So, you may have heard of Blue Monday? Rumour has it that the third Monday of January is the ‘most depressing day of the year’. When in fact, we can all experience difficulty with our mental health at any time of the year. Mental health doesn’t discriminate and any one of us may need support to help us with our mental wellbeing.
The national lockdown and the overall impact of COVID-19 has seen many of us experience additional life stresses, which can of course impact our mental health. Please know, you are not alone and there is support out there for you – no matter how you are feeling.
We have some advice on how you prioritise your health and wellbeing; and ensure that you are able to take some time out today, or any day for that matter, to focus on you.
- Talk to someone and stay connected, sometimes just talking and making contact with another person can make you feel much better. This can be a relative, a friend or a professional.
- Try to organise a sleep routine, go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. Sleep is really important to your wellbeing even if the normal structure and routine you once had has been disrupted.
- Try to write down three positive things a day you have achieved. These do not need to be big as sometimes just posting a letter is an achievement.
- Take a breath, breathe in for 7 seconds and out for 11 seconds, this will refocus you and give you space.
- Get outside, go for a walk or stand in your garden just take in some fresh air; ensure you see daylight once a day during your allotted exercise break. Given all of the pressures, make sure you have time for yourself.
- Set some small goals for your day that are achievable to give you a sense of purpose.
- Eat regular and healthy meals to ensure your body is well fuelled.
- Make sure with all the juggling of extra roles, that we no longer expect miracles of ourselves, we are trying to do more in abnormal circumstances, with often less support. On any given day, our best is good enough and our best will be different on different days; that’s okay, that is normal.
- Discover mindfulness apps on your phone, they can provide really useful techniques.
- Most importantly be kind to yourself, it's okay not to be okay during these very difficult times.
As a community healthcare provider of mental health services, we are dedicated to ensuring that anyone living in Northamptonshire can access the mental health support they need to provide them with help during what can be a very difficult and lonely time. We are holding an online event on Monday 18 January from 2pm – 4pm to provide wellbeing advice and hold discussions on mental health, you can register for this free event by visiting: www.nhft.nhs.uk/membership
If you are in need of immediate mental health support, please find details of support here. If you are experiencing suicide thoughts, please know that there is support available. Click here for details of support and guidance.
If you have been experiencing low mood, anxiety, isolation, financial worries or feeling overwhelmed our Changing Minds IAPT service can work with you to provide talking therapies and get you back to feeling yourself.
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, there is a dedicated phone line which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide confidential mental health support and advice. Call the mental health number on 0800 448 0828 to speak to a member of the team.