Mental Health Awareness Week 2020
18th to 24th of May is Mental Health Awareness Week 2020
Wow, what a week to have such a great campaign going on. Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more.
This year, the theme is ‘Kindness’.
Did you know that doing something good for someone else is also good for you? No doubt over the past few weeks, many people have found themselves naturally taking on tasks and errands for others that they wouldn’t normally do, so hopefully this has also given you a boost.
Many of us are worried about coronavirus and how it will affect us and those we love going forward, so we have put together some practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.
Stay connected with people
Maintaining healthy relationships with people we trust is important for our mental wellbeing, so think about how you can stay in touch with friends and family while needing to stay at home. Try phone calls, video calls or social media.
Talk about your worries
It is normal to feel a bit worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Remember it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust – and doing so may help them too. If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are plenty of helplines you can call instead. We have listed some below.
Support and help others
Helping someone else can benefit you as well as them, so try to be a little more understanding of other people’s concerns, worries or behaviours at this time. Think of things you can do to help those around you. Is there a friend or family member nearby you could message? Are there any community groups you can join to support others locally?
Looking after ourselves
Our physical health has a big impact on how we feel. At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviours that end up making you feel worse. Looking after ourselves has never been more important than right now. The new ‘normal’ has changed the way we live and work and this can cause disruption depression and anxiety, so it is even more important to exercise and look after ourselves. To eat healthy well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly. Remember to avoid drinking too much alcohol.
Stick to the facts
Find a credible source you trust such as GOV.UK or the NHS website – and fact-check information you get from news feeds, social media or other people. Inaccurate information could affect others, so try not to share information without fact checking first. You might also want to consider limiting the time you spend watching, reading or listening to coverage of the outbreak, including on social media, and think about turning off breaking-news alerts on your phone.
Stay on top of difficult feelings
Concern about the coronavirus outbreak is perfectly normal. However, some people may experience intense anxiety that can affect their daily life. Try to focus on the things you can control, such as your behaviour, who you speak to, and where and how often you get information. It’s fine to acknowledge that some things are outside of your control, but if constant thoughts about coronavirus are making you feel anxious or overwhelmed, try some ideas to help manage your anxiety https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/anxiety/
Do things you enjoy
If we are feeling worried anxious or low, we might stop doing things we usually enjoy. By focusing on a hobby, relaxing indoors, or connecting with others can help with anxious thoughts and feelings. Perhaps adapt them if you are unable to do the things you normally enjoy. There are free tutorials and courses online and people are coming up with inventive new ways to do things like hosting online quizzes and music concerts.
Look after your sleep
Good quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel mentally and physically so it is important to get enough. Try to maintain regular sleeping patterns and keep up good sleep hygiene practices – like avoiding screens before bed, cutting back on caffeine and creating a restful environment. We would highly recommend a warm bath, a spritz of pillow spray and have a pen and notepad by the bed to jot down any worries you have. Once they are down on paper, they tend to disappear from your mind!
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