Wellbeing advice for Mental Health Awareness Week

Research by the Mental Health Foundation has shown that many people have increasingly been suffering from feelings of isolation and loneliness which has led to harmful consequences. Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 explores the impact of loneliness and how we can tackle it.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, in partnership with the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, is encouraging people to ‘Lift someone out of loneliness’ as part of the Better Health - Every Mind Matters campaign.

When dealing with unpleasant emotions, it can be helpful to investigate the support that is available. Fortunately, in the UK, many organisations exist to support mental health including the NHS, the Samaritans and community centres supporting holistic wellbeing.

Here are some tips to help support wellbeing:

  1. Try to turn negative thoughts to proactive ones - Observe anxious and unhelpful thoughts you might be having about loneliness, and replace them with other essential and everyday activities, e.g. your living, work, domestic interests, studies, and try to concentrate on your own needs.
  2. Focus on what you know and what you have positively learned, to prevent distress - Try to respond to your feelings as best as you can, in the here and now.
  3. Take a deep breath - By slowly inhaling and exhaling you can slow your heart rate down, calming your mind and body.
  4. Try to maintain self-care and sleep routines - It is important to practice regular sleeping times and waking up routinely. Avoid drinking stimulants e.g. caffeine or alcohol in high quantities or better the total avoidance, as they may affect sleep habits.
  5. Try to eat properly and stay hydrated - Eating nutritional and healthy food is beneficial. Try to avoid large amounts of sugar, salt, and fats. Drinking water is the best option to keep your body hydrated and less distressed.
  6. Look to spend more time outdoors - With the weather improving and the days getting longer try to get outside more - go for walks in your local area, take a trip to the seaside or visit a museum or gallery.
  7. Practice joyful activities - Exercises, walks, yoga, mindfulness, cooking for fun, painting, drawing, singing, listening to music, writing, and reading are all activities which may inspire and redirect your feelings. 
  8. Contact people that you love - Focus on those close to you. Plan activities with people you care about or try to call, message, or email them.
  9. Volunteering, donating, and advocacy can be good ways to meet people - Look for local charities or volunteer organisations which are asking support.
  10. Try to stay optimistic - There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Remember, that helping yourself can enhance your attitudes and abilities, which can then be used to serve others in your community, improving holistic wellbeing, and be beneficial for your mental health.

Olga Cecilia Farach
Deputy Lead/Public Governor C&I NHS Foundation Trust

References to additional support

Olga also recorded a video for Mental Health Awareness Week 2022, where she shares her top tips for how to combat loneliness. Please click here to watch it. 

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