Mental Health Awareness Week

Date Added 19 May 2020

From May 14th - 20th this year its Mental Health Awareness Week and we're delighted to have a guest blog from one of our residents, Laura, otherwise known as The Ginger Yogi. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more tips from The Ginger Yogi!  


Time. Suddenly we seem to have so much of it. For many of us, we live our lives at full pace. So when you are suddenly forced to slow down, it can feel really difficult. Usual routines go out the window, and it can be hard to adjust to this new ‘day to day’ life, especially when it can feel so uncertain. But there are things we can do to improve our mindset, and lessons we can all learn from slowing down.  For all of us, there will be stress and anxiety that comes from this pandemic, but I hope to try and share some ideas with you to try and help.


Create your new routine

For most of us, our normal routine has been changed. It’s important to spend some time creating a new routine for yourself, but still keep elements of what you used to do – such as getting up and going to bed at the same time or having your meals at the same time. Maybe there were aspects of your old routine you didn’t like, for instance not having enough time to exercise or cook a meal, so you can use this time to do things differently and see how it makes you feel. If you live with other people, why not create a routine together, it can be a good time to talk about your worries and concerns with them, and ensure your needs are met; for instance if you need some time to yourself in the day, but don’t want to upset the other person by hiding in another room!


Connect with People

When creating your new routine, be sure to set times to connect with people – this is not only incredibly important for you, but also for the others that will benefit from hearing from you.  If you can, try to video chat or call rather than text, it will feel more personal, and you will be able to create a more natural conversation. Think about the people in your life that may not have many people to connect to, and make time for them. If you worry you’ll run out of things to talk about, why not make a plan to watch the same programme or read the same book as each other. Maybe you could even play a board game together!


Try to keep active

Keeping active is incredibly beneficial for not just your body, but also your mental health. I know that for many of us, our usual ways to keep active are no longer available, but here are some ideas for you to try:

  • Cleaning your home (it is spring clean time after all!)
  • Dancing to music, especially while cleaning your home!
  • Online exercise classes, this could be anything from a simple seated stretch to a full workout, just look for videos similar to your level of fitness and activity.
  • Reminders to move – try and set your self little reminders to move each hour, this will help to stretch the body and release any tension.


Feel the sun on your face

I don’t need to tell you how important nature is to your mental and physical wellbeing, and when you are usually surrounded by it, it will of course make your feel low. But there are things we can do to help bring nature back into our lives:

  • If you have a garden, spend as much time as you can there. Think about what you could do at this time of year in the garden. Think about the wildlife that uses it, and what you could do to support it.
  • If you don’t have access to a garden, spend time with the windows open, to let in the fresh air. Try and create a beautiful space by a window, where you can feel the breeze on your face and just watch the world. Maybe listen out for bird song, the sound of the breeze through the trees, or simply watch the clouds moving in the sky.


Find new ways to relax and be creative

I know it can be hard, but try not to feel like you can’t achieve as much in your day as you did before. We are all trying our best, so be kind to yourself. An important area not to forget about is making time to relax. Add a time in your schedule to include something that helps your to unwind. This may have been an activity you already did, or something completely new. Maybe take up an old arts and crafts hobby such as drawing or knitting, or try something new like meditation or yoga – remember you could also take this hobby up with a friend, and check in regularly with the other person to see how they are getting on!


Keep your mind stimulated

There are so many ways we can keep our mind active, maybe dig out your old Sudoku book, or try the crossword in the paper. Although libraries are closed, many have an online function, which allowed you to borrow eBooks or audio books, so dig out that library card!


Keep your body healthy

We have talked about many ways to keep our body healthy and fit at this time, but also think about what you are nourishing it with. You might find your appetite may have changed during this period, but just try to focus on giving your body good nourishment. Eating regularly will keep your bloody sugar stable and keep your energy and mood levels up. Make sure you are getting enough water, and if you are struggling to get fresh food, for whatever reason, please do tell family and friends, who will want to help you.


I hope that this blog has given you some positive things to think about and maybe some ideas to try out. If you take anything from it, please make it the importance to talk. Whether you feel like your problem is big or small, do try to talk to someone about it. It could be a health professional, family, friends or sometimes a stranger - if you can, try to open up. Discussing our feelings can really help to work through them, and challenge why you think or feel a certain way. I know this can be a huge step, but just send a text, make a call, and talk.


The Ginger Yogi