Thursday, October 10th is World Mental Health Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues around the world.
This year’s World Mental Health Day focuses on suicide prevention and aims to raise awareness of the scale of suicide around the world and the role that each of us can play to help prevent it.
Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide.
- World Health organisation, www.who.int
With this years #40seconds campaign - A day for “40 seconds of action” - in mind, we wanted to take the opportunity to focus on strategies and practices centered around self-care, and which promote resiliency and strong mental health.
In our busy lives, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with our many competing priorities. Being able to discuss your feelings along with practicing self-care is important to our overall mental health and wellbeing.
Here are some useful things to remember:
Give Yourself Permission to Take Care of Yourself
When you eat right, engage in regular physical activity, and get plenty of rest - you have the energy and resilience to deal with life’s hassles and demands.
Balance your self-care with caring for others. It is not ‘me first’ or ‘me only’ -> It is ‘me too’.
Make Healthy Choices
Most behaviours are designed to bring us comfort but do your strategies work? Or are they causing other problems?
Unhealthy choices include: comfort/overeating eating, smoking/drinking, too much TV, excessive complaining, withdrawing.
We build our resilience by making Healthy Choices such as: balanced nutrition, regular exercise, effective communication, good sleep patterns, humour and connecting with people who care about us and refresh us.
We have more control than we may think!
Have Realistic Expectations
Unrealistic Expectations are a trap we unwittingly set for ourselves
Too often we are unrealistic of Others, Situations and Ourselves
The reality is that we can’t do it all, be liked by all, or be all things to all people
Aim high but do not be unrealistic
Ask for what you need and clarify if you are not sure what is expected
Focus only on things you can actually control
Stop worrying about things that you cannot solve
If something will improve anyway over time or if you cannot do anything about them then let them go. Reduce your mind clutter.
Focus your time, energy and resources on dealing with things that you can actually control and find solutions for.
Practice Centering and Relaxation Techniques
Centering helps you to be less overwhelmed and more open to problem solving.
There are many ways to do this: deep breathing, relaxation exercises, mediation, mindfulness, walking in nature, expressing gratitude, music, massage, yoga, etc.
There are many resources available that can help you get started. Headspace is a great app for meditation that you can sign up to for free. It has some great animations that take you through the process and is suitable for all experience levels. All you need to do is take 10 minutes out of your day!
Stay Connected to Family & Friends
This is vital to our mental wellness and our sense of belonging
Connect with people who are positive and enthusiastic to enhance your optimism and hope, to refresh you.
It's also important to reach out for support when you need it! Seek out a trusted co-worker or a member of your HR team and have a chat to help destress and to combat the progression of burnout.
The Power of a Positive Attitude!
Reframe the way you think and interpret things - look for the positives, benefits and/or opportunities
Believe that you have deeper resources and resiliency to draw upon!
World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues and mobilizing efforts in support of better mental health. For more information, please visit: World Mental Health Day