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Making your Mental Health a Priority
by Elise Parkes |
We asked the Glow Hub community over on Instagram some Mental Health Q’s & you all answered. The results…
70% of you wish you could talk about mental health more.
63% don't know how to make your mental health a priority.
Mental health is not a *taboo* and talking about how we feel can help us break_down those invisible barriers that we sometimes feel are there. By opening up the conversation, normalising bad mental health days, asking for help and sharing the reality that we don’t always feel 100% and that is OKAY… means we have the ability to not only help ourselves but to help each other. So, here’s our top tips on making mental health a priority, how to help others and resources for yourself 😊 Let’s get into it…
Making your Mental Health a Priority
Sometimes it’s easy to take our mental health for granted, to prioritise something else, to put it off till next week... It can all feel a bit too big, too hard and overwhelming. Tbh, even knowing what making your mental health a priority actually means can be tricky. To get you started, here’s 7 small things that everyone can do today to positively benefit their mental health...
- Be active and eat well. Our physical and mental health is actually really closely linked. So adding in exercise (even if it’s just a leisurely stroll) and nutritious food is also actually prioritisng your mental health.
- Get outside. The theme for this years’ Mental Health Awareness Week, connecting with nature. Get into a green space (community garden, nearby open space) and use all your senses. Listen out for the birds, watch the clouds move, breathe in the fresh air.
- Sleep & rest. Sleep affects both our physical and mental health and often when times are busy, stressful or overwhelming it keeps us up. Resources like Headspace or listening to white noise can help you wind down into a restful sleep.
- Balance! Take time for the things you enjoy when it all feels a bit much. Read your favourite book. See a close friend. Connect with a loved one.
- Start learning how to manage *your* stress. Everyone is different, it may be yoga, journaling or something else entirely.
- Confidence building. Taking on a new challenge or excelling at something you’re already good at helps give a sense of achievement.
- Reach out for help. Everyone needs support from time to time, some more than others. Talking to a family member, a friend, your doctor or one of the many services available can make all the difference…
Talking About Your Mental Health
Talking about how you feel can be tricky. Maybe you just don’t know where to start. Maybe you’re struggling to find the right words to describe what you're feeling. Sharing those thoughts, especially when they’re aren’t positive ones can feel overwhelming. However, when you start talking about your mental health it really does help you realise that you’re not alone. The Child Mind Institutes top tips are -
- Go at your own pace. It’s okay to start of small and take things slowly. Talking about your mental health is more than just one conversation, and there’s no need to share everything all at once to just one person.
- Don’t downplay. A lot of the time we tend to try and make light of serious subjects, so it’s important to communicate that what you’re feeling is something significant and important to your daily wellbeing.
- Don’t worry about messing up. Try to plan in advance what you want to say but don’t worry about going off script. What’s important is that you’re telling people how you feel and asking for help.
- Talk to people you trust. Your best friend. Your Mum. A teacher. Your Boss. Even people on the internet, if they’re part of a trusted community. Your support system can come from anywhere, and if needed they can help you get in touch with a professional too.
From talking about your mental health, to where to get help near you, treatment options and advocacy services. Here’s who to contact -
Mind: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helplines/ 0300 123 3393
Helping Someone Else
Talking about your own mental health can be tricky enough, but it can also be super hard to know what to do when supporting someone else with a mental health problem. From helping others deal with anxiety and panic attacks, to bereavement or an eating problem, Mind have specific information for helping friends, family, carers and others give support while taking care of themselves too. Take a look here.