By Rick Mason
Firstly, put the kettle on and make a brew…! Then read on…!
We live in a busy world, and it’s often so very easy to forget to take that time to check in with ourselves or others to maintain that balance. So, our team hit the pause button and did just that! The kettle went on, the biscuits came out, and we took time out to get together and chat.
Why did we do this? The benefits of social connections and good mental health are numerous. Proven links include lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, greater empathy, and more trusting and cooperative relationships. It is very easy to get caught up in the things we MUST do, that we often forget to do the things we WANT to do. We also wanted to acknowledge World Mental Health Day 2023. Working within the mental health sector, it’s easy to get caught up in, and overlook the fact, that mental health is still something that is massively misunderstood, and sometimes feared by many so we wanted to get back to basics and open up some conversations.
We talked about how we unwind. We did this because so many people say that they “don’t have time” to stop and take time for themselves, but we disagree. Taking some down time doesn’t have to be complicated. We thought we’d share some of our ideas and suggestions…please feel free to try these yourself!
“Listening to music, looking back through pictures of good times, or going for a walk” – Julianne
“I have many ways in which I like to unwind but my favourite way would be to go for a run followed by a short yoga session and then a meditation!” – Sian
”Going for a walk, playing sports or reading” – Dom
“Depending on the day I’ve had then I like to walk, bike or run if I’ve been inside or in meetings, but if I’ve been out and about all day then I like to watch films or listen to podcasts to unwind. I also enjoy the cinema or live events to relax.” – Scott
“Put my phone down, make a coffee and stand in the garden. I don’t necessarily do anything while I’m out there. Sometimes it’s nice to just close my eyes, listen to the sounds of nature and focus on my breathing. Always guaranteed to make me feel better” – Rick
Whatever you do to unwind, there is no right or wrong. It is about what works for you. Just please make sure that you take that time, whether it be a quick two minutes or something longer.
Living in a digital world, we also took the opportunity to explore some of the technological features available to us and created a word cloud all about the benefits of talking and socialising and what this means to us, as an opportunity to get us thinking about this.
This led us on to talking about what people can do when things get on top of them. It’s all well and good for us to say, “go outside” or “distract yourself”, but there are times when things get too overwhelming, and that’s ok. What can you do when you are feeling low or struggling with your mental health?
“No rain no flowers- we all need bad days to flourish! And the good days will far outweigh the bad, sometimes we just need to refocus 😊” – Julianne
“As someone living with Bipolar type 1 my advice would be to research your condition thoroughly, knowledge is power. Once I was diagnosed, I bought a book on Bipolar and it really helped me make sense of things and realise I’m not on my own, it also helps you navigate life and how to move forward after diagnosis.” – Sian
” I would say mainly find a trusted person to talk too.” – Dom
“If you are struggling with your mental health for the first time then apart from talking about it with a mate or family member. I would suggest giving some time to yourself and do something you really love doing especially if you haven’t done it for a while or don’t ‘get the time anymore’ Almost everything else in the world will wait for you.” – Scott
“Find that person who you can talk to. Whether it be a family member, friend, or professional. Talk through how you’re feeling. It’s ok to ask for help and suggestions too. You’re not going to have all the answers all of the time, and sometimes, all you need is a listening ear and a friendly face” – Rick
We hope that you have enjoyed reading our blog, remember, feel free to use any of our suggestions for yourself. It would also be great to hear what has been happening in services to mark the occasion! Please do send us some photos or even a short blog telling us about your day!
Thank you for reading! Rick.