Mental Health Warrior - Andrew Wheatcroft | Novel Student
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Mental Health Warrior – Andrew Wheatcroft

9 October 2020

World Mental Health Day falls on the 10th October 2020. A day to show support and start looking after your own mental health. Wellness is a huge part of who we are here at Novel, so, naturally, we wanted to talk to mental health activist, Andrew, from Instagram account @andrewwheatcroft.

Andrew is a skincare influencer and online mental health warrior. With 15.3k followers, he’s been sharing his journey through the world of beauty and mental health online since 2019. We talked about Andrew’s past, what made him so passionate about mental health and what brilliant advice he’d give on how to improve your mental health.

I’m Andrew…

I’m 33 and I live in Manchester! I started taking care of my skin properly at 25 and it opened up a huge passion for me. I then started my social media channel in February 2019, “BoyDoesBeauty”, recently changed to andrewwheatcroft, just out of love for skincare, and soon realised that it was more than just a skincare page. It was an escape for me when I was feeling low, anxious, and wanted comfort. That’s what I aim to bring to other people who follow me – joy and happiness!

Growing up, I was really shy, like really shy and overweight, so I was bullied so much at school. The bullies really helped shape me into who I am now, but they also ruined my confidence at such a young age. I was the kid that no one spoke to, I was the butt of everyone’s jokes, and it left me in a mentally bad place.

My determination and strength from that shaped me to do better; shaped me to want to empower people and help those struggling. Because there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

What is your top mental health tip?

Letting people know it’s OK to cry, it’s OK to ask for help and it’s OK to show how vulnerable you are.

We are all human. No one should ever feel ashamed to show their emotions for the sake of losing their “masculinity”. Your mental health is more important than anything and showing that side of you will, in turn, help other  people who are struggling.

“Stop comparing yourself! You’re brilliant as you are”

What are your top 3 self-care tips for when you are feeling not quite right?

My top three tips would be: get outside – go walking, just enjoy what’s around you and live in the moment.

Have a duvet day and switch on a good film – I love to cry to a good tearjerker!

Also, chocolate – let yourself eat what you want if you’re feeling really down.

Do you find humour is also a great remedy for those bad mental health days?

I have the driest sense of humour. Life’s too serious as it is, so it’s OK to make fun of yourself, laugh at life’s mishaps and move on. Pain is only temporary, so we have to push through and laugh.

Are there any popular remedies that don’t work for you?

I think it honestly depends on your state of mind in that low moment.

I go with how I feel, and I don’t force myself to do anything. If I want to go for a walk, I’ll walk. But if I want to have a takeaway and watch films, I’ll do that. Listen to your body!

Being an online influencer, do you have any advice on looking after your mental health when using social media?

I struggled with this a lot and still do. I endlessly scrolled for no reason at all making me feel even more bored/alone.

The key for me, and how I enjoy it now, is to post on my channel, just catch up with my friends’ posts and then switch off. You’ve done your bit; you don’t need to do any more. Turn it off and then go back on when you want to post something again, and that’s it!

Have you noticed a change in the way people discuss mental health? Even online?

I think people are still hesitant to talk about it online as the internet can be a cruel world sometimes. But, on the flip side, when you open up and talk about it, it opens up a world of people who are in the same boat and who only want the best for you.

If there’s one thing you would personally advise we all take the time to do daily for our mental health, what would that be?

Live in the moment. Think about now. Don’t think about tomorrow or yesterday – the only moment you need is now.

Ground yourself and look at what you have to be grateful for in this moment. The house you live in, the pets you have, the air you breathe, the food you are eating – be grateful for every single thing in your life and you’ll attract more.

How do you feel beauty products affect self-esteem?

It’s an escape for me and many others. When you look good on the outside, you radiate that energy from within. One tip that really helps me is, no matter where I’m going, even if I’m sitting in the house, I always do my skincare routine, shower, and do my hair. This will then encourage you to go out later if you feel like it.

Do you have any role models who influenced you to be where you are today?

I have always looked up to Caroline Hirons who is a skincare queen. But the reason I started my account was because I was following Elle, @bambidoesbeauty, on Instagram and everything she did inspired me!

Do you think the industry has progressed when it comes to gender inclusivity in beauty?

Absolutely – I think anyone can be who they want to be. I am bored of men’s skincare and women’s skincare sometimes as skin is skin no matter what your gender.

If you could talk to yourself 10 years ago, what empowering advice would you give that version of yourself?

Stop comparing yourself! You’re brilliant as you are. You do not need to prove your worth to anyone.

No one is you and that’s your power.

 

For beauty, lifestyle and mental health related content, follow Andrew on @andrewwheatcroft.

We want to keep this positive and open conversation going, so comment below and let us know your top 3 tips for how to deal with a bad mental health day below!

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