Feeling anxious, stressed or generally unhappy?
We know it’s important to look after our mental health, but in stressful times that is far easier said than done.
Here are some basic ways you can look after your mental health in your day-to-day life.
We are stronger, happier and healthier when we connect with others. If you are feeling down, it is even more important to try and keep in contact with people. It can help you feel supported when you need it most.
While face-to-face connection is beneficial, it is not always possible. But there are still many ways we can connect as a vital part of self-care.
Some ways to connect others:
If you feel in need of immediate support, we have a list of urgent support resources or call 000.
Grounding techniques, or mindfulness, can help you focus on how your body is feeling in the moment. It helps reduce feeling overwhelmed. Essentially, grounding works by distracting you from negative emotions and thoughts.
One technique is to go through your five senses, one by one, taking note of what you can hear, smell, touch, see or taste.
Once you have become more aware of how you are feeling and your surroundings, take some slow breaths and bring yourself back to the present.
“Many people find it calming to take a moment to check in with how your body is feeling by focusing on your different senses. Then you ask yourself, 'does my anxiety match the circumstances I am in?'” said Jenny Field, Windermere Mental Health and Wellbeing counsellor.
When there are so many unknowns, it can be helpful to focus on what we can control, rather than what we can’t.
“It’s useful to go back to basic routines when we are trying to deal with so many external changes. Routines can provide stability during times of uncertainty. It’s about doing the things that you already know work for you and your family,” says Jenny.
Some suggestions include:
Children will generally be aware of things that are causing concern amongst adults and may also worry.
It can be useful to:
Certain events, locations or situations can be a reminder of the past and especially distressing.
If your current circumstance is causing distress due to past trauma, it can be helpful to think of the differences between now and then. For example, you are in a safe place and in control of the decisions you make in your own home.
The below organisations provide useful mental health resources. You can also contact them if you have a concern or need urgent assistance.
Black Dog Institute
Resources for understanding and supporting mental health.