Today is the start of Mental Health Awareness week. As mental health is a subject that is close to our hearts, we would like to mark this occasion by starting a new series of blog posts on Mental Health and Veganism, and our experience with them.
In the past few years we have been really lucky to have a strong group of friends around us that have helped us to see the importance in looking after ourselves. We don’t just mean going to the Dr when we are ill, or making sure we take multi-vitamins, but actually taking time out of our busy weeks to just focus on ourselves. Do something we enjoy, watch our favourite TV shows and eat what we want. It is important to know what foods and vitamins your body needs and if you neglect what your body craves for a long time, well, your body is going to be pissed. Still, you do need to be able to treat yourself with your favourite foods every now and then even if they aren’t great for your health.
One of the most comforting feelings during a busy or just really awful day is knowing we have a stocked pantry/fridge/freezer. For us, taking out the time of our day to really make a nutritious and tasty meal is incredibly important, and having a certain routine for it is almost essential. Even on the worst days we always know that at some point we will get home, cook and eat. It can sometimes be the one constant when you are suffering from anxiety and is the goodness you need when everything seems grey.
Everyone will have a way of expressing creativity, even if they aren’t aware of it. We have been through phases of doodling, painting, knitting, cross stitch, we have changed our hair colours and style and we have tattoos. There are several ways that we express our craving for creativity and it wasn’t until people started to comment on our cooking that we realised that cooking was the creative outlet we use the most. Although spending more time thinking of what to eat and playing around with ingredients isn’t for everyone, and the rise of instagram, blogging and youtube has given cooking more of a platform, we still think it is a rather underrated creative outlet and form of self care.
Having a plant-based diet has certainly made us pay more attention to what we are eating, and how it is prepared. We would be lying if we said we are both super healthy, but our intake of fresh fruit and veg has definitely increased (we eat SO MUCH spinach) and our bodies are thankful for that. One thing that added to our anxieties before having a vegan lifestyle was the knowledge of the suffering of animals, still eating animal products and how that was contributing to the cycle.
Removing the exploitation of animals from our lifestyles has relieved some of our anxiety and helped us to see what exactly it is we are feeding our bodies. Veganism won’t solve all the words problems, but it has certainly helped us tackle some of ours.