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I have always felt, and say often, that mental health and wellbeing are a big, though not often spoken about, part of being a thyroid patient. When your health takes a nosedive, as it can do with thyroid disease, and your life changes forever with the diagnosis of a lifelong health condition, with it can come dips in your mood and mental health.
I enjoy self-help books, as you know, but Happy by Fearne Cotton isn’t a thyroid self-help book specifically. It’s a tool for supporting good mental health and wellbeing, by finding joy in the every day and letting go of what does not serve us in this pursuit. And it has been very useful to me as a thyroid patient.
I may reference back to this book and what I’ve learnt from it throughout my blog posts.
The first thing I noticed about Fearne Cotton’s books were how beautiful and Instagram-worthy they all are. Illustrated and designed by herself, she really shows off her many skills and talents. Happy felt like a treat to read as I chewed through the whole book in just two sittings.
You do not need to have experienced depression, anxiety or another mental health condition in order to find this book helpful, as it isn’t written strictly for those with these.
The idea is to instil more awareness and mindfulness surrounding your mental health so as to help you see more happiness in your day to day life, and perhaps even out those dips in your mental health.
The book was slightly unusual in its layout, in terms of it having no contents page or index, so, despite it not being a huge book, it can be frustrating to flick back to certain points you want to re-read. I recommend having a pen and post-its, or set of highlighter pens, with you when you read the book so you can make notes, highlight or bookmark as you go along. This is what I’m planning to do on my second reading.
Fearne shares her own experience with depression, anxiety and more, not going in to too much detail (which may be helpful to those who feel triggered), but just enough so that we can really feel her reasons for writing such a book. Her writing is relatable.
In amongst the pages of reassurance and tips and advice for ‘feeling happier’, are activities for you to fill in and complete (which are a nice touch) and interviews and insights from other people in her life, which made it even more enjoyable, as the variety made it a pleasure to keep turning pages and see what was on the next page.
Although none of her advice and tips for seizing more happiness (such as spending less time on your phone and social media, talking to others about your feelings, striking a good work life balance, the importance of a good sleep routine, avoiding drama, focusing on the present instead of the future or past, embracing who you are, finding music that spurs you on, listening to your body, yoga and walking) are unique, the reminder is well needed for many people. And she delivers it all in a friendly, warm tone.
Her reflections on how thankful she is for her family and so many things that have happened in life, whether as great opportunities or things she may regret but has since learnt to see them as a lesson that has shaped her, definitely had me applying this mindset to my own life. And this can be useful to many people with health conditions such as thyroid disease. Reflection is key.
Many of the tips shared in this book will be useful to thyroid patients. The idea that exercise and moving doesn’t have to equal heavy cardio (but instead yoga and walking) and that you shouldn’t be exercising to attain a certain body image but instead to promote good mental wellbeing, should be discussed more often.
Many thyroid patients, like myself, also need to reevaluate their work, routines and life in general in order to review where their energy is being spent and how to better use it. When we have less energy than we used to, we have to be more mindful about using it effectively and efficiently.
A lot of the tricks for changing your mindset and how you react to things will help strengthen your response to stress in all forms, how you deal with it, react to it and move forward.
I am now reading the other books in Fearne’s series and will be sure to review those on my blog also. I really appreciated this book and know many other thyroid patients will too.
You can get a copy of this book from Amazon on the link below and also check out the other books that may be helpful to you in my bookstore, here.
Have you read this book?
You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.
Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts, as well as being a founding board member for the American College of Thyroidology. She is well-recognised as a crucial and influential contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her books include “Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate” and “You, Me and Hypothyroidism”.