Mental Health Awareness Week – 10 ways you can look after your mental wellbeing each day Liz is a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and has kindly provided us with some great advice to share with you this Mental Health Awareness Week. Liz is also co-founder of Heads2Minds. She is passionate about mental health awareness and has recently spoken on BBC Radio Suffolk, BBC World News and BBC Radio 5 about the subject of mental health and mental wellbeing She also writes content for websites such as NHS and Mental Health UK. 10 ways you can look after your mental wellbeing each day 21 May 2020 - Written by Liz Rotherham Covid-19 has changed our world massively. It has given us time to take stock of what is important and what we value in our lives. It can be stressful and worrying for people and it is hard not to become overwhelmed with the current situation. Mental ill-health has increased amongst people and some are experiencing issues that they have never had before - anxiety, low mood, stress, being alone, bereavement. You need to look after your mental health just as much as your physical health. If you hurt yourself during exercise you would not ignore the pain and carry on, so why do we not address the issues we are experiencing in our minds? There are little things you can do daily to help with your mental wellbeing: 1. Stay connected with your friends and family. You can do this via social media or by phone. We are unable to hug family members who live outside of our household at the moment but we can still talk to them. 2. Be active. Go on a walk or a bike ride to get some fresh air. Spend time in nature and appreciate the beauty we have in our world. 3. Take notice and remain in the now. I know we are all worried about what is currently happening in the world but try, if you can, to concentrate on what is happening at this very moment. Currently we can’t change what is happening so make the most of the situation and take the positives – spending more time at home with your family, catching up with friends and family virtually, and having the time to complete those tasks you’ve been putting off for a while. 4. Learning new things. You could take up a new hobby or learn a new skill. There are currently lots of free or discounted courses online. 5. Give and share kindness. It does not cost anything to be kind and you might change someone’s day just by a smile or a phone call. You could also get involved with some volunteering activities to help someone in need. 6. Structure your day. Write out a daily planner to help keep yourself focused - whether you are working from home, home-schooling, or self-isolating. 7. Practise gratitude. Everyone’s situation is different and this may be hard to do when you are going through a tough time. You may be grateful for your family’s health and happiness or to live in a country with a good health service. You may be grateful to have some outside space, a good support network, or new episodes of your favourite show to watch. Perhaps start a gratitude journal and write 10 things on a daily basis that you are thankful for. 8. It’s good to talk. If you are a Brainwave Family, you can reach out to your Family Facilitator to receive support online or over the phone. There are also many charities that offer mental health support services. 9. Practise meditation to help calm your mind. The more you practise the better you will become. 10. Try to get a good night’s sleep. If you struggle to fall asleep, you could try your new meditation skills to relax your mind. Or try different relaxing sounds to fall asleep to. Also try not to use your phone right before going to bed as it might overstimulate your mind when you want to wind it down. Hopefully, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. There are plenty of free webinars available online to help with different subjects and give tips and advice so keep a lookout online or via apps on your phone. For more information and advice from Liz, please visit: www.heads2minds.co.uk.