WRITTEN BY MEGAN L.
Though Mental Health Week already passed, this article is still very important. Please keep reading below. Thank you to all of the participants!
Mental Health Awareness
How are you?
Mental health awareness week is fast approaching, so we have complied some articles that might help you. Mental health is such an important subject and should be addressed a whole lot more than it already is. Especially during this difficult time, it’s important to take steps to protect your mental health and look after yourself.
We are going through a time of uncertainty and everything has temporarily changed. You may be feeling bored, frustrated and alone, but I promise you, you are not alone. It’s really okay to not be okay.
Looking after your mental health whilst being at home…
The news and the media can be overwhelming, so make sure to manage your media consumption. Moreover, the news isn’t always right, fake news and rumours spread; there will be lots of speculation during these uncertain times. You can choose when you want to learn and follow the progression of what’s happening from reliable sources. If it’s causing you excess stress, anxiety or panic, please avoid it where possible.
In addition to this, switch off from any negativity and cut it out where possible. Stop checking that one Social Media channel and un-follow any accounts you know aren’t going to make you feel great.
Do you find yourself reaching for your phone or device out of habit? Even whilst watching TV? Or find it difficult switching from your phone? Whilst watching TV try diving into a creative project or find a new book or game to play. Find something else to keep you busy that you love doing to replace your usual scrolling habits.
Log Off Once in a While
Stay connected and grounded to your friends, family and loved ones. This is a great time for positive communication; you have a lot of time to have long talks.
Plan your day and create a new daily routine to keep a sense of normality and stability, or find one thing you do every day (whatever that may be) and stick with it. This doesn’t have to be anything substantial if you don’t want it to be, it could be small things like meal times or a self-care routine.
Try a new relaxation technique, make sure to get more sleep and improve your sleep pattern. Give yourself up to two hours to wind down before bed. Indulge in fresh clean sheets, a warm shower, try to avoid looking at screens or give that book a go you’ve been wanting to try.
If you are able, completing daily physical activity can be extremely beneficial. If you are restricted to a full house and are rarely able to find your own space for a little quiet, a great reprieve could be taking your daily exercise and potentially at different times to the rest of your household if possible.
Mental Health and Wellbeing Q&A
When it comes to mental health, we all struggle in different ways and have our own way of processing. When addressing any mental health issues, we understand this and want to include a range of responses to our following questions. As it isn’t a one answer fits all; we want to make sure can you see a range of advice.
Do you have any tips for looking after your mental health?
“My top 3 tips for looking after your mental health are:
1. Don’t keep your thoughts bottled up.
Whatever your thinking about, no matter how stupid you think it might sound, just talk to someone. It doesn’t have to be a deep or heavy conversation, just saying a worry out loud can you make you feel a lot better.
For years I ignored anyone who spoke about the benefits of exercise, however once I tried it, I realised it really does work wonders. It makes your brain focus on the psychical and releases feel good chemicals in your brain.
3. Have a happy list.
I’ve written out a list of things that make me feel better when I’m down, from memes that make me belly laugh, to my favourite snacks, smells and songs. Whenever I’m having a down day I just read through the list, pick one and let it cheer me up”
– Katie, @katieramsingh
What’s the best advice you’ve received regarding mental health?
“Learn and continue to remind yourself that just because it happened in the past, doesn’t mean it will happen again today. Speak kind words to yourself daily. Be transparent with yourself, and accept that even with all your flaws you’re still 100% badass. And never be afraid to ask for help!”
– Jennie, @journalbyjen
How do you boost your wellbeing whilst staying indoors?
“Being a freelancer and having to work from home everyday can be a lonely experience, so I’ve created a positive weekly routine to keep my mind sane and productive. I’ve also created a ‘feel good’ kit for whenever I feel down.
From time to time, I de-clutter my space and give unneeded things to charity, anything that doesn’t spark joy. A clear space helps me have a clear mind. I’ve set up my desk at home with some: cute stationery to make me smile, pictures of my favourite paintings to keep me creative, some houseplants and also Japanese-style lucky cats. It all helps me to work productively.
Setting up (and sticking to) a weekly routine balances my workload and personal time, keeping my mind positive and my life structured. I like to visualise my whole week in advance:
Monday, I work on admin stuff.
Tuesday, I work for clients.
Wednesday is about personal hobbies: reading, hula hooping, watching a Korean TV drama or catching up with friends on the phone.
Thursday, I’m back on client projects.
Friday, I do some coaching’s and also catch-up with fellow freelancers.
Try to balance work and personal time over the weekend.
I like stocking some ‘feel good’ products in my flat for when I’m having a bad (or stressful) day – or just when I want to treat myself after a long week. I always have some Korean face masks in my bathroom to pamper myself, new books and magazines when I need to relax, some basic Asian food ingredients when I want to cook to clear my mind, and I always have my wireless Karaoke-style microphone fully charged, just in case I want to sing Beyoncé really loudly to get rid of stress :)”
– Kim, @kimdoesmarketing
What ritual do you have to manage a low mental health day?
“For me, my day is filled with a lot of self care. Since I’m quarantining with family, I can’t spend a lot of time on my own dedicated to myself, so I mainly focus on activities I can do with/in the presence of my family.
On low mental health days, I find that I focus a lot more on boosting my physical health (which is interesting, because there are studies that show links between mental and physical health). Whether it is from eating “healthy foods” such as smoothie bowls instead of bread, or encouraging myself to be a little more physically active than usual.
During the day, I try to avoid going on my phone and laptop as much, since I find that they occupy way too much of my time and they don’t really improve how I’m feeling. Except for when I’m messaging or connecting with my friends.
Instead, I finish reading that book I’ve always been working on or play the piano – one of my favourite instruments that I’ve played since I was four. Near the end of the day, I go through my skincare routine for the second time that day, finish off with a nice face mask in a bubble bath, watching Netflix (I’m re-watching Grey’s right now!).
So, that’s my routine for a low mental health day, I guess. It’s not always this perfect though, and this ritual doesn’t necessarily improve my mental health nor will it do so for others for sure. But it’s a great way for me to de-stress, focus on myself, and really spend time dedicated myself rather than others.”
– Olivia, @dewyillustration
What physical activity do you do to manage a low mental health day?
“On a low mental health day, it’s necessary for me to either do yoga to be calm or go for a run, sometimes both. Running has helped me in the past when my mental health was suffering and it is my go to activity to clear my head.”
– Selena, @lunabeautyukyuk
How do you take your mind off things?
“During this difficult time, I watch a lot of cartoon movies and play video games (Animal Crossing). As well as exploring new TV shows on Netflix.”
What advice would you give to someone struggling through this difficult time?
“Tell yourself that this is only temporary, and things will go back to normal. Until then, take this time to focus on yourself and your wellbeing. Try to fill your day doing activities that make you feel calm, safe and happy. Remember, it’s also okay if all you do for the first few days/weeks is stay home and watch movies. These days are not normal, and you shouldn’t force yourself to be “productive”. We are not stuck at home by choice, don’t let the pressure get to you.”
A massive thank you to all those who participated and gave some of their advice! We hope you were able to find these useful and maybe found something to try for yourself.
What advise would you give for any of these questions? Let us know down below!
If you found this helpful, keep an eye out for our upcoming articles. We will be going more into detail on: the benefits of being kind to yourself to protect your mental health and how you can transform your self-talk.
If you would like any more information, tips and advice from looking after your mental health, working from home, finance and housing, please visit:
If you are struggling with any Mental Health afflictions or want to access any mental health services, please visit:
NHS Every Mind Matters:
Mind Support Services:
Day or night contact a Samaritan:
Call: 116 123
Email: [email protected]
Are you an NHS worker? Or do you know an NHS worker that needs extra support during this crisis? Please visit the NHS hotline service: