This coming Saturday, World Mental Heath Day will be celebrated across the globe.
Hundreds of organisations develop campaigns to help people improve their mental health. For example, Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust has #ten4ten, launching a rap video about 10 ways you can look after your mental health and wellbeing. You can get involved with it here.
And Mind’s campaign is #doonething, which encourages people to do one new thing, for better mental health. A wide range of downloadable resources, including a calendar, is available here
But how do people who work within mental health organisations look after their own mental health? We asked people from Pathfinder organisations for their own tips, and in particular how these linked to the five ways to wellbeing. Here’s what they had to say:
"I like to bring a cup of tea with me outside or in front of an open window and focus on its taste, regardless of what the weather is like; I follow 10 minutes yoga videos when I work from home and I need a break; talking to family; reading and painting." Denisa
"Taking care of my mental health is so important to me. I meditate daily, walk briskly mostly and also go for pleasure walks too where I stop to notice nature or sounds etc. I have just started swimming, which I find therapeutic. But my real relaxation is when I cook. I love to cook wholesome soups and my favourite is lentil with garlic, parsley and lemon... mmmmm" Tor
"I've been gradually working out what I need to do daily/weekly for my physical and mental health. This started with RED January but has been mainly developed during lockdown:
Exercise: yoga every morning; walk/cardio/strength exercise every day.
Relax: daily meditation and/or tapping practise; read before bed.
Sleep: get some morning light every day; reduce tech in the evening; no caffeine after midday; magnesium supplements; earlier night.
Connect: talk to my mum every day; try to talk to/see someone outside my day to day home/work circle at least a couple of times a week.
Take notice: meditate every day; get outside every morning
Keep learning: Italian every day, listen to a podcast 2 -3 times a week" Toni
"I get out in the fresh air, usually with the dog, and take notice of nature. Even on what I call a ‘quick pavement walk’, there are trees around and beauty to see. It makes such a difference to me.
If I’m stressed and can’t get outside, I focus on my breathing instead." Debbie
"Getting out and about is really important for my mental health. Everything feels better after a nice long walk to tire me out, then a cup of tea when I get home. I also enjoy giving my time to various charities, including Mind, and I get a great sense of wellbeing from doing so." Daniel
"Gardening is one of my favourite ways to Connect with myself and with nature. There is something calming and humbling about being out in the garden, at the beach or in the woods. It keeps me Active, helps me Notice the small things and I'm Learning something new every day, as I'm brand new to the world of gardening!
Long walks help with this too, for many of the same reasons. I also love spending time with friends and family and supporting them in whatever way I can, which help me Connect and increase my wellbeing by Giving, emotionally and physically." Emily
"I really enjoy doing Zumba classes - I find myself smiling for the whole 45 minutes! It's great to be active, be connected to others and really take notice of the moment. There I also learn new 'routines' to the music and am giving myself the permission to do something that is just for me. I also love going for mindful walks with my children and noticing the world around us by identifying 5 different things we can hear, or 5 things that are green." Kim
"I run, swim in an outdoor pool in the summer, cook and take lots of long baths. I find water very relaxing, so also taking walks by the beach is another favourite activity. I also love spending time in a coffee shop just reading and people watching over a nice brew." Sophie
"I make time every day to do something for myself - usually listening to an audio book (the WSCC library app is great), paint some minatures, read a book, or have a brisk walk." Kerrin