Physical health has a massive impact on our mental health and emotional wellbeing.
This week, Bryn invited special guest speaker, Kate, from the Motherwell charity that supports women and girls struggling with their mental health.
Kate shared her 5-step plan for keeping your mind (and in turn, body) positive as it floats along the sea of life.
C – connecting to others. Kate recommended making a note of a small number of those you trust who you are able to talk to – this may be family, friends, charitable organisation, like the Samaritans… As they say, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved.’
L – learning – gaining a new skill, whether by attending a regular zoom class or watching YouTube videos, is a great way to focus your mind. If you take part on a zoom/Microsoft teams group, you can socialise with others who have a similar interest, and developing a new skill can also be a good confidence boost, especially if its transferable (e.g. in an employment vicinity).
A – activity – keeping moving releases endorphins (a happy hormone) in the brain, so turn up the volume on your favourite vinyl/cd/download … And dance! Exercise doesn’t have to be a formal class.
N – notice -take a min. Use your senses; see, listen, smell, taste, touch. In our non-stop 21st century lives, even shielding, we rarely get time to just be, to enjoy the birdsong, to take in the view, to savour the taste and take in the moment.
G – give whether its making time for a friend, something as small as a complement, or as big as making a donation to charity, the act of giving can massively transform your outlook. Similarly to exercise, giving releases positive emotions.
Although it may be hard to fit all of these into one day, if you can manage one a day, or even a week, that’s a good start. Kate briefly touched on what to do when your motivation has ebbed away too far to attempt the C-L-A-N-G plan and recommended these tips for very low days:
* Watch feel good films. Make a note of what films/tv make you laugh and smile. It might be an all-singing, all-dancing musical, a daft slapstick, a cheeky rom-com or a DVD of your favourite comedian. Like exercise and helping others, laughter releases positive brain chemicals.
* Lose yourself in a book. Whether it’s the security of an old favourite, or you’re trying a new author, books are a great escape. I’ve been revisiting Hogwarts, a series I’ve loved since childhood, and returning to the magical world of Harry Potter is like catching up with old friends. What I have found interesting, is reading them from an adult perspective on a dark children’s series. What books take you out of this world? I regularly review books and online Theatre performances, so it’s worth checking out my tumblr blog for inspiration http://leighnetwork.tumblr.com
*Create a smile playlist. Put all the songs that make you smile, get you up for a boogey and singing along. By triggering a joyful memory with a similarly uplifting time, it may help.
*Talk, referring back to back to the Connecting to Others’ part of C-L-A-N-G, remember back in the pre-shielding/pre-covid days were you would get together with friends and family, sharing fun, your worries and laughter? Remember the buzz of feeling lighter afterwards? Humans are social beings who need comfort and support from others. Being listened to , like exercise, laughter and generosity releases ‘feel good hormones’. Kate suggested making a turn to list of ppl/charities/counselling services who you feel comfortable talking too. She also advised surrounding yourself with positive people and those who make you feel happy and uplifted and limit your time with negative people.
*Get creative. If you like painting, sewing, writing, crafts, then grab a pencil, paper, sewing kit… Whatever you need to get those creative juices flowing!
we hope these tips help.