We hope you, your family and friends are all safe and well. As we enter into another week of lockdown we find ourselves also in Mental Health Awareness Week. It is such an appropriate time to remind us to look after both ourselves and those around us. To support this, the Mental Health Foundation has helpfully published their top tips for looking after our own mental health and wellbeing. They are:
1. Talk about your feelings: Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled.
2. Keep active: Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and feel better. Exercise keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy, and is also a significant benefit towards improving your mental health.
3. Eat well: Your brain needs a mix of nutrients in order to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body. A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.
4. Drink sensibly: We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary. When the drink wears off, you feel worse because of the way the alcohol has affected your brain and the rest of your body. Drinking is not a good way to manage difficult feelings.
5. Keep in touch: There’s nothing better than catching up with someone face to face, but that’s not always possible. You can also give them a call, drop them a note, or chat to them online instead. Keep the lines of communication open: it’s good for you!
6. Ask for help: None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help. Your family or friends may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear. Local services are there to help you.
7. Take a break: A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a longer break at lunchtime, or a day out at the weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’.
8. Do something you’re good at: What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself can help beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it, and achieving something boosts your self-esteem
9. Accept who you are: We’re all different. It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else. Feeling good about yourself boosts your confidence to learn new skills, visit new places and make new friends. Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn.
10. Care for others: ‘Friends are really important… We help each other whenever we can, so it’s a two-way street, and supporting them uplifts me.’
We’ve linked more support from the Mental Health Foundation including their COVID19 focused topics some of which are loneliness, bereavement, parenting through COVID19, working from home and many more. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus.
Even you are not part of our UK team, you may find the above tips useful.