Last Saturday, 10th October was World Mental Health Day 2020 and the theme this year was ‘Mental Health for All’. It’s a very important subject at the moment, especially for those of us who are feeling isolated, lonely or anxious due to the new announcements for Covid-19 prevention restrictions this week.
How can we recognise if our mental health is suffering?
If you are experiencing symptoms such as mood swings, prolonged sadness or irritation, excessive anxiety and worry, changes in your sleeping or eating habits and social withdrawal then your mental health could be at risk and it’s a good time to start looking after yourself.
How can we support our mental health at home?
- Stop feeling guilty
First of all it’s important not to feel guilty. Many people, especially women, feel guilty about everything and carry around this guilt every day. No one’s perfect and we shouldn’t worry about things that are out of our control. Try to stop the negative chatter in your head that makes you feel guilty for small things.
- Meditate in silence
It’s almost a cliché these days, but take some time every morning and evening to meditate and clear your mind. Wake up a little earlier than usual and make a cup of tea. Light a candle and sit in front of it in a relaxed position. Close your eyes and place your attention (and your hand if it helps for a while) on the top of your head – the Crown Chakra. Breathe slowly pausing in between exhaling and inhaling. Become aware of every thought passing through your mind and then let it go. Bring your attention back to the top of your head. Keep doing this until your thoughts subside and you can listen to the silence all around you. After 10 minutes you can open your eyes and feel more relaxed. Let the candle burn and clear the negativity in the room for a while. Try this exercise again before you go to sleep.
The best type of exercise for mental health is aerobic because it gets the heart pumping and the endorphins (happy hormones) flowing. Aerobics can include jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing. All have been found to reduce anxiety and depression. So put your favourite music on and dance around the kitchen!
- Pamper yourself
Looking after your body can help uplift your mood. Light a candle, play some relaxing music and take a long, hot bath with your favourite bubbles and essential oils. Exfoliate your skin to get the blood flowing and afterwards massage yourself with a relaxing body moisturiser. You’ll have a great night’s sleep after that!
- Have a good laugh
If you are feeling sad and alone, try watching something that never fails to put a smile on your face! A good thing to watch might be ‘You’ve Been Framed’ on TV – cheesy, but never fails to cheer people up! Find your favourite comedian or comedy show – watch re-runs of Friends on Netflix – or whatever rocks your boat!
Finally if you are feeling very depressed try a herbal remedy like St John’s Wort or talk to your GP. Hopefully you will soon be on the road to good mental health, optimism and positivity.
All the best from Chic & Raw