What’s normal to you?
Most days, I hate the word normal, especially when it’s used as a way to compare people to each other. None of us should be made to feel like our bodies, sense of style, skin type or hair isn’t ‘normal’ but when it comes to knowing our own bodies and minds, normal is a pretty good word to get familiar with.
Of course, as time rolls on, we change, but how familiar are you with what’s normal to you? Do you know the difference between a passing mood or something deeper? Do you know how your body really feels? And would you know if something changed?
As I’m sure you (probably) already know, this month is all about Breast Cancer Awareness, so today I wanted to talk about getting familiar with our bodies and minds, so if something is wrong we have the confidence to investigate it and seek medical help.
Getting familiar with your body
If I asked you right now when the last time you checked your breasts was, what would be the honest answer? The answer for me would have to be a good few weeks ago (slap on the wrist!) and it’s such an important thing to do. As we get older, our bodies do change (mine definitely has) so it’s important to get familiar with what changes feel (and look) normal and which ones are worth getting checked out. I love this diagram on the Worldwide Breast Cancer website, because I think it makes it a bit easier to know what you might want to look out for as abnormal.
The same goes for the rest of your body, too. Take a good look in the mirror (as daunting as that is) and get familiar with what your normal is. This is especially important when it comes to any changes in moles, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, so if you notice any differences in your body that don’t feel ‘right’ see your GP and get checked out.
Getting familiar with your mind
Of course, my main focus for this post was Breast Cancer Awareness, but I also wanted to say something about knowing your mind because it’s something that is quite personal to me. I’ve struggled with depression from the age of 12/13 (god knows when it really started) and it’s only really recently that I’ve felt I have a firm grip on it and a better knowledge of what ‘normal’ should feel like for my mind.
It’s really important that if you’re experiencing long periods of low mood, or anxiety, that you seek help. If you feel like you’re drowning, that’s not normal, nor should it ever start to feel like normal for you. I know how hard it can be to see outside of irrational thoughts, but if you can sit down with a notepad and write down your negative thoughts, then look at them when you’re calmer and see if you feel the same way it can help you to identify what is a legitimate worry and what’s not. This can be a great way to be more aware of when you are overwhelmed with negative thoughts or anxiety and might need to seek help.
Have courage in seeking help
Seeking help is scary. Because you’re admitting you think something is wrong, and you’re opening yourself up to the possibility that you might not be ok. But it is so important that we seek help when we need it (and I think we need it more often than we know). I’ve been so pleasantly surprised by how helpful GPs can be when it comes to serious mental health issues, and even when my mind tries to convince me that I’m making an unnecessary fuss, I’m so pleased I have ignored that and sought help in the past. I would like to think that the same goes for physical illness and cancer scares.
It’s so easy to be lazy about checking our bodies, it feels like a bit of a chore, but it is so worth doing it. Get familiar with what is normal to you, and your body, and if something feels wrong, have courage in seeking help.
If you want any more info about breast cancer, you can find it here.
- Photos by Sarah
- Earrings are from Next*
- Bag is from Next*
- Jumper is from New Look
- Jeans are from Topshop (similar here)
- Boots are from Vagabond (similar here)