The spread of Covid 19 in 2020 has been challenging for us all in different ways . Some people might find it more worrying than others. Medical, scientific and public health experts are have worked hard to find a virus and it looks like we are nearly there However the run-up to Christmas is a worrying time for all us. Some may not be able to see our families, are worried about our own health or the health of older relatives or who have lost their income or business.
Your mental health is an important part of how you function in your daily life. Positive mental health contributes to your overall wellbeing and is experienced when you can realise your own abilities, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and contribute to your community.
Your mental health is not just about the absence of mental illness. Mental health can be affected by numerous factors in daily life. Some days we can feel mentally well and others we may not feel as able to do the things we normally do. Chatting with friends and family, working or school or making a meal can become more difficult if you are experiencing mental health difficulties. It is important to look after your mental health on good days and on the days we do not feel as good, we reach out and ask for support.
There a number of actions we can take on a daily basis to help maintain and improve our mental health.
Make time each day to Connect. Connect with the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. By staying connected and nurturing these relationships we feel happier and more secure, giving us a better sense of purpose.
Look for ways to be active everyday. Go for a walk or a run. Step outside. Cycle, play a game, garden or dance. Discover a physical acitivity you enjoy which suits your lifestyle and level of mobility and fitness. Research has shown being physically active can improve your mental health and wellbeing.
Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Be Curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Pay attention to the present moment – to your thoughts, feelings and to the world around you.
Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Cook a new recipe. Take on a new responsibility. Setting yourself a new challenge and learning a new skill will increase your confidence which can improve your mental health and wellbeing.
Giving to others is good for you. Do something nice for someone else. Thank someone. Volunteer your time or join a community group. See yourself and your happiness linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and create connectedness with the people around you.
For more practical tips have a look at ‘Life in Lockdown- How are you doing’ https://www.alustforlife.com/tools/life-in-lockdown-how-are-you-doing
Listen to some tips here for maintaining your mental health at this difficult time https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2020/0316/1123492-mental-health-tips-coron…
For daily meditation workshop checkout the https://mindfulness.ie/ -Guided Meditations at 12 Noon and 8pm, Free to All
Some useful websites
To help maintain positive Mental Health
https://www.mentalhealthireland.ie/ Mental Health Ireland promotes positive mental health and wellbeing to all individuals and communities
https://www.yourmentalhealth.ie – HSE and Connecting for Life –Covid advice
https://turn2me.ie Online Support Groups are facilitated by mental health professionals and Online Counselling is provided by professional Counsellors/Psychologists
https://www.aware.ie/ supports those affected by stress, depression, bipolar disorder and mood related conditions are understood, supported, free from stigma, and are encouraged to access appropriate therapies.
https://www.alustforlife.com/-A campaigns and events to facilitate people to be effective guardians of their own mind
https://www.therapyhub.ie/- Connect with a therapist online from home- provides psychological FirstAid
Support for young people with their Mental Health
https://spunout.ie/- youth information website
https://www.jigsaw.ie/ -National Centre for youth Mental Health
If you have a Mental Health Problem or need help
https://www.mhfaireland.ie/ Mental health first aid is the help offered to a person who is developing a mental health problem or who is experiencing a mental health crisis
https://www.pieta.ie/- Pieta provides free therapy to those engaging in self-harm, with suicidal ideation, or bereaved by suicide. Call: 1800 247 247 or you can text HELP to 51444
https://suicideorsurvive.ie/- Live daily webinars available
For Eating Order issues
https://www.bodywhys.ie/-the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland