So many of us are struggling right now with our mental wellbeing due to the current climate. There is a great deal of support out there so please don’t struggle in silence.
Some of you may be returning to work after a long and likely stressful absence following the proposal and near implementation of the mandate, which has finally been revoked.
It's natural to feel anxious about returning to work but there should be support available.
There are lots of ways in which we can care for ourselves to support our mental wellbeing in these stressful times.
Make time to connect with others; feeling isolated can lead to increase in mental health issues; pick up the phone; do a video call; arrange to meet for a coffee with people that make you feel positive. Connect with your local Telegram group. Find and meet colleagues in your area. Direct message @kayleigh31 on Telegram.
We all have different ways of relaxing. You can unwind without even leaving the house; listen to music; read a book; have a relaxing bath. If you’re struggling for ideas then try Headspace. Headspace is a science-backed app in mindfulness and meditation, providing unique tools and resources to help reduce stress, build resilience, and aid better sleep.
The way we think, feel and behave are linked. Sometimes we develop patterns of negative thinking styles or behaviours that are unhelpful; recognise them and begin to take steps to think differently and positively. Unmind is a mental health platform that empowers staff to proactively improve their mental wellbeing.
Never underestimate how much influence your physical wellbeing has on your mental health. Eat well as this impacts on our energy levels, try a balanced diet (the odd takeaway isn't bad); make sure you get outdoors - even in these cold months a bit of fresh air can do you the world of good; go for a short walk (or longer if you’re up to it); potter around your outdoor space if you have one. Exercise in whatever form you find easiest - you know the less we do the more lethargic and tired we feel! Another couple of good resources are:
If you are finding your mental health deteriorating, then please do seek appropriate intervention. There are a wide range of services available that you can access in various ways.
If you have other services involved as you’re a parent and/or carer please do speak with them about how you’re feeling – often they will complete carer’s assessments which can also be used to access appropriate support.
MIND – can offer evidence-based intervention for individuals experiencing mental health needs and to check for services near you please click here.
For some of you who have considered the vaccine and subsequently been for the jab you may be feeling that you have been coerced or pressured to do this. This in itself can lead to mental health difficulties if individuals feel that they have been unable to make an informed choice or have had little control over what happens to them.
Please don't sit with these feelings inside of you alone - you can access support as outlined above to help manage any of the thoughts, feelings this may have created. It may be that you need specialist intervention around managing your thoughts and feelings; you may very well feel angry and while anger is a valid feeling to have, if you let it build and have no outlet this can lead to mental health needs.
Most NHS Trusts will have some level of staff support / wellbeing service and you could either ask to be referred there or self-refer (you might need to check your Trust protocol around this); alternatively, all of the support/services highlighted above can also be accessed.
The most important factor is that you seek the right help at the right time.
We know there are multiple alternative therapies that some people may find beneficial, however these tend to be different in each area of the country, therefore we haven't included these but recognise the benefits that these can bring. They are usually well advertised in local areas so you may wish to access these to maintain your emotional and physical wellbeing.