Mental Health Day 2020: everyone has mental health, so make sure you look after it!

At a time when the world feels out of control, looking after our mental health is so important. Yet, it so often gets forgotten! It’s been a really hard year for everyone and maybe you have had a moment to pause and rethink what’s important to you. Here at Ridgeway we recognise that people have mental health just as they have physical health and we try our best to support our staff especially during the COVID crisis. Recognising how things impact us and checking in with ourselves regularly is just one of the many ways we can help ourselves stay healthier both at home and at work.

This virus has thrown up many challenges which impact all of us in different ways. Restricting our liberties for the greater good and learning to control our anxieties are but a few we have all had to deal with. Take some inspiration from World Mental Health day which was on the 10th October and take steps towards looking after your mental health:

Recognise that everybody has mental health, and it can be in a good or bad state. Assess how yours is.

Talk about any issues you have or if you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious. You could talk to friends, family, colleagues, your boss, or even a volunteer at Samaritans. Talking is a great therapy and it will make you realise that you are not alone to deal with how you are feeling. 

Assess your situation and make sure it is working for you.

Being self-aware is very important. If you are not in a good place mentally, make your family and work aware so that they can look to put steps in place to support you. Employers may allow you some time off or look to reduce your work load for a while. Being open about your situation is key as people do not necessarily know how you are feeling.

Coping mechanisms – We have all developed a unique ‘tool box’ of mechanisms and behaviours to cope with every day stress and manage this day to day but sometimes these become unhelpful and act against us or quite simply don’t work anymore.

Reassessing these regularly and adjusting your toll box to ensure you have healthy coping mechanisms is key to successfully managing stress or knowing when you need more expert help.

Take time for yourself. Self-care is super important for your mental health. Take the time to get some exercise, spend time in nature, do something you enjoy and spend quality time with those you love. Importantly, slow down! Remember to take time away from the stresses in your life (if you can) so that your brain has a chance to recalibrate. Hopefully this will prime you to be able to deal with things a little better after.

There are many things we can do if we are feeling overwhelmed, lonely or just plain stressed but our main advice and something we try to ensure with our staff is to speak up!  The old adage of a problem shared is a problem halved is not one to be forgotten!

The over-riding theme of 2020 is to stay flexible and continue to adapt to our ever changing work and home environment.

If this article resonated with you and you would like some additional advice, there are some fantastic free resources online listed below and people available to speak to on the phone 24/7. There is always someone willing to listen.

Stay safe and stay healthy!