The past year has brought great loss and uncertainty for many people throughout the world. As if being confronted by an unprecedented global pandemic wasn’t enough of a strain, bereavement, redundancies and isolation have conspired to leave a trail of mental health issues in their wake.
If you’ve been struggling, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that one in five adults in the UK have experienced depressive thoughts in the last twelve months – and the real figure is likely to be higher.
There really is no shame in admitting things have been hard. In fact, fear, anxiety and anguish are mental responses hard-wired into our DNA. They are part of the human condition.
Yet, while we often cannot control the manifestation of these thoughts and feelings, we can drastically reduce the impact they have on our lives.
Here are five things members of our team have found to be helpful in boosting their mental health.
There’s simply nothing better for your mental health than talking to somebody about the problems you’re dealing with. It doesn’t matter if that somebody is a loved one or a stranger – the effects are transformative.
Discussing our issues allows us to break them down into more manageable pieces, bringing perspective and clarity during moments when everything can feel all too foggy. But more importantly still – it simply means you’re not facing your troubles alone. There is always someone out there who wants to help – you just have to take that first step and reach out.
Do you have a garden? Or live near a park? Maybe you’re not far from a great beauty spot, or the coast is within an hour’s drive? With restrictions being gradually lifted, now’s the time to get out there and reconnect with nature.
Studies have found that immersing oneself in the tranquillity of nature has profoundly positive effects on our mental and physical health. The exercise, aromas, sounds and views on offer release happy chemicals in our brain, while simply escaping the confines of your home can be an elixir that rejuvenates tired minds.
With so many apps now jostling for space in the wellness market, it can be hard knowing which one is right for you. Our advice? Try a few, make use of free trials, and see what you think!
From 3-minute meditation exercises, to deep-dives into spirituality and lifestyle monitoring, there is now an app for every experience level and need. We could probably all do with a little less tech in our lives at times – but wellness apps are one area where it really can be an ally in your quest for better mental health.
The human body is a system of smaller interconnected systems, so there really is some truth in the saying “you are what you eat”. A healthy mind needs a healthy, balanced diet. That means lots of fruit and veg, vitamins, fresh ingredients and regular eating times wherever possible.
With various recipe box delivery services now catering for the explosion in home cooking seen over lockdown, there’s never been more options for those of us needing a little more inspiration. And if cooking just isn’t your thing? Simply getting more of the healthy stuff into your belly can still do wonders for your mental wellbeing.
We’ve all been sleep deprived at some point, so we all know how important a good night’s rest is. Getting adequate sleep not only allows your brain to repair the neurons and pathways that are so critical to memory, concentration and response – it also removes toxins and other nasty stuff like cortisol, all of which build up over the course of the day.
Different people require different amounts of sleep, of course – and this changes with your age. Just listen to your body and prioritise a healthy mind over that one last episode on Netflix. Because ultimately, a sharp brain equips you with the right tools to process negative thoughts more effectively.
Call NABS on 0800 707 6607 between 9am – 5.30pm or email firstname.lastname@example.org for tailored advice and guidance, whatever your level or experience. Or, for support right now, call Samaritans anytime on 116 123, they are open 24 hours a day.