Today is World Mental Health Day, so look around you, talk to people and ask them how they are doing. Help to make discussing mental health an everyday conversation. Use today as a day to reach out for help if you are struggling. Please just start the conversation.
I’m continuing the A-Z of Wellbeing today, looking at the letter C. As I have said previously, there are many words I could pick and the list could be endless. Think of your own and see what you can come up with that can help you.
Calm – After a stressful day, it can be hard to wind down and sitting in a quiet space can be impossible if you have a houseful. So what can you do to bring a little bit of calm into your everyday. Walk home from work or if commuting on a bus or train pop some headphones on and listen to your favourite music, an uplifting audio book or podcast. Once home, take a moment to breathe slowly and calmly a few times. If you can, lie on your bed for two minutes and focus on bringing a sense of calmness back to your mind and body.
Care – We all need to practice a little self care. We can be great at helping everyone else, putting their needs above our own. But looking after yourself is important. When was the last time you actually cared for yourself? Are you always promising yourself a lovely relaxing bath at the end of the day, but you never quite get to it as there is always more important things to do. It may seem silly, but care for yourself like you would for a friend.
Challenges – they can push us to our limits and really make us question what we are doing. However, challenges are great, they help us to think outside the norm. If you have set yourself a challenge, you’ll be striving to achieve it. Pushing yourself is great and going above what we thought we were capable of, really does give us a sense of achievement. Remember, knowing when to quit something is a challenge as well. There is no sense in going beyond your limits if your health suffers. Change the goal post…take it down a notch. Challenges should push us, but they shouldn’t break us.
Change – ‘A change is as good as a rest’ so they say. Change is good but it is often uncomfortable and something we want to avoid. But lean into it. If it is a change that you are not in control of, learn as you go and don’t be too hard on yourself. If you are in control, then embrace all the uncomfortable feelings as you know the best is yet to come. Changes don’t have to be big, even changing your cereal can be difficult if you’ve eaten the same one for 15 years! So not matter the change, be gentle with yourself.
Childlike – Sometimes, building a fort or running around playing hide and seek can be just what we need to shake off the adult in us for a while. Forgetting about all the things that make being a grown-up difficult and enjoying what we did as children. So close your laptops, take off your high vis vest / ties/high heels/tights, find that Nerf gun and be a kid!
Communicate – This has to be the most important word on my list. Please keep talking, or start talking if you are finding things difficult at the moment. As I said at the start, it is World Mental Health Day so talk to as many people as you can. Ask your friends and family how they really are feeling. Use today as an opener as you never know, it may help someone realise they are not alone. If you are finding it hard today, please reach out to your friends or family and if you are unsure how to ‘start’ that conversation, just say ‘you aren’t sure what to say or how to start but you are finding it an uphill struggle at the moment and could do with someone to listen to you’. Connect with someone today and it could make a difference.
Contact – When we find ourselves stuck, unsure, afraid and in need of help and we aren’t sure who to talk to, then remember there are some great organisations out there who can help you. Here are a few:
The Samaritans – Call them free in the UK on 116 123 from any phone or email email@example.com.
They are there for you to get in touch with when you need them.
Create – You might not think of yourself as someone who is creative. But remember being creative doesn’t mean you have to be amazing at something. It’s about finding an outlet you enjoy. Think about all the things you do in a week. What do you love? For example, do you like to cook? Colour in? Bake? Or Paint? Maybe you love to turn the music on and dance about your living room like no-one is watching! So do it! Find an outlet to help you de-stress and help to get that happy vibe going. There is a creative streak inside us all, so experiment until you find something you love. Then the next time you’re having a stress filled day, go be creative and let the juices flow!
Cry – If you need to cry, then do so. Holding back can really cause us to struggle to process our emotions, it can cause problems for us in the long run if we are pushing feelings down. So cry. Put on a sad movie if it helps. Never be ashamed of any tears you shed, don’t apologise for them. Releasing your emotions is cathartic and we all need to do it from time to time. No matter your gender, cry. It isn’t a sign of weakness, quite the opposite in fact.
I could have written so much more as there are many other words I didn’t cover. Hopefully, these words will help you in some way, or get you thinking about ways to help yourself and others.
We all have to look after ourselves, take that bit of time to ensure we are ok as we do with others.
Have a great week. Take care and please do look after you.
Love Emma xx