Taking time to support your mental health
With all the pressures of career responsibilities and social obligations, it can be all too easy for individuals to neglect their mental health – especially around this time of year, with cold weather, less sunlight and events like Blue Monday weighing heavy on the minds of many. However, taking time to talk and look after yourself is crucial to ensure your wellbeing.
One way to prioritise your mental health is by setting boundaries. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, but it’s important to take breaks and give yourself time to recharge. Setting boundaries around which events to attend, how much time to spend with family and friends, and how much time to dedicate to self-care can help manage stress levels and prevent burnout.
Another important aspect of mental wellbeing is reaching out for support when needed. Whether it’s speaking to a trusted friend or family member, a mental health professional, or utilising some of the excellent resources available online, there is always someone willing to listen and provide support – and it’s important not to feel ashamed or afraid to take advantage of that.
There are great tools you can try such as Every Mind Matters – a program run by the NHS which provides a range of self-help resources and access to medical support, including a mind plan and CBT techniques. There’s also the Hub of Hope, a dedicated site which lets you look for local support services in your area – to help with a range of mental health and wellbeing topics. Here at NRL, we also have dedicated Mental Health First Aiders, equipped with the knowledge to support colleagues who may be experiencing troubles with their mental or emotional wellbeing – so it’s worth asking your own employer if they can provide access to any similar resources.
Self-care is another crucial but often overlooked aspect when it comes to maintaining good mental wellbeing – this can include activities like going for a walk or practicing meditation. It’s important to give yourself permission to take a break from your responsibilities to prioritise your wellbeing when needed, and practicing mindfulness can also help reduce stress and improve your mental health.
In addition to self-care, it’s important to focus on the wellbeing of others. This involves being present and actively listening when interacting with friends and colleagues. It can be easy to get swept up in your own thoughts and emotions, but taking a moment to listen and engage with others can help build stronger relationships and decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation. Checking in with loved ones who may be struggling with their mental health can also be a valuable way to support others. Offering a listening ear or recommending resources can help those in need access the support they require.
Remember to take the time to take care of yourself and others – a little kindness and support can go a long way towards improving your or someone else’s situation.