Nicole Williams writes the blog Nicole’s Journey. Recently ranked in the Top 10 UK Mental Health Blogs, Nicole’s Journey covers mental health issues and wellbeing. We spoke to Nicole about how much writing helped her, the lack of mental health services in the UK and working with PRs who are interested in her blog.
How would you describe your blog?
I would describe my blog as how I see the world around me, through health, wellbeing, mindfulness, gratitude, the good days and the not so good days, each post documenting something I have learnt, something I am learning or something I wish I could have read when I needed it. My blog is my thoughts turned into words, sharing moments of my life, text and photographs I hope not only to make a difference to myself but to somebody else who might be where I am or once was.
Why did you start your blog?
When I was first diagnosed with anorexia, my sister suggested blogging as a way to document my journey and all I was going through, more so for myself than anybody else. I started with writing the positive days, trying desperately to see the light in what felt like only dark. Sure, this positivity helped but at the time there were more bad days than good, so I began to share these too.
I never could have imagined how writing would help me. When going through such a horrible time of my life, writing allowed me to let the thoughts I had out. From this, my friends and family began to understand more and could support me better. I also began to meet people; others who were going, or had been, through their own mental illnesses. This support was invaluable.
Overtime, my journey with blogging continued, sharing the ups and downs of my mental health and engaging with others too. After a little break in writing, I returned with Nicole’s Journey, being able to look at this part of my life, how much I have learnt and in ways I never could have imagined, fills me with gratitude.
What’s the biggest issue facing mental health in the UK today?
I honestly do not know where to begin, I am no expert but I guess the lack of mental health services. People who need support for their mental health cannot always afford to wait. Speaking from personal experience, having a mental illness on the bad days is made one hundred times worse when you are turned away from what should be care and support. It took me every inch of strength I had to ask for help, yet I was put on a five-month waiting list, and, in comparison to others, I was lucky. I cannot express how difficult this wait was for both myself and my family. Nobody should ever have to experience this, yet people do, every single day.
How do you think mental health awareness has changed in recent years?
There has been an increase of mental health awareness through everyday conversations, generating better understanding and knowledge. When I was a child, mental health was never spoken about and when it started to be it was only ever in a negative light. Of course, there is a long way to go but I think people having an initial awareness is such a positive change and one that can save somebody’s life.
What advice would you give someone who was struggling with their mental health?
Of course, this depends on the person and what they are experiencing, mental health is very individual and it is difficult to summarize one answer. I guess I would say to talk about it, to seek help and support, and to never give up hope.
How do you engage with your readers and community?
I adore engaging with my readers, from comments to private messages, I find the most engagement I have is done through Instagram messaging.
How do you like to work with PRs?
I enjoy engaging with PRs who are interested in my blog, who have taken the time to look a little and who share similar beliefs to me, and those who are respectful and considerate of my personal experiences. I like to have a clear idea of what it is they are hoping to achieve from working with me and what kind of things they would be interested in creating.
What one thing should brands or PRs know about you?
I will never share anything that I think could harm a person’s mental health. That sounds obvious, right? But you would be surprised how many times people expect me to share unhealthy factors of my mental health experiences.
What other blogs do you read?
I read a whole range of blogs, of the top of my head and recent browsing history: Time To Change’s Personal Stories, We’re All Mad Here, Girl, Interrupted, Bumble and Be, Mental Health Stories, Rich Biscuit, No Space For Milk – this list could go on!
Nicole Williams and Nicole’s Journey are both listed with detailed biographies on the Vuelio Influencer Database – the UK’s leading influencer database available to the PR and communications industries.