examples of different breathing exercises to try are given below. Start with small and realistic goals of how many times, and for how long, you want to practice - you may find it useful to schedule in timeslots throughout the day/week (maybe just starting with just a couple of minutes each time). Some techniques can even be practised whilst waiting for the kettle to boil or whenever you have a minute or so to spare.

1. Breathing focus technique:

(A mindfulness tool, can reduce stress and anxiety).

* Choose a focus word that makes you feel relaxed, smile or is neutral (eg. "Peace", "relax" or "ocean").

* Sit or lie down in a comfortable place and position.

* Without changing how you are breathing, bring awareness to your breaths.

* Take a normal breath, followed by a deep breath and continue to alternate - notice how the breaths feel and the differences.

* Place a hand just under your belly button, keeping relaxed, notice how it rises and falls.

* Using only deep breaths, sigh on each exhale, as loud as you can, keeping your focus word in mind.

* Think about the imagery surrounding that word - how it may bring a wave of calm on each inhale.

* Consider how each exhale may expel tension, stress and anxiety.

(Start by practising for just several minutes and try to build up to around 10+ minutes each session).

2. Pursed lip breathing:

(Useful when exercising to make a deliberate effort for each breath and slow down the pace of breathing.)

* Relax your neck and shoulders.

* With your mouth closed, slowly inhale through your nose to the count of 2.

* Purse your lips into a whistling position and exhale slowly to the count of 4.

* Repeat for the rest of your activity.

(This can also be practised when not exercising, to refine the technique and bring awareness to the pace of your breaths).

3. Resonant breathing (sometimes called coherent breathing).

(Maximises your heart rate variability and studies have shown can reduce symptoms of depression when combined with yoga).

* Inhale slowly to the count of 5.

* Exhale slowly to the count of 5.

* Repeat for at least a few minutes (or more if you have available time).

#breathe #mindfullness #mindfulBreathing #JustBreathe #Awareness #breathTraining #exercises #mindful

#MentalHealth #Selfharm #SCUFF #ScarCoverUpFreedomFund

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5 Ways to Practice Self-Care Every Day

For #nationalselfcareweek this week I'll be sharing over the next few days some simple self-care tips to practice. One's that you can use every single day to help you find a better work/life/self balance.

Because when you have better balance between action and rest it actually makes you more productive, nicer to be around, happier, AND able to give more to others!

Self-Care Tip No1 :: Take time to unplug!

#MentalHealth #selfcare #Selflove #SCUFF #scarcoverupfreedomfund

and if you'd like to know more about SCUFF and what we do to support mental health check out our social media

or visit our website

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E is for Electronic Communication:


Any and all aspects of mental and physical health.

Social media and the digital communication age can negatively impact on our mental health, but often these methods of communication can be vitally important to us too.

Nothing beats a face to face chat. However, this may not always be practical or possible - as we well know with recent and ongoing events. Now we have entered the age of Zoom, Microsoft teams, Facetime and so on, we must acknowledge that these applications are a vital lifeline to so many of us.

The internet and all the new platforms that continue to be developed often get a bad reputation and while this is completely valid (inexcusable events do occur far too frequently), we can take ownership for the content we choose to see and be part of. There are lots of good and positive ways to communicate electronically that would definitely have not been possible without the digital age we live in today. Feeling closer to others, doing training, having shared experiences and even socialising with someone without physically being close to them is now more possible than ever.

Now is the time to use social media and electronic communication for good - keeping in touch with friends and family, making new connections online with groups and forums specific to things that interest us or to bond with others that are experiencing similar life events/issues and even counselling/medical appointments are now all available without leaving your home (and even your bed).

This makes socialising and receiving treatment (and some types of employment too) much more accessible for so many people and that can only be a good thing.

#social #SocialMedia #Connection #electronic #Communication #Facebook #zoom #Tiktok #whatsapp #insta #Instagram #SCUFF #ScarCoverUpFreedomFund #MH #mha

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A cover up tattoo that has been funded by our amazing supporters!

Part of the wonderful work SCUFF does is helping those who have recovered from #Selfharming to fund a tattoo to cover up their scars. A tattoo which they may not otherwise have been able to get.

A wonderful way to celebrate their achievements!

Here is a cover up tattoo that has been funded by our amazing supporters! This tattoo was done by Eloise at Gilded Dagger Tattoo / @gildeddaggertattoo . Here's what our applicant had to say about the experience:

"Getting this scar cover up has given me so much more confidence with wearing short sleeves in public, I used to hide away in jumpers and jackets even when it was boiling hot which isn't nice. SCUFF have given me freedom and courage and I will forever be grateful. When I first looked at my tattoo I got quite emotional because it felt like all the years of hiding away and being ashamed of my scars had gone and I could try and put the past behind me, not to mention how beautiful the tattoo is - the tattooist is so talented! Thank you so much SCUFF for this funding, you really do make a change in people's lives."

If you are interested in learning more about the work we do at SCUFF, what we do to support mental health check, and funding for tattoo cover up’s visit our website

Or if you’d like to help change somebody else's life then you can donate to our current fundraiser

#Tattoos #Coverup #Selfharm #ScarCoverUp #selfharmscars #MentalHealth #donate #Support #Charity #SCUFF #scarcoverupfreedfund #changinglives

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F is for Favourite Things:


any and all aspects of mental and physical health.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens... Sorry for that earworm but Julie Andrews had a point; it's good to surround ourselves with our favourite things - both in good times and tricky times.

A good book, favourite song, treasured blanket or soft toy can elevate a good mood to the next level or anchor us when things are a little tougher. Shared favourites lead to shared experiences and create bonds with friends and family or introduce us to new people too. Favourite clothes tend to give us more comfort or confidence which can positively impact our situation.

Talking about our favourite food or favourite memory is a great way to break the ice and revisit that moment/experience, even just a memory can trigger endorphin production - leading to feeling calmer, happier or more grounded.

As previously discussed, re-watching a favourite TV show/episode or film etc can be a good way to stabilise our mood as we already know what to expect and how we feel about it.

A favourite scent triggers the strongest memories (locked into our olfactory sense) and can often make us feel like we are back in that time or place.

Favourite music/songs also have a similar effect and are strongly connected to memory retrieval.

Not forgetting of course our favourite people; they have by far the biggest positive influence on how we feel - the relief of speaking on the phone to a favourite person or the elated feeling we get spending time with them when we can. Especially if we ate our favourite food, with our favourite person/people, in our favourite outfit, listening to our favourite music/song - the level of comfort that could provide is almost unmatched.

The way we give gifts is also tied into this - hopefully, we manage to gift a favourite item to the recipient, which in turn makes us feel good too.

#favouriteThings #endorphins #mentalhealth#olfactory #MH #SCUFF #MentalHealth

If you'd like to know more about SCUFF and what we do to support mental health check out our social media

or visit our website