Today, Monday 18 May, marks the start of Mental Health Awareness week across the UK. It’s such a difficult time for a lot of people at the moment and can be a strain on our mental wellbeing.
We’ve pulled together some tips from people at the Government Equalities Office on what we found helps us to look after our mental health during this difficult time. We’ve gathered these tips from individuals and so it’s what works for them, this doesn’t mean they will work for everyone, but we hope you may find some inspiration in them.
Our mental wellbeing is dynamic. It can change from moment to moment, day to day, month to month or year to year. - Mind
Looking after your physical wellbeing
Exercise can have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing and causes chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood. Colleagues said:
- Keep drinking water, it sounds so simple and basic, but sitting down all day you might not feel thirsty. Our body needs 2-3 litres of water a day.
- Make time to exercise everyday, no matter how little. You could go for a walk, run or even do a yoga class off YouTube.
- Eat regular meals and have small regular snacks to help to keep blood sugar level and your mind cheerful.
Do things you enjoy
Learning something new each day can be really good for our wellbeing, as it helps us view the world from a range of perspectives, makes it easier to adapt to new situations and inspires creativity within us. - Mind
- Make to-do lists. Split them up into long term and what you need to do today. The brain loves ticking things off, if you can tick off some small quick wins earlier in the day, you’ll feel motivated to keep going.
- Do something fun and creative - painting, drawing, sewing etc. all helps to give your brain mindful time.
- Watch an episode or two of your favourite TV show, sometimes we need to switch off for a few hours.
Your environment makes a difference
“I love having fresh flowers around – now spring has sprung I love the colours and the smells!”
- Get some fresh air and vitamin D . Looking at something that isn't a screen helps you to feel calmer and get perspective.
You’re not alone
Staying in touch with my friends and family really helps me! My friends and I arrange our own virtual pub quizzes every Friday night which are so fun and makes not being able to see them a little bit easier.
- Stay connected with your friends and family.
Help is there if you need it!
Remember there are a lot of resources out there if you do need to reach out for help, including creating a ‘Mind Plan’ on the NHS Every Mind Matters website which gives you tips based on five questions you answer.
The Samaritans helpline is available 24 hours of the day - call free on 116 123. There are a range of different mental health helplines available on the NHS website.
Find out more about more urgent support on the Every Mind Matters website.