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

At a time when the world feels out of control, looking after our mental health is so important. Yet, so often we forget about it! It’s been a really hard year for everyone and who knows when this will end. Maybe you haven’t had a single 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 all our staff. This has been especially important during the COVID-19 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. This year’s World Mental Health Day fell on the 10th October. Why not take some inspiration from it and take steps towards looking after your mental health.

What you can do

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

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

A cup of tea and a socially-distanced chat might be just the thing to help you feel a bit more normal.
A cup of tea and a socially-distanced chat might be just the thing to help you feel a bit more normal.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious, talk about it. You could talk to friends, family, colleagues, your boss, or even a volunteer at Samaritans. Talking is great therapy and it can help you realise that you are not alone in dealing with how you are feeling. 

Being self-aware is very important. If you are not in a good place mentally, let your family and work know. That way, they can start supporting you and help you through it. 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 tool box to ensure you have healthy coping mechanisms is key to successfully managing stress. And it can help you to know when you might need an extra helping hand.

Take time for yourself. Self-care is super important for your mental health. Take the time to get some exercise and 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.

You’re not alone

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 encourage in our staff is to speak up! The old adage of a problem shared is a problem halved is not one to forget!

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

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

Stay safe and stay healthy!