Staying positive is often easier said than done, especially as the summer draws to an end and days get shorter and colder. Scientific evidence now supports the idea that the winter blues do exist. There are some simple steps to help keep your mental wellbeing in check.
IS YOUR MIND TOO FULL?
Life is busier than ever. Mindfulness encourages you to consider your thoughts and feelings. It reconnects your body with the sensations it experiences and helps you to become more aware of signs of stress.
TOP TIP: You do have time – take a 15 minute lunch break away from your work!
Pilates and yoga offer low impact and low intensity exercise to improve stability and flexibility. Pilates also builds strength. If you don’t like exercise try ultra-short bursts of HIIT (high intensity interval training) as it increases aerobic fitness and strength and reduces body fat to help you stay healthy. There are exercise regimes to suit everyone and it’s great for clearing the mind.
A study has shown that in the UK we spend more time per week in our main jobs than most other European countries. That’s less family and you time. Set aside a few hours each week to pamper yourself – a massage, a beauty treatment, session at the gym, art class or reading.
TAKE CONTROL, GET ORGANISED
Taking control is empowering therefore if your life is busy get organised. List jobs you have to do, want to do and the ones that someone else can do. Prioritise the important ones and leave the non-urgent not important ones! Create a family calendar to include the jobs, activities and meal plan. Allocate the jobs and give yourself time.
FACE YOUR FEARS
Anxiety is normal and can even bring benefits. Seek help from your GP if your physical or thought-related responses like concentration and sleep, heart palpitations or fear are having a major impact on your life. Panic
or post-traumatic stress disorder, phobia or anxiety all need the right diagnosis to get the right help.
TOP TIP: “I learned that my sadness never destroyed what was great about me… go back to that greatness, find that one little light that’s left.” – Lady Gaga
Managing Your Mental Health
One in six of the adult population in England has a mental health problem.
Attitudes towards mental health are changing thanks to campaigns like Time to Change led by MIND and Rethink. If you need help:
Live well – Keeping active has shown to have huge benefits on mental health. Avoid the sugary foods, go for fresh fruit and veg. Give up smoking if you can and reduce your alcohol intake
Reading well – Books, on prescription or through your local library.
Computer based Mental Health Apps – see NHS apps library.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – teaches coping strategies for dealing with problems
Counselling – opportunity to talk about your feelings and emotions to help you to get a better understanding and find solutions.
Psychotherapy – to help you to become aware of hidden meanings or patterns in what you do or say that may be contributing to your problems.
Relaxation Therapy – to learn to relax in stressful situations
Aylesbury Vale & Milton Keynes Sexual Assault & Abuse Support Service (AVMK SAASS) for rape or sexual abuse 01296 392468 // avrc.org.uk
Cruse Northamptonshire 07772 428532, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm // cruse.org.uk
Milton Keynes Bereavement Service 07483 308032 // bereavementservicemk.org.uk
Milton Keynes Relate Centre – Relationship, family, young people, sex therapy counselling. 47 Aylesbury Street, MK12 5HX. 01908 310 010 // relatemk.org
Mind Counselling, peer support, mentoring, and BBO support into employment
Mind BLMK – 0300 330 0648 // mind-blmk.org.uk
Mind Northampton –
Urgent calls – 01604 634310 // northamptonmind.org.uk
NHS emergency healthcare 111
Samaritans: Free any time – 116 123
Rethink 01908 585085 // rethink.org
Victim Support – victims and witnesses of crime victimsupport.org.uk