21 May 2020

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 so we’ve spoken to some of the YMCA DG team to come up with 5 ways you can take care of your own mental health.

  1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way of being present or ‘in the moment’, using techniques like meditation. This technique helps us to become more aware of how we are feeling and enables us to manage it rather than let it overwhelm us.

“I use an app for guided meditation to help me when I’m feeling anxious. It works every time and I’m learning to become more aware of my feelings to deal with them easier.”

There are lots of way you can try mindfulness for free, there are apps and podcasts or you could try searching for guided meditation on YouTube and follow a tutorial online.

  1. Getting active

Everyone knows that exercise is good for staying physically healthy, but it’s also good for the mind too! Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and help you to sleep better, things that contribute to having good mental health.

“I love going for a walk to clear my head at the end of the day and feel very lucky to live in Somerset where going for a walk means amazing views.”

You don’t have to do anything strenuous, going for a walk, having a boogie to your favourite song and even gardening all count! All you need to do is get up and get moving!

  1. Staying in touch

Talking to your family, friends and even colleagues can be a great way of helping your mental health. We can’t always see our loved ones face to face, but picking up the phone or even having a video call can be just as good.

“Talking with my Gran always helps me focus on the good and less on the bad. I’m so thankful to be able to video call her and it has been a lifeline to both of us during this lockdown.”

  1. Do something you enjoy

Taking some time out to do something you enjoy is a great way to boost your mental health. Not only will it make you feel happier but it will also give you some time to relax and have some ‘me time’.

“Whenever I feel stressed, I love to pick up a book. Reading helps to forget about everything else going on and focus on the words I’m reading, it hasn’t failed to help me yet!”

Doing something you enjoy doesn’t have to be costly or even take a lot of time, it could be as simple as cooking a meal or watering your plants, just as long as you love doing it!

  1. Find support

There are so many ways we can look after our own mental wellbeing, but sometimes the best thing we can do is ask for help.

“I asked for help when I was really struggling with my own mental health. Since then I have completed an online course and attended group sessions to learn how to deal with the way I feel and I am a much stronger person for this.”

There are lots of places you can go to for help and support, click here for a list of helpful information from the NHS.

This Mental Health Awareness Week, take some time to care for your mental health and remember, it’s ok not to be ok.

Mental Health support available

If you require urgent support around your mental health and feel you are not able to keep yourself safe but do not need immediate medical assistance, please contact the services below:

  • YoungMinds Crisis Messenger– text YM to 85258.
  • CAMHS – 0300 304 0061(8.30am-5pm for people aged up to 17)
  • ChildLine – 0800 1111(for any child or young person)
  • Samaritans –116 123 (for anyone distressed or thinking of suicide, or in crisis)
  • Hopeline – 0800 068 4141 (child or young person thinking of suicide)