Saturday marked World Mental Health Day. It is important every year, but this year it felt even more vital.
2020 has been a crazy year with the overuse of the word “unprecedented” rendering it almost meaningless. The mental health impact of the resulting uncertainty on people all over the world has been immense.
So how can we best protect ourselves and our loved ones?
These are a few of my top tips:
Let It Out. Bottling our feelings helps nobody. True, there are some people and places that do not lend themselves to emotional outpourings, but that doesn’t mean that there’s never a good time. Personally, I prefer to cry alone but there has been a lot of face leakage in this house while watching movies with Tilly. Letting it out removes its power to choke you.
Let It Go. My favourite quotes on this
“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die” Buddha
“Sometimes the first step to forgiveness is understanding the other person is batshit crazy” unknown
Rest. Sleep is seriously underrated as a medicine for both our physical and mental ailments.
Move. Moving our bodies releases toxins and releases endorphins that make us feel happier. When I’m grumpy, I know what I need most to help me get through the day is a workout. If at all possible, combine movement with going outside for a double hit of natural good stuff. And as an extra bonus, going outside for a walk is free.
Talk. Friends, family members, professionals it doesn’t matter who you connect with, but talking it out can save lives.
Shift your focus. Where we place our attention is what grows, so if we focus entirely on our problems, they only get bigger. One of the main reasons I started, and have continued, my Totally Awesome Happiness group is that by choosing to identify and express happiness over something every day, you can improve your general state of mind. On Friday my fridge freezer died on me. I had just filled it up, and over the course of the weekend have thrown out over £100 worth of ruined food. I chose to express gratitude for the bar fridge I borrowed from the office to save the milk, juice and a handful of veggies.
What else have you been doing to support your mental health?
Have you noticed any of your loved ones needing help?
It’s something we all have. If we are sentient, we have mental health. Have you ever seen an animal in a zoo going around and around frenetically in circles? That’s an acute mental health crisis playing out in front of you.
If you’d like some help with your healthy mental habits, please join my happiness group. I am also launching a group programme very soon and you can register your interest here.