Taking Care of Your Mental Health
Sometimes life can feel overwhelming, juggling work, family life, bills, debts, furlough, bereavement and throw quarantine into the mix and you get a perfect storm. Its little wonder why more and more people are suffering with their mental health during this uncertain time.
We are experiencing a new world and the last few months will change everything we do going forwards. That thought alone is terrifying to some, and its hard to see how things will work out. The news and social media pages are full of mixed messages and advice which only adds to the stress we are already feeling.
Dealing with your mental health alone can be incredibly isolating and you may find that the last few months have really taken their toll on you. There are no quick fixes to combat poor mental health or depression, but there are things that you can try that may help you.
Accept – Accept how you feel. Sounds simple without beating yourself up for feeling this way. Say to yourself ‘I am struggling, I’m feeling low, I’m not coping, but its okay’. Once you acknowledge how you feel you can do something about it. Feeling this way is normal and acceptable and you are allowed to feel this way.
Change – Change what you do. You may find yourself falling into a rut which can spiral into depression. If you get up, spend the day on the sofa, and achieve nothing day after day, you will feel worse. Set yourself a task every day. It may be as simple as ‘today I am going to go for a walk’, or today I am going to have a shower when I get up. Set yourself little goals to achieve and if you don’t achieve them today, its okay, set new goals for tomorrow.
Talk – Talk to a family member or organisation such as the Samaritans. Talking your problems through out loud is extremely cathartic. Once you have spoken the words ‘I am not okay’, you will feel a relief that you have acknowledged how you feel. Talk to someone you trust, the last thing you need is someone telling you to just ‘get over it’. Chances are, you will realise that you are not alone in feeling this way.
Spoil – Treat yourself. Take a long bubble bath, cook your favourite meal, watch your favourite programmes, call an old friend. When you are happy and relaxed your body releases serotonin which is the happy hormone.
Break – Give yourself a break from the media. The more you surround yourself with negativity, the more you will absorb it. Give yourself a break from the doom and gloom that is surrounding us at the moment. The saying ‘ignorance is bliss’ is worth taking note of.
Exercise and diet – It may feel seem like the last thing that you want to do, but exercise helps clear the mind and can make you feel rejuvenated and cutting out slow burning, fatty foods will stop you from feeling so sluggish.
Understand – Understand that this feeling will pass, as will the crisis, as will the isolation. You may not feel this way at the moment but you will not feel this way forever.
Help – Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether its contacting suppliers that you owe payments too, or speaking to your GP, don’t suffer alone. These people are trained to help you and they will.
For help contact any of the following
Samaritans – 116 123 – www.samaritans.org
CALM for men – 0800 585858
NHS - 111