Throughout this week, our team of Mental Health First Aid Champions have shared their knowledge with our employees on mental health issues.
They have looked at workplace stress, depression and anxiety, and, on World Mental Health Day itself, suicide prevention. As a final piece in their series, they offer some helpful "How to" advice on looking after our mental heath:
Why and when some of these problems occur cannot always be predicted but it has been proved that by looking after yourself physically and mentally you are less likely to succumb to mental health problems. The Department of Health states that "there is a two way relationship between wellbeing and health: health influences wellbeing and wellbeing itself influences health"
So what is wellbeing? The dictionary definition says it is "the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy" which sounds great but how do we achieve this? Obviously not everyone finds pleasure in the same things but the Mental Health Foundation has come up with a list of 10 things which if followed will help, to varying degrees, to improve your wellbeing:
Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. Pick somebody that you trust, a friend, a family member or one of the MHFAs (see pictures below if you are not sure who they are).
Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and feel better. Exercise keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy, and is also a significant benefit towards improving your mental health.
Your brain needs a mix of nutrients in order to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body. A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.
We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary. When the drink wears off, you feel worse because of the way the alcohol has affected your brain and the rest of your body. Drinking is not a good way to manage difficult feelings.
There’s nothing better than catching up with someone face to face, but that’s not always possible. You can also give them a call, drop them a note, or chat to them online instead. Keep the lines of communication open: it’s good for you!
None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help. Please see our MHFA emails for links to helpful websites. We will soon be putting a lot of resources on Elvis but please ask if you need any recommendations for websites or organisations that deal with your particular concern.
A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute walk round the block, a lunch break away from your desk, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’. Try a meditation app on your phone to give your mind a quick intensive break.
What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself can help beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it, and achieving something boosts your self-esteem
We’re all different. It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else. Feeling good about yourself boosts your confidence to learn new skills, visit new places and make new friends. Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn.
Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together. Caring for a pet can improve your wellbeing too.
You may already be doing some of the above but the more you do the more your wellbeing will increase.
Here are some links that you may find useful:
Many thanks, Your Ecovis Mental Health First Aid Champions