This week was mental health awareness week, so I thought I’d do my little bit to promote this (albeit a bit late). I, myself, have my up and down days (as does everyone) however I’m fortunate not to ever experience a mental health condition (touch wood). However I can only imagine how horrible and isolating it would be, due to the unnecessary stigma mental health has attached to it. As a nation, we need to get rid of this stigma and FAST! Why are people afraid to talk about mental health? Not talking about it, actually makes people suffering with mental health problems more vulnerable, as people feel like they are unable to admit that they are unwell and therefore cannot access the help they desperately need.
What can we do to help?
If you know someone who is depressed or stressed, ask them if they’re okay. Sounds simple right? But doing this will enable the individual to know that they are wanted, loved and cared for, even if they don’t feel like talking, it’s the thought that counts! Make sure they know that you’re there for them and that they can rely on you!
How can we help maintain good mental health?
Unfortunately some mental health problems are inevitable and cannot be prevented. But here are some useful tips to avoid stress, which is a big contributor to ill health:
- Go for a walk – take a 20 minute walk and pay attention to the sights, smells and sounds around you. Enable your brain to take a break and just emerge yourself in the moment – those emails can wait until you return, no one will die!
- Take photos – using your camera to capture moments is a great way to remind you of the good times you have had and the wonderful things you have seen. So next time you see something beautiful that makes you smile, take a photo so a few weeks down the line you can smile at it once more!
- Turn off your phone – look up from your phone, looking down all the time will stop you from seeing the amazing things around you! Who knows what you may see or who you may bump in to! (fingers crossed it’s David Beckham…)
- Take up a hobby – if you spend you’re whole time working, when are you going to de-stress and have some fun? Go do something you LOVE and something which you can’t help but smile!
Good Mood Food
My workplace is currently promoting good mental health and well-being, in light of Mental Health Awareness Week. We were given a list of foods that were grouped under the title of “Good Mood Foods” and we were encouraged to bring some in for our tea break last Thursday. We were told to be as creative as we wanted.
For those of you wondering what foods were on this list they includede: Brazil Nuts, Oats, Lentils, Banana, Dark Chocolate, Yoghurt, Strawberries, Peanuts, Chicken, Watermelon, Oranges, Cottage Cheese, Sunflower seeds, Beans and Salmon.
I chose to make a Orange Layer Cake… okay so I know cake isn’t on that list, but oranges were and hey, we were told to be inventive (also I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like cake and it is guaranteed to put me in a better mood!)
I am not a renowned baker, in fact this was the first time I had ever baked for work. I followed the Mary Berry recipe on the BBC Good Food website minus the glazed icing topping. And here’s the finished result:
It’s safe to say it went down a treat at work and I was informed that it put people in a better mood, wahey! 🙂
At work this week we are going to have an afternoon session on how to be mindful NOT have a full mind! Mindfulness is all about paying attention to what is happening in the present moment, not worrying about the past and future. The session is going to provide us with helpful exercises to enable us to be mindful and to be aware of our feelings and what our body is telling us. I thought it would be helpful for me to share some of these exercises and tips that I learn on Tuesday, with you all! So keep an eye out for my blog post on Wednesday about this, in the meantime visit the MHAW website here: http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/mentalhealthawarenessweek/what-is-mindfulness/
I wish you all a stress free and positive week!