The theme for World Mental Health Day 2021 - from the World Health Organisation - is 'Mental Health Care for All: Let’s make it a reality'
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental health. Some groups, including health and other frontline workers, students, people living alone, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions, have been particularly affected.
With the success of our vaccination programme we have reasons to be optimistic but as public health restrictions are easing, it’s ok to feel a bit anxious from time to time. You might want to socialise more but feel a little hesitant, and that’s ok. We’re all still learning to live with covid and that can be different for everyone. It’s ok if you decide to take things slowly and perhaps not go back to your old routine. Take time to readjust.
World Mental Health Day provides an opportunity to empower people to look after their own mental health and provide support to others.
Look after your mental health
If you experience ongoing anxiety, it might have a serious impact on your day to day life. Try identifying times and things that make you anxious and do less of them. Equally, do more of the things that help you de-stress, like exercising or listening to music. Talk to friends or family, because nothing helps as much as sharing how you’re feeling.
If you are struggling with your mental health you might need a little more support. Don’t be afraid to reach out and when you do you’ll begin to feel better. A good place to start is by speaking to your GP, or your mental health team if you have one. They’ll let you know about the different supports out there like; counselling, which could be face to face or by video or phone. You could try other online supports like reading an article to understand how you’re feeling or using a trusted mental health app. Take time to find out what works for you.
Our mental health is something that should be protected all year round. When possible, try to remember some of everyday things you can do to maintain good mental health;
- Keeping active - Being active every day, something as simple as a walk is proven to have a positive impact on your mood.
- Talking about your problems - Problems feel smaller when they are shared with others. They don't always have to be solved - just talking about it will do you good.
- Eating healthily - A regular healthy, balanced and nutritious diet will help both your physical and mental health, and have a positive impact on how you feel.
- Drinking less – A break or reduction in alcohol can improve your mood, your sleep and increase your energy levels.
- Sleeping well - Getting a good night's sleep of 7 or 8 hours, as often as you can, will have a positive impact on how you feel.
- Look out for others - Lending an ear to someone else in trouble, or catching up with someone who seems distant, can make a big difference to them when they are feeling down.