Mental Health Awareness Week

19 May 2020

May 18-24 2020 is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s campaign theme is around Kindness. One thing that we have seen all over the world is that kindness is prevailing in uncertain times.  We have learnt that amid the fear, there is also community, support and hope. The added benefit of helping others is that it is good for our own mental health and wellbeing. It can help reduce stress and improve your emotional wellbeing. 

We think that it’s also very important to remember to be kind to yourself. Self-compassion is the ability to turn understanding, acceptance, and love inward. Many people are able to extend compassion toward others but find it difficult to extend the same compassion toward themselves. They may see self-compassion as an act of self-indulgence, but extending compassion toward oneself is not an act of self-indulgence, selfishness, or self-pity. In fact, self-compassion can help relieve many mental health concerns such as anxiety or insecurity. 

We hear from our members that the daily pressure of dealing with chronic pain or other symptoms of a physical health condition may also result in low self-esteem, high stress levels, and a desire to withdraw from social activities. It is really important though that you take steps to look after your mental health in a way similar to how you’d look after your physical health.

If you think you might be experiencing a mental health problem or your feelings and emotions begin to interfere with everyday life, you should try to talk about how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Speaking to your GP is often the best course of action as they can talk you through the best support for you. This might seem daunting, and an extra thing that you have to worry about, but it’s the first step to getting the help and support that’s right for you.

Some day-to-day tips to help look after your own mental wellbeing:

·         Eating well

Make sure you get a balanced and healthy diet including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, as these are proven to lift mood. Stimulants like sugar, caffeine and alcohol can make feelings of anxiety and stress worse, and leave you feeling lethargic. Eating lots of foods high in fat and carbohydrate can often cause blood sugar to crash, resulting in sluggishness.

·         Getting outside

Findings from the University of Essex show that getting into an outdoor space can improve mental health, boost self-esteem, improve physical health, and reduce social isolation. This doesn’t mean a high intensive sport this could include walking or sitting in a park or garden, just being outside can be great for uplifting our general mood.

·         Sleeping well

Not getting enough sleep can affect our mental wellbeing and quality of life. Electrical devices like TVs and smartphones stimulate the brain, making it harder to sleep, so try switching off and creating a calm space.

·         Online support

Lots of people also find online forums helpful, particularly if they are unable to confide in friends or don’t have strong social networks. We would encourage those people to visit online peer support networks like Mind’s Elefriends website (www.elefriends.org.uk) where people can discuss their problems with others who are going through similar experiences and talk about potential solutions

Mind the mental health charity has lots of information about different mental health problems, treatments and everyday living tips, which might be helpful for you:  

 

Depression: www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/depression/about-depression/?o=9109#.WJsS8fKgXps

Anxiety and panic attacks: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/panic-attacks/?o=6276#.WJsS9fKgXps

PTSD: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/about-ptsd/?o=14567#.WJsS-fKgXps

Suicidal feelings: www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/suicidal-feelings/about-suicidal-feelings/?o=6813#.WJsTAPKgXps

Loneliness: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/loneliness/loneliness/?o=6287

Low self-esteem: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/self-esteem/self-esteem/?o=6807

Sleep problems: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/sleep-problems/sleep-problems/?o=10124

Stress: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/stress/what-is-stress/?o=6278#.WJsS__KgXps

 

 

Share this page