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Resources for anyone aiming to improve their mental health.

October 10th marked World Mental Health Day this year. And boy, do we need to look after ourselves after what 2020 has thrown at us so far.

The definition of good mental health is "the ability to feel positive about yourself and your circumstances, to able to cope with everyday pressures and to maintain and form relationships with other people".

Covid-19 has now been with us for over nine months and it has changed everything about the way we live and work. From working from home, to wearing masks and self isolating, even if we haven't been touched by the disease itself it has affected us in ways we could never have imagined a year ago.

So what can we do to make sure that our mental health survives, and that we continue to embrace a positive attitude to protect ourselves from the inevitable feelings of isolation and anxiety?

In August the NHS as well as the charities Mind and Calm all reported a rise in the number of people seeking help with mental health issues. The main issues seems to be feelings of isolation, regardless of whether people had been able to stay in touch with their loved ones, as well as loss of normal coping mechanisms and a lack of motivation. Understandably the knock-on effects of excess alcohol consumption, domestic violence and a sharp rise in prescriptions for anxiety and depression were also reported. If you don't think you are coping as well as you have been able to previously, maybe experiencing feelings of anxiety, loneliness or worry, it may be time to seek some support.

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy has compiled a list of tips to help anyone struggling at the moment to improve their wellbeing:

“Make space to communicate with the people in your social bubble. Invite them for a walk, go for a coffe if local restrictions allow and don't isolate yourself from friends.”

Structure your time
“Create a structure for your time. Make sure you are working within your normal working pattern wherever possible and also reserve time to rest and reward yourself.”

Feeling anxious is okay
“Accept that everyone around you is feeling anxious at the moment. Feeling uncertain when facing a new situation is normal and will pass.”

Other people are also struggling
“Accept that others might be struggling too, and this can affect their behaviour and expectations”.

Coronavirus is impacting everyone
“Covid is creating uncertainty, but is also teaching us to compromise, adapt and to be more emotionally resilient.”

Counselling can help
“Reach out. If approaching a counsellor seems like a daunting step, try talking to someone you trust.”

Feel safe
“If you feel uncomfortable with a situation, such as being in close proximity to strangers or taking actions you aren't comfortable with, remove yourself and accept that you may not be ready to behave in a normal manner just yet and that the behaviour of others may make you scared. It's normal to feel anxious about the threat of something we can't see but it's easy to take steps to protect yourself. Feeling safe is important.”

The mental health charity Mind has compiled a great selection of resources to help you with any feelings you may be struggling with right now - they encourage everyone to do just one thing to help take care of themselves. Find their support and advice here

There is also a great guide you can download here on How to Look After Your Mental Health by the Mental Health Foundation, which includes some great tips.

(P.S. We will be donating the proceeds of every box we sell on World Mental Health Day to Mind. If you would like to do the same you can make a donation here.)

As someone who has struggled with mental health issues previously including severe depression, I hope you are well and safe and get any support you need to stay healthy and happy. If we can do anything here at Boxcitement to help you with that, just let me know.

Best wishes for now - Deb

(Any thoughts? - leave your comment below!)

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