Mental health isn’t and shouldn’t be a taboo subject. Life can just get to us. We don’t always know why it just happens, but when it does you need to ask for help before it takes root. Ignoring it is not going to help you. It’s not going to go away on its own. It will need some help. You will need some help.
So who do you turn to?
I understand that coping with mental illness is HARD, and not knowing who to talk to can make it feel a hundred times worse. You might be worried about what people will think of you, you might feel ashamed, you might feel that they won’t understand. I do. I get it. I get you.
So is this the new normal? As we adjust, it’s normal that we will all have different reactions. You may be looking forward to life getting back on track you may still feel nervous about the rules being relaxed. You could be feeling uncertain about what will happen over winter, or worried about the new pressures that have come with restrictions easing. Whatever you are feeling is OK. There is no right or wrong way to react. It’s natural that many of us are feeling the effects of a year of social distancing.
This autumn, it’s important to be kind to yourself and take things at your own pace. We’ve all faced challenges over the past year and many of us will need time to readjust. If you’re finding things tough, try to talk about how you are feeling with others. Family, Friends, A Doctor a professional. Remember, You’re not alone.
Tips for taking care of your mental health
Go at your own pace
Take time to plan. As workplaces and business open up again, it’s natural that any changes to our routine may feel overwhelming. Planning ahead of time can help you manage your time and feel more in control. If you’re feeling uncertain about meeting with other people in person, whether for work or socially, try to talk about how you are feeling and what you are comfortable with beforehand.
Set achievable goals. If you’re feeling anxious about doing something, try breaking it down to a list of smaller tasks. For example, if you haven’t been to the shops in a while, you might want to try walking in that part of town before going inside. Focus on what you want to achieve and try not to compare yourself to what you think others are doing.
Try a relaxation exercise. Sometimes something simple like controlled breathing can help us feel calmer. Muscle relaxation exercises can also help reduce feelings of stress or anxiety. If you can, find a quiet space and try out the exercises that suit you.
Find your balance
Pay attention to how you are feeling. A self-help web app can help you track your mood and includes practical tips and techniques to help you look after your emotional health.
Make time for yourself. It could be something creative, playing sports or taking a copy of the paper to a park for half an hour in the sun. Even stepping away and taking a five-minute break over a cup of tea can help you relax and recharge.
Take a break from the news and social media. If you find it hard to stay offline, prioritising other activities can help you switch it off. Try turning off your notifications or leaving your phone in another room for a few hours. If your job involves lots of screen time, taking a break away from your devices after work might help you relax.
Spend time outdoors
Enjoy nature. Whatever way you can, taking some time to enjoy the outdoors can have a positive effect on your mood. Our mental health benefits from getting outside and enjoying nature.
Get active. Exercise can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and other difficult feelings. There are lots of different ways to be active. You could start off with a brisk walk or join a free online exercise class. Setting goals with others is a great way to stay motivated. Try teaming up with friends and family or taking part in an online challenge.
Talk about how you’re feeling. Talking can help put things into perspective and help us feel less isolated. It can be hard to reach out but talking to a trusted friend, colleague or family member is something we’d encourage you to try, however you can.
Please remember. You are never alone.
Mental health issues also affect the people close to those who are suffering.
If someone you care about has a mental health issue it can be hard to deal with.
It can be upsetting and difficult to see them struggle, especially if you are a carer or a family member. I know that mental health issues have a wide impact on friends, family members and carers and I am here to support you to live your own life.
Some quick bits of advice I can offer are.
I can provide support service for carers – offering advice and support.
Let the person you care about know you are there for them.
Support them to find suitable services to help them to manage their mental health issues.
Offer practical help such as making a telephone call to a key worker or other person, or by going with the person to their GP or mental health centre.
2 in 3 people report having experienced a mental health problem in their lifetime. Many of us go through tough times and supporting someone you care about can be enough to help them through. Sometimes people need extra support, and this is where People like me and my therapy friends and colleagues can help.
There are many national and local charities which offer various support services, such as:
And many more.
Don’t suffer alone. Ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s actually a sign of strength.
Reach out before it takes hold.
Until next month.
Stay safe, Stay well.
Books available by Jon Can I Change? a book to help you handle your anxiety on a daily basis. 100 days in isolation a fun book for both adults and children showing the funnier side of lockdown. Posted by Jon Adkin BAHyp