Looking after your mental health

I created this blog at work, but the content are just as relevant outside of the workplace… 

Mental Health Awareness Week is upon us, and once again we’re asking people to think about their mental health and wellbeing.

If you feel like we do this a lot, then you’d probably be right. Over the last few years there has been a sea change in how we consider issues like mental health, both across the country and, specifically here at Sellafield. I am pleased to see this.
However, the trouble with mental health is less straight forward than physical health. For a start, people are less willing to talk about it.
But even at the simplest level, when we have a cold, we know how we’re feeling and know when we’re feeling better. The same is true of many physical conditions. But it isn’t necessarily the same with your mental health.
Last year was a difficult one for my partner and I, and I know that it impacted my mental health. We’ve both turned a corner now, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t some days where I feel in a dark place. Events and anniversaries can trigger this, but sometimes I just feel sombre. 

I do try to talk about it to friends and colleagues, and they have been a tower of strength. But some people are less keen to do this. This can mean it’s hard to support our friends and colleagues as we’d wish to.
One of my close friends has recently struggled with their mental health. I want to do everything I can to help them, just like they did for me last year. However, sometimes I worry that I stray into platitudes territory.
So, this Mental Health Awareness Week, I am taking the time to read up on the issue a bit more, so that I can better help my friend. I am also thinking about what helped me – knowing that people were thinking of me and were there with a listening ear if I needed it was always appreciated.
This is echoed in the guidance on how to look after your mental health from the Mental Health Foundation. Their top ten pointers are:
  1. Talk about your feelings
  2. Keep active
  3. Eat well
  4. Drink sensibly
  5. Keep in touch
  6. Ask for help
  7. Take a break
  8. Do something you’re good at
  9. Accept who you are
  10. Care for others

If you know someone who is struggling. Why not reach out to them? They won’t expect you to have the answers, but they will probably appreciate your support. 

Published by Ian Curwen

Communications professional and a bit of a foodie that wants to travel more. Sharing my observations on life.

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