As a qualified Mental Health First Aider, I wanted to write a blog about Mental Health Awareness Week. This year’s theme is nature.
Nature surrounds us and we can learn a lot from it, including adapting to change and resilience through all weathers.
Over the past year, the majority of people have spent more time on walks, runs, gardening or just admiring the outdoors through our windows due to restrictions stopping us from our usual busy lives and giving us the chance to slow down and reset.
Having said that, it has also been a very concerning, uncertain and lonely time for many which makes it even more important that we put the correct strategies in place to support our mental health during this time.
- Reduce your consumption of media throughout the day, including news sites and social media – although it is important to stay connected, it is also really important to recognise that everyone’s days are different and therefore, what you see on your social media pages such as people gardening, buying new furniture or clothes, people who have family or pets around them, exercising or eating healthy is only a snapshot of their life. As a result, try not to compare yourself to others
- Take time for yourself – plan activities that you enjoy throughout your week
- Stay connected – it’s important to keep in contact with your family and friends on a regular basis, even if you cannot physically see them
- Positive habits – write a list of 5-10 positive mental health habits you can engage in on a regular basis. There are many things to include, such as cooking a healthy meal or talking to someone about how you feel. Maybe there are some tasks around the house that you keep putting off or never got round to, take some time to focus on them
- Ensure the space around you is clean – having a clear working space is really important for your mental health, it can help you feel more organised and motivated
- Support others – whether it is support for your family, neighbours or your local community. Giving back during this time can feel like an achievement
- Stay active – Now the days are longer, it is important to find time in your day to get active. Being active is a great way of reducing stress and boosting your mood
- Ask for help – if you notice you are struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out to family, friends, doctors, a local mental health charity or Citizens Advice.
For more tips on taking care of your mental health or for more information on Mental Health Awareness Week, visit https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week
Citizens Advice in West Sussex (North, East, South) are here to help you if you are feeling down, alone or worries, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer free, confidential support for problems that can really affect mental health including money and debt, employment, housing and more.
For more information, visit https://www.advicewestsussex.org.uk/i-need-help/other-advice/
Happy Mental Health Awareness Week!
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