World Mental Health Day 2021: Our Mental Health First Aider shares Top Tips for Taking Care of your Mental Wellbeing.
Our understanding of our mental health and how to take care for it is evolving day by day, as more and more people begin to understand the importance of maintaining a healthy state of mental wellbeing and monitoring their mental state.
The strain of living through a global pandemic has undoubtedly shed light upon what was already a very important issue – many of us may have struggled with our mental health and wellbeing as we endured the challenges of the pandemic, such as being isolated from loved ones, unable to live our normal day to day lives, and being unsure of what the future held. But for those who had to continue carrying out their essential work under extraordinarily challenging circumstances, such as teachers, LSAs and school support staff, the strain and pressure that this put them under may have at times felt totally unmanageable.
It is for this reason that we at Education People decided to ensure we have a fully trained Mental Health First Aider as part of our team, so that we can support both our candidates and our internal staff. Ahead of World Mental Health Day on Sunday 10th October, Kat has shared her learning and written some Top Tips and advice for maintaining your mental health.
It may sound obvious, but one of the best ways of coping with stress is sharing your problems and expressing how you feel. Bottling up your feelings and anxieties will only exacerbate your feelings of stress and sharing how you feel with someone who you trust will often help far more than you might at first anticipate.
Equally, keeping active is a well-talked about but simple way to ensure you’re taking care of your mental wellbeing as well as your physical health. This can be as simple as going out for a walk, it doesn’t have to be high energy exertion.
Be wary of unhealthy coping methods
Although it is common to turn to caffeine, alcohol, or cigarettes as forms of relief from stress, these are not healthy coping methods and usually actually make you feel much worse in the long run. Try to steer free of these, and instead try going for a walk, calling a friend or make some time for a hobby or activity that you enjoy.
Equally, overworking is a common side-effect of feeling stressed. Many people can also use this as a way of coping with excessive stress, but again this will only tend to impact negatively on your mental wellbeing in the long run. Try instead utilising healthier coping mechanisms to take care of your metal wellbeing more effectively.
Know when to ask for help
While this article has covered what to do to try and maintain a positive state of mental wellbeing, it’s important to also know when to ask for help. If you have been feeling the same way and have been finding managing your mental health difficult for a period of 2 weeks or more, it is important that you seek some professional advice, guidance, and help.
There is a huge range of support out there, with a range of options for accessing it- be that online, in person, or over the phone. A sensible first point of contact would be talking to your GP to get some advice, but if that doesn’t feel right in the first instance you can always have a phone conversation or even a webchat via appropriate organisations and charities who will be equipped with the knowledge and understanding to support and advise you. Please see the list at the bottom of this article for resources and organisations who you can reach out to for this.
- Samaritans, call 116 123 for free or visit their website: https://www.samaritans.org/
- Shout 85258, text “SHOUT” to 85258
- Find urgent mental health support via https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/advice-for-life-situations-and-events/where-to-get-urgent-help-for-mental-health/