As many of us are experiencing another lockdown, things seem a little different now the days are getting shorter and it's harder to spend time outside. In this piece, BA Apprentice Annabel May explores the ways in which she manages her mental health...
The topic of mental health is becoming increasingly apparent in today’s society. With another lockdown proceeding and isolation being a key factor to degrading mental health, it is greatly important to keep spirits high and to keep finding new ways to tackle seclusion from society. I have thought of a few ways below that have personally benefitted me and could also benefit others. By no means am I suggesting that every idea is going to work for everyone as we are all individuals and tackle things differently and if you take one idea and it does not work then there are several others that you can ponder upon.
Outdoor workouts can often be dreaded by many in these cold, winter months and with gyms being closed for the foreseeable, you may feel left with few options. However, exercise releases certain endorphins to boost positivity. The activities that you can do include running, cycling, walking, circuit workouts to name just a few. I am by no means the perfect figure of health and can be the first one to admit that when no one is around I do walk when I am meant to be on a run. Yet I can definitely say that being outside helps me to escape the stresses that modern civilisation (…2020) can bring. Alternatively, indoor workouts are just as good, YouTube hosts a vast array of workouts for all abilities.
Let me start this section by saying I am no Yogi and perhaps one of the least flexible people, although yoga hosts a whole array of advantages. Some of which include the releasing of stress and decreasing of anxiety. I personally enjoy 30 days of ‘Yoga with Adriene’, I may have skipped a few days, but she delivered the practice well and sessions were not too long, so is therefore easily achievable.
With staying indoors, it is very easy to binge on glutenous foods especially in these cold months and this is fine in balance with a healthy diet. Public Health England states that 2 out of 3 adults in England are either overweight or obese. I am sure you agree that this statistic is slightly alarming, as obesity can often lead to depression. However, there are such a wide array of healthy dishes and alternatives that still can provide you with the same satisfaction. Please send me a message if you would like any easy healthy recipe ideas.
4) Suicide Prevention
With everyone being so isolated at the moment it is often hard to engage with people emotionally and difficult to see the signs of someone thinking about ending their life. I have recently undergone a free course run by Zero Suicide Alliance (https://www.zerosuicidealliance.com/training) studying the signs to look for and what to do in different situations. I could not recommend this course enough and this course could potentially save lives just through conversation.
4) Keep In Touch!
Feeling so isolated at the minute, it is very easy to find excuses not to talk to friends, family, or fellow stakeholders in your organisation at work. However, talking to someone is a key indicator that improves mental health, after all - a problem shared is a problem halved. Even if it’s a ten-minute catch up this can lead you to feel more stimulated and satisfied. It is also important to check in with people and ask them how they are feeling as it is often very easy to hide behind Instagram or Snapchat.
I am sure that there are many other ways to improve mental health but here is just a few. If you are feeling sad or having an off day (as I am sure we all do) please reach out to someone. My messages are always open and the amazing WhiteHat team are always more than happy to help. If you’re struggling with mental health, I would recommend being open and honest with your WhiteHat Coach – they are in a great position to help and can refer you to professional help and also the many talks on Mental health on the Community Hub are great to have a watch of.