WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY
All things Shall pass
By Nicole Gallacher
Looking good on the outside doesn’t count for much if you’re not feeling good on the inside. Sometimes we need a reminder of that. We know working through mental health issues can feel like a heavy and often private experience - in lockdown, even more so. Good mental wellbeing doesn’t mean you’re always happy or unaffected by your experiences. But poor mental wellbeing can make it more difficult to cope with daily life. It’s a universal comfort knowing that you’re not alone, on your good days, darker days and on #WorldMentalHealthDay too. Following the guidance of Mind Charity, we’re sharing the One Thing you can do to show support for better mental health for all.
A Problem Halved is a Problem Solved
Open up to a friend
Talking can be a way to cope with a problem you’ve been carrying around in your head for a while. Just being listened to can help you feel supported and less alone. And it works both ways. If you open up, it might encourage others to do the same. It’s not always easy to describe how you’re feeling. If you can’t think of one word, use lots. What does it feel like inside your head? What does it make you feel like doing?
Move your Body
Experts believe exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate, sleep and feel better.
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.
Attending a female-only exercise class or a ladies-only swimming session may help to overcome anxiety as a barrier to initially starting to exercise.
Exercising with a companion can also help to reduce anxiety about how your body looks to others, and may be particularly helpful during the first few exercise sessions. Plenty of gyms in the UK offer guest passes when you introduce a friend, it's also a great way of finding the best studio for you.
The studio or environment can also influence how you feel; gyms with mirrored walls tend to heighten anxiety, as does exercising near a window or other space where you might feel ‘on show’. Opt for a studios and workouts like Hotpod Yoga, HeartCore, SoulCycle or Les Mills BodyBalance to find enjoyment in the class first.
Make time and find balance by adding exercise into your schedule.
What time do you have available for exercise? You may need to rejig commitments to make room for extra activities, or choose something that fits into your busy schedule. Read our Finding Balance journal to see tips on how you can learn to prioritise yourself.
It’s really important to set goals to measure progress, which might motivate you. We all have different reasons for why we work out, for some it's 30 minutes to ourself others it's running accomplishments or a habitual class that puts our minds at ease. Try using a pedometer or an app on your smartphone to measure your speed and distance travelled, how many steps you've done, or add on an extra stomach crunch or swim an extra length at the end of your session.
Lean On Me
Care for others
Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together. I also believe when you're feeling down unexpectedly, it might mean you miss someone. Reach out to the ones that pick you up, inspire you and make you laugh and play. If you're feeling a little more lonely, why not compliment a stranger? Whether it's their dog they are walking, a nice coat or their non disposable face mask, everyone loves receiving a compliment and you might even make their day. Alternatively, join a local meditation studio or gym. Try and go to a class you can fit in each week, this means you'll become a friendly face and be able to connect to people outside of your usual bubble.
Take a break
Your biggest commitment must always be yourself
Achange of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’.
Lastly, we recommend if you are suffering from your Mental Health or want to learn how to help someone else, to seek support and advice from these supported services.