What is world mental health day and why is it important?
Every year, organisations and individuals acknowledge and promote the importance of mental health education and awareness, and advocates against the stigma associated with mental health. This year, World mental health day has come at a time where our daily lives have changed and we are all facing higher levels of uncertainty. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many people’s lives and mental wellbeing. This year’s theme, ‘mental health for all’, reflects the importance of ensuring we recognise there is no health without mental health – it is too important not to be taken seriously.
Everyone has mental health and, like with our physical health, we all have to take steps to ensure we look after it. Mental health is also known as ‘emotional health’ or ‘wellbeing’.
Mental health is the business of everyone. You will likely have seen a rise in the promotion of self-care and an increase in resources. The stigma associated with mental health is slowly reducing and organisations are beginning to listen and provide additional resources to support mental wellbeing. Hearing and seeing other people’s stories or achievements offers Hope. We all need to take Control and implement strategies to manage our own wellbeing. Our mental health is not static, it is affected by our circumstances and influences as we walk through life – we all need to nurture and look after it.
Below, we give you some tips for reflection and suggestions for starting a new activity. You can also read our 10 tips for looking after your mental wellbeing resource page too.
Making time to reflect
Reflecting can help your emotional wellbeing. It can bring about clarity, help you understand how you are feeling now and help you decide on the direction you want to take in the future.
Here are five things you could ask yourself to get started:
- What is important to you?
- What are your strengths – what are you good at?
- What do you do just for you – how can you take more time for yourself?
- What might you like to do – a new hobby or interest for example?
- What are your goals – have you tried creating SMARTS goals for yourself?
Set new challenges or start a new activity
Learning, taking up a hobby and connecting with others helps improve your wellbeing.
If you already have a hobby, think about the following:
- Are you already doing an activity you enjoy?
- What new challenges could you give yourself?
- Can anyone else you know give you some new ideas?
- Are there any local / online activities, groups or communities you can join?
- Have you shared your interests with others? Sharing makes you more accountable and more likely to succeed!
If you’re not sure about what you will enjoy doing try asking yourself these questions:
Author: Louisa Whorrod