Mindful May – Mental Health Awareness Week.
It’s mental health awareness week in the UK this week, which I am sure many of you will be aware of. The theme was originally going to be ‘sleep’ but has recently changed to ‘kindness’.
As we find ourselves in these strange times of Covid-19 it is predicted there will be a tsunami of mental health issues that will occur as a result of this global pandemic. I wanted to write a bit about what you can do to reassure yourself you are doing the best you can possibly do in these unprecedented times.
From this blog I wanted to raise two main points. Firstly, it’s ok to not be ok. If life were good all of the time, this would become the new norm, and we would have an elevated expectation of what to expect each day. In the current situation it is really important to take one day as it comes. Try to focus your attention on the things you can control, and attempt not to worry about the things you can’t. For example, you can control who you speak to each day, but you may not be able to control when and how you will return to work.
We have all had different experiences in life to date, and as a result we all have learnt various ways to handle ourselves and situations. It is important not to compare yourself to others and try to replicate what they are doing. Just because they are using certain techniques to cope, this doesn’t mean it’s the optimal way for you to handle getting through these times. If your competitor has thrown themselves into their work as a distraction technique, you may need to let the foot of the gas when it comes to the number of hours working if you find yourself juggling more balls than normal with home-schooling, homeworking, partners at home etc. Do what works best for you and release the self-pressure if needs be.
Secondly, it is more important than ever to be kind, not just to others but to yourself. Give yourself a break from normality from time to time, do something you want to do just because you can, not just complete tasks that you think you should be doing. Even if you take yourself away from normality for 5 minutes, and do some deep breathing, read a chapter of your book, or simply listen to one of your favourite songs, you will be doing yourself a real favour. Not only that, if you feel better in yourself, you will work more productively and be more effective in other areas of your life, allowing positivity to have a ripple effect to those surrounding you.
Mental health plays a vital role in your whole-body health. If you are aware of how you are feeling mentally, you will be in a great position. Even if you know you are not feeling as mentally strong at times, if you are aware of this, you can seek help from both yourself and others to try to help climb back into a positive mental health state. By eating a range of plant-based foods (eat the rainbow is one of my favourite sayings), by sticking to a good sleep/wake routine, and by exercising each day preferably outside, these are all ways you can be kind to yourself and elevate your mental health.
Not all days will be good, especially in the strange times we find ourselves in. However, by being kind to yourself, you will give yourself a better chance of being healthy in all aspects of your life. For more information please do get in touch at www.doctor-me.co.uk.