When we consider what it means to be healthy, many of us would immediately think of our physical health first, and our mental health second; that’s if we think of it at all. Yet good mental health is fundamental to good physical health. With the covid-19 pandemic and the changes it has brought to our lives, the significance of World Mental Health Day is perhaps the greatest it has ever been.
With good mental health, you’re more able to be present and fully concentrate on what you’re doing, rather than be distracted next task you need to complete. You’re can respond to setbacks or unexpected situations in a more positive way, increasing your chances of a good outcome. It also means that you’re in a better position to look after your physical health as you’re more likely to eat well and exercise regularly.
By contrast, poor mental health can lead to a vicious circle where you are simply getting by and you’re not taking enough care of yourself. Perhaps you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re eating poorly, or you’re relying on junk food or alcohol to brighten your mood. All of these can exacerbate your situation leaving you feeling even more tired and depleted than you were before.
Living with the measures put in place to minimise risks from Covid-19 has placed considerable stress on all of us. It may be that you’ve been having to shield and are now feeling isolated, lonely or bored. You may be working from home in less-than-ideal conditions and can’t switch off from your job. Perhaps you’re unable to take part in social or leisure activities and you’re not finding life very fulfilling at the moment. You might have caring responsibilities and you’re no longer able to share those with friends or family, giving you less time for you.
On this World Mental Health Day, be kind to yourself. Spend some time doing something that you enjoy or that you wouldn’t usually have time to do. Perhaps give yourself a mental health-check? Are you feeling anxious, stressed, low or on edge? If your mental health isn’t as good as it could be, consider why that is and give yourself time to come up with ways to improve it. There’s some excellent advice at the following site, to help you on your way to mental wellness https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-mental-health