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Women We Love: Jessica Ward
Mental Health. It's a topic that has become increasingly prevelent in our lives over the past 10 years, and rightly so. According to Mind, 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health issue every year in the UK, so there has never been a more important time to talk openly and honestly about our mental health.
Jessica Ward is just one of the amazing figures leading the way in these conversations, online. She is an award-winning mental health awareness blogger who's platform, @positivelyjessicaward, is designed to give advice, and chat about ways you can improve your own mental health. We were lucky enough to chat to Jessica about what inspired her to create this online and community and what advice she has for people who may be struggling themselves. Take it away, Jessica...
Hey honey! Please can you introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a little bit about what you do.
Hey, I'm Jess! I'm a Northerner, a Content Marketing Specialist and a Multi-Award-Winning Mental Health Awareness Blogger. I was 13 when I first experienced bullying and depression. 12 years on and I've now created an online platform that's a location for all things positive - magnetic colour and infectious positivity. Although my blog and Instagram is just a hobby, for now, it's a place for me to document my journey turning my troubles into triumphs.
Talk us through your journey- how did you get to where you are today in your career?
My career has changed numerous times throughout my 20's and no doubt it will continue to change as my interests change - which is normal. I have a passion for writing and being creative so naturally, I've now fallen into a Content Marketing Lead role at a digital agency. Alongside this, I do my mental health awareness blogging. I've always had a passion for positivity and mental health. They seamlessly intertwine with everything that I do.
I got where I am today without giving up. I've experienced setbacks and disappointments a lot but I've used them as a chance to propel me forward. I view failures as a chance to learn and grow. I went to college and university. Every opportunity that's been guided my way, I've grabbed it with both hands no matter how tiring it was.
There are 3 things to consider:
Don't compare your journey to someone else's - you'll make it.
Become a sponge and absorb all the knowledge you can. Knowledge is power.
Don't ever be afraid to ask for help, guidance and advice.
We think it’s super important to set yourself both personal and professional goals. What are yours and how are you working towards achieving them?
Sometimes I set myself daily goals and it may even be as simple as 'making the bed', 'cooking a delicious breakfast' or 'getting outside for 10 minutes of fresh air'. These all add up and form amazing habits. I focus on habit building, not goal-setting - habits are sustainable and are designed for longevity!
Long-term habits are something I try and set quarterly. Every day, I'm aiming to walk outside for 30 minutes. I built this up over time and now it's become a part of my daily routine. I get outside every lunchtime for a refreshing walk - no matter the weather! It does wonders for my mental and physical health.
We think you’re a hugeeeee inspiration- who is your biggest personal inspiration and what was it about them that made you stop and take note?
My 91-year-old Nanna Irene. She's experienced so much in her lifetime but no matter how much she's been through, she's remained resilient, focused and incredibly determined. Her fighting spirit lights a fire inside of me and that's what keeps me going every day. She always reminds me that life is too short to be unhappy.
We absolutely LOVE what you do- what does it mean to you to be able to do what you love every day?
Starting my blog happened randomly and unexpectedly. I use to write on the internet as a hidden online diary - whilst experiencing bullying at school. Then one day, someone discovered my online diary entries and told me to launch them into a website. From that day, I haven't looked back. I've helped hundreds of people across the globe. Even if I only impact one person's life positively - my job is done.
So many people are nervous to break out and try something new but you did. What piece of advice would you give to people who want to try something different but are too scared to take the risk?
If you don't do it now? When will you? Life is too short not to give something a try. Sometimes, the risks you take present the most amazing outcomes. Be wise, do your research and if it makes you happy - go for it! Who cares what anyone else thinks.
What positive impact do you hope to have on those within your community?
Even if I make someone smile or experience a moment of hope - my job is done. I hope I continue to inspire people to seek help if they need it and to not be afraid. I hope my social media page and blog is an escape for those who need a breather.
We all know that life ain’t no breeze. What is one piece of advice you can offer to people in your community to help make things that little bit easier?
Don't ever be afraid to speak up or to seek help. One of the most pivoting moments in my life was admitting how I felt inside. As soon as I admitted how I felt, my life changed forever and I got the help I deserve. Don't ever struggle in silence. There is hope and help is available.
Thank you so much for chatting to us, Jessica. You can find her amazing work here:
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