SPOTLIGHT ON… Looking After Your Own Mental Health

Being able to talk to a loved one, friend or colleague about their mental health is really important, but make sure you don’t forget about self-care and looking after your own mental health and wellbeing too! Read our top tips below for how to look after your own wellbeing:

1.    Keep active

Physical fitness has long been on people’s agendas, but you may not realise that as well as the physical benefits to exercise, it also offers benefits to your mind and mental health as well. You might keep active by joining the gym, but you could also enjoy a bike ride, sports activity or walks – all of these would equally contribute to physical and mental fitness.

 2.    Eat well

Food and mood go hand in hand so make sure you are choosing foods that give you energy, are good for you and don’t rely on sugar bursts to boost you – because then you will experience a dip in energy and feelings of fatigue. Regular snacks or food will keep you fuelled throughout the day and give you energy to take on whatever life throws at you.

3.    Ask for help

As much as we might not want to admit it, we can’t always handle everything on our own. Whether this is balancing our time, sharing our feelings or letting someone with more experience or knowledge guide us, reaching out and communicating with people can help to relieve pressure. Don’t be afraid to trust the people around you to help you.

4.    Take a break

A busy life can catch up with us and it is important to learn to recognise the signs and symptoms that tell you that your body is ready for a rest, or preferably know when to take a break to prevent our body and mind getting to a point where it is being negatively impacted by stress. Make sure you schedule in some down-time to rest and recharge.

5.    Do something you’re good at

Being successful and accomplishing our goals give us a ‘feel-good’ boost. Choosing an activity that you enjoy and can be successful at can help to balance out negative feelings if you have not been successful in other aspects of your week. It is also chance to do something that you enjoy and that is an essential ingredient for good mental health.

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A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

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When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

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Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

Top Tips For Supporting Someone on Your Team with Mental Ill Health

Did you know that mental health problems affect one in four people? When people experience a mental health condition, they may feel isolated, ashamed and worthless. They may feel that they have no one to talk to and no one to turn to. Mental health is something that we all have and, just like physical fitness, it can be good or poor. So why is it such a taboo to talk about it?

Mental health conditions are something that can affect anyone at any time. Being able to talk to people about mental health can make a significant different.

Top Tips To Support Others in the Workplace

It can be daunting when someone is returning to work after an absence because of mental ill health. They might feel unsure of how people will treat them or they may be nervous about returning to work. As their colleague, you can play a part in welcoming them back.

1.    Check in
Keep a kind eye on them and see how they are doing throughout the day. Just a friendly ‘hello’ at lunch time or a ‘how are you getting on?’ during the day can give them the opportunity to ask for help if they need it or reassure them that they aren’t alone.

2.    Listen and don’t judge
They might want to talk about how they are feeling or they might share their experience with you. That’s ok and letting them talk can be all the outlet they need. Active non-judgemental listening is really important so give them time to speak without jumping in, stop what you are doing so they know they have your full attention and ask questions to prompt them if needed.

3.    Treat them in the same way
Coming back to work might be a way for them to experience some normality so being the same friendly colleague is just what they need. There is no need to be wary or fearful of someone because of their mental ill health. They are still the same person.

4.    Ask twice
It’s easy to just reply ‘I’m fine, thanks’ when we are asked how we are and often people will automatically say this even if they aren’t feeling 100%. Asking twice can give the person the opportunity to be honest about how they feeling.

5.    Don’t forget little gestures can have a big impact.
Making them a cup of tea; carrying something for them; asking them to join you for lunch; these small actions can make such a big difference to someone who might be feeling a little vulnerable and overwhelmed. Don’t underestimate the difference you can make to someone by including them and showing that you’ve thought of them.

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A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

30.03.2020

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

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Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

Embrace JOMO (the Joy of Missing Out)

Thanks to social media, we are now more connected than ever, yet this can actually create feelings of distance and disconnection. Being able to continuously check out where others are checking in, see the latest fads and favourites, and peer at ‘picture-perfect’ poses, the business and bustle of others can make us question if we too should be going out and joining in.

Escaping this ‘must-do’ mentality is essential to improving our mental health and wellbeing. Embracing JOMO (or ‘The Joy of Missing Out’) can be a positive step in reducing the feeling that you are obligated to take part and fit in, and this can reduce the additional pressure and stress in a number of different ways, including mentally, financially and physically. The emphasis on ‘JOMO’ is not that you are missing out, but that you have the choice to take a step back when you need to, to miss out on the ‘right things’ and giving you time to regroup, recharge and relax.

 

EMBRACING JOMO

1. START A DIGITAL DETOX

How often is your phone the first thing that you reach for when you wake up? How about sitting with your phone right next to you while you watch TV? Are you guilty of looking at your phone right before you go to sleep? Our phones, and by extension our tablets and other similar technologies, have become an essential part of our lives. Of course, they can help to minimise stress by keeping us organised, in contact and in the know. But their presence can also be a damaging distraction to our lives. Giving yourself time away from your phone is an important part of taking control of your wellbeing. Studies show that the blue light from your phone’s screen stimulates the brain so if you are using your phone as a tool to help you sleep, this could actually be having the reverse reaction. Downing your devices an hour before bedtime can help your body switch off and relax properly for a good night’s sleep. Ban phones at the dinner table so that you can focus on the people around you and use the time to catch up properly instead of being distracted by timelines and memes. Give yourself time to properly see and engage with the world around you rather than the electronic one in your hand.

2. SLOW DOWN

Life can feel like a treadmill of hustle and bustle. Often we find ourselves flitting from one activity to another, our days seeming to pass in a blur of work, appointments and commitments. Reducing the rush in our lives can give us time to recognise the things that are important to us, to invest and develop relationships with people we care about, and to reward ourselves for our hard work and commitment. In such a fast-paced world, think about the last time you sat down and actually did nothing. When did you go for a walk without having a reason or a time to adhere to? Scheduling time so that you have time to stop and appreciate the world around you is an essential part of JOMO – step out of the chaos into the calm when you need to.

3. SAY NO!

Often, we can be inundated with requests and invitations, and this can mean that we don’t have the time to stop and rest, even though sometimes we know that is what we should be doing. Being able to recognise when we need to recharge is essential. If your mobile phone was low in charge, you would either reduce your use of it to try to keep the battery going for a little longer until you could find a charger or you would stop using it immediately, plug it in and let it replenish with energy. Think about your body in the same way. Persistently pushing yourself physically and mentally with no time to rest will mean that you could eventually burn out. At the very least, it may mean that you are not able to work as efficiently as you usually would.

4. SCHEDULE ACTIVITIES YOU ENJOY

We are not always able to only do things that we want to. Different activities that make up our lives may not always be at the top of our list, but they fulfil an obligation or necessity. Planning things for you to do that brings joy means that you have a balance within your life and creates essential rewards for you completing the other activities. For example, you might dislike supermarket shopping, but obviously, it is an crucial chore meaning that you have the food and supplies needed to live. You could balance this activity by planning in some time afterwards to do something you do enjoy, such as putting your feet up and reading for a while. If your schedule is packed out, make sure you diarise time to complete a hobby, spend time with someone who makes you smile or just focus on some you-time to get that balance back.

 

 

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO MISS OUT AND DISCOVER THE THINGS YOU WERE ACTUALLY MISSING OUT ON ALL ALONG.

As a company, our vision is to simply see people flourishing in the workplace and our mission is to help clients to support and develop good psychological health in their teams. That is because we believe flourishing people create thriving organisations. 

We do this by providing specialist training and services to support mental health, resilience and wellbeing in the workplace.

Whether you are looking for face-to-face training, online learning or a blend of the two, we can tailor training on topics such as resilience, mental health and other developmental areas, perfectly suited to your organisation and team.  

Resilient People       

www.resilientpeople.co.uk         [email protected]       01977 210220

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

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A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

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When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

30.03.2020

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

(S)elf Care This Christmas

Christmas can be a chaotic and costly time of year. Here’s three ways to make sure your health is your wealth this Christmas time:

 

It’s About Presence, Not Presents

Giving gifts is part of the festive period, but the priority needs to be on you being there to enjoy spending time with family, making happy memories and being fit and well. Taking time out from work is especially important at this time of year so make the most of the time off, plan in some nights out and days in, catch up with friends and family and enjoy the gift of time this Christmas.

Spend Time, Not Money

This time of year can be costly on your wallet, but even an hour of your time is much more valuable than a wrapped gift. Seeing loved ones, especially if work means that you don’t get to do this as much as you would like, is a great use of your time for both your mental health and your relationships. A great idea for gifts for people is the opportunity to spend time together so think about booking tickets for something to do with others or just planning some time into your calendar over the year for some family time.

The Gift of Self-Care

Don’t forget yourself this year in amongst the gifts and events for other people. Switching off and getting some well-earned rest is a wonderful present for yourself to make sure you have time to catch up, recuperate and feel revitalised for the New Year.

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

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A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

30.03.2020

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

30.03.2020

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

Weather The Storm

Living in such an uncertain time can have a great impact on your life and of those around you. As well as experiencing anxiety and low mood, symptoms you might also experience include physical effects such as pain, appetite change and sleep problems. The global situation isn’t just a storm in a teacup so how can you look after yourself come rain or shine? Read our tips to help you weather the storm:

Don’t Forget Your Umbrella!

There are some things you just can’t change: if it rains, there is nothing you can do. But you can make a difference to how you cope. You can take an umbrella out with you. You can button up your rain coat. You can pull on your wellies. You don’t have to face the stormy weather without waterproofs, just like you don’t have to cope with this situation without support. This might be in the form of talking to a friend or family member; a peer support group; or advice from organisations available to support you with your wellbeing and mental health. Building your support network in what ever combination works for you as an individual can give you the shelter you need from the storm and make a vital difference.

Shower Yourself with Self-Care

If you can feel a gathering storm, take refuge in looking after yourself. Completing an activity you enjoy, catching up on sleep or just shutting the curtains and having a PJ day can be just what you need to brighten your day.  Being able to spot your own signs and symptoms can help to put self-care in place in the early stages. Self-care should be part of your routine: even the sunshine has a little rest day now and then so taking time out for yourself can play a part in improving the forecast and your mood. Sometimes you need to take a rain check and focus on yourself.

Throw Caution to the Wind

Changing your routine or trying something new can be a benefit to your mind and body. Learning a new skill, achieving a challenge or re-engaging with an existing hobby can improve self-esteem, increase wellbeing and give access to new learning and friends too! Any activity that promotes the release of endorphins or ‘happy hormones’ can be a real benefit to your mental health because it stimulates your mind and body as well as encouraging mental development and growth.

Sunshine on a Rainy Day

It can be easy to fall into a pattern of thinking that is quite negative. Instead of asking yourself ‘Why does it always rain on me?’, try to think more positively about the circumstances you are in. Although coping with the new and difficult situation we face can be challenging, research shows that gratitude is powerfully and reliably linked with greater happiness. Thinking about the things that you are grateful for nurtures positive emotions, helps you to recognise good experiences and supports in fostering strong relationships with those around you.

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

30.03.2020

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

30.03.2020

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

30.03.2020

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

Let’s Put the ‘Men’ in ‘Mental Health’

One in four people experience a mental health condition every year, yet talking about mental health carries a greater stigma than talking about health issues. The facts speak for themselves: 1 in 8 men suffer from a common mental health condition. Suicide is the biggest killer in men under 45. In the UK, men are three times as likely to take their own lives than women and it has consistently accounted for approximately three-quarters of all suicides in the UK since the mid-90s.


Seeking or accepting help for a mental health condition can be a real challenge. Admitting that they need help can seem like a sign of weakness to some men and this can mean that they feel unable to ask for help. This is perpetuated by sexist phrases, such as ‘Man up’ or being told to ‘Be a man’. Phrases like this suggest that showing emotions such as sadness or sharing their feelings is unacceptable for men. There is a false stereotype of a ‘real man’ where the characteristics isolate and force them to hide their true emotions. Unfortunately, it is this concealment that can lead to serious mental health problems and in the worst case scenario, suicide.

Instead of seeking support, often they turn to unhealthy ways to cope with their mental health, such as through substance abuse, anger and violence or self-medication through alcohol or drugs. This is why men are twice as likely to meet the criteria for alcohol dependence. Worryingly, alcohol can exacerbate depression and can increase impulsive behaviours, making it a risk factor for suicide.

Other risk factors include workplace pressure and the responsibility that some men may feel for their families and their ability to protect them by being the ‘breadwinner’ of the family. In addition, it can be that men may find themselves isolated because of their circumstances and unable to reach out. The director of a company; a retired, widowed man; a young apprentice: all of these people can share the same sense of loneliness and isolation, regardless of their background, class, experience or financial status. Someone who is experiencing depression or other mental health conditions may be at risk of suicide, but this is not always the case.

Suicide has a devastating ripple effect on family, friends and communities who may struggle to understand why someone has decided to take their own life. They may not have been aware of the suffering that the person who has completed suicide may have been in and this can make it incredibly hard to come to terms with.

Suicide is distressing, but it can be prevented by knowing the warning signs and being proactive in supporting with someone why may be presenting these. Some of the signs to look out for are:

  • Expressing the intent to hurt or kill themselves
  • Writing or talking about death
  • Hopelessness
  • Showing feelings of rage or anger
  • Acting in a reckless way without consideration of the consequences
  • Increasing alcohol or drug use
  • Isolating themselves from friends, family or society.
  • Trouble in sleeping
  • Saying goodbye or ‘putting affairs in order’
  • Significant changes in mood

This list is not exhaustive and someone who completes suicide may not present any of these signs at all. If someone you know or care about is presenting some or all of these signs, make sure that you talk to them directly about how they might be feeling. You could suggest visiting the GP with them to support them. If you think there is an immediate danger to the person, phone 999 and do not leave them unattended. If you yourself recognise these signs in yourself or want to access help for a mental health condition, read below for some advice about where to find advice and support.

HOW CAN YOU ASK FOR SUPPORT WITH YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Ignore the old adages to ‘man up’ or to ‘grow a pair’. The strongest thing a man can do is seek help if they are struggling with their mental health. This can sometimes feel like a great obstacle. It is common to feel unsure of who to ask and what reaction will be received. It’s ok to ask for help even if you are not sure if you are experiencing a specific mental health condition. See below for some sources of support that you could access:

YOUR GP

Your GP can help identify support that is appropriate to your needs. They might refer you to other services, such as talking therapies; they might prescribe medication; or they might give you advice and information to help you.

A Family Member or Close Friend

Because they know you so well, it is likely that they will have already spotted that you might not be coping as well. Talking to someone who already knows you can relieve some of the worries about judgement. They might be able to support you with errands or responsibilities to take some of the pressure off you in the short term.

Trained Therapist

You might be referred by your doctor or in some cases, you can contact therapists directly. Therapists are trained to discuss and explore individual issues in a confidential environment. For some people, this feels less threatening than discussing their emotions with someone close to them.

Peer Support

Some communities have peer support groups for like-minded people or people who are experiencing the same condition. They meet regularly and this can be a source of additional information as well as a place to find out strategies to help you cope.

Workplace Support

Some workplaces have EAP (Employee Assistance Programmes) or support groups where you can access information support and help in a completely confidential setting.

We have a range of services to support mental health and wellbeing in your organisation. Please get in touch for more information: [email protected] or 01977 210220

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

30.03.2020

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

30.03.2020

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

30.03.2020

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

How to Support Someone with Their Mental Health at Work

Mental Health in the workplace is a hot topic – and why not when research shows that one in four of us will experience a mental health problem this year. That means that it is more than likely that you work with someone with a mental health condition right now.

The Mental Health Foundation has recently completed research that suggests that on average we say “I’m fine” when someone asks us how we are fourteen times per week, but actually we only mean it 19% of the time! Knowing our colleagues can be hard when we have an ever-growing list of priorities to work through, but as we spend the majority of our week with them, why not make an effort to get to know who you work with? Social relationships are essential for promoting wellbeing so what can you do to support your workmates? See our handy help sheet to give you some tips

WHERE AND WHEN

If you want to offer support to a colleague who seems to be struggling, make sure it is not at a time that is very busy or time-limited, or in a place that doesn’t afford any privacy. Your colleague needs to feel comfortable to share their emotions.

ENCOURAGE THEM TO SEEK SUPPORT

Gently ask if they have considered seeking support or if they have someone they can trust to talk to. You could even offer to go to an appointment with them. Seeking help from Employee Assistance Programmes or their GP can offer them specialist support to give them tools to support their feelings.

LISTEN

Asking open-ended questions such as ‘How did that make you feel?’ instead of ‘Did that make you feel low?’ and really giving your work colleague chance to talk is one of the most helpful things you can do. Having someone listen to their concerns can be a positive step in the right direction to seeking help or feeling a little bit more in control. You don’t need to give solutions – just showing understanding and that you care speaks volumes about the support that they have even if they might not have realised it before.

LEAVE YOUR DOOR OPEN

Your colleague might not feel able to open up right away, but letting them know you are there for them and that your door is open (figuratively or literally depending on where you work) shows that you are there to support when they are ready – and that can make such a difference to someone who might feel alone.

BE KIND

Especially to those that might be showing signs of stress and poor mental health, but don’t forget that anyone at any time can be fighting a battle that we can’t see. Taking the time to say hello to people, making a cup of tea for someone or asking how someone’s weekend has been only takes a minute, but it can make a lot of difference to someone who may be struggling.

ALLEVIATE SOME OF THE STRESS

You may be able to help a colleague by doing a favour or small job for them. This doesn’t mean taking on their workload and adding additional stress to your own: something simple like running a small errand for them or washing up a tea cup are all little things that can make a big difference.

IF THERE IS IMMEDIATE DANGER, SEEK HELP

You don’t need to have all the answers. If you feel like someone has the potential to cause harm to themselves or if their emotions and feelings are threatening to overwhelm them, you can seek support from the Samaritans, their GP, a family member or your employer (either line manager or HR).

NON-JUDGEMENTAL

People with poor mental health can often feel like the world is a critical and disapproving place. They may feel vulnerable and self-conscious about how they are feeling. Listening and being neutral in your opinions and answers can help your colleague to share and explore their feelings in a non-threatening way and without worry. They may not always make the best decisions for themselves, but you can always encourage them to make sure they are looking after themselves such as checking they have taken some time to have a break, grab a drink and off load if they need to without the worry of judgement.

GIVE THEM SPACE FROM THEIR WORRIES

Being there for someone and remembering to ask how an appointment went or how they are doing is a vital part of supporting someone. However, it is important to give them space to work through their emotions, including giving them time away from thinking about them. Talking about other light-hearted topics can be a useful tonic and a way to take their mind off some of their worries.

Resilient People are here to help support your organisation through training and wellbeing services to build positive mental health in the workplace all year round. Our ‘RESPOND’ course has been developed especially for managers to give them confidence and knowledge in supporting their teams. This includes how to spot signs and symptoms, how to have a conversation with a member of their team and how to build resilience for challenge and change.

We have a range of services to support mental health and wellbeing in your organisation. Please get in touch for more information: [email protected] or 01977 210220

 

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

30.03.2020

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

30.03.2020

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

30.03.2020

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

Working too many hours can cause depression

A warning to all workaholics: Working too many hours overtime might greatly increase the chances of you suffering from depression. It has been reported in a number of newspapers this week that a study examining the work habits of more than 2000 UK Civil Servants discovered a credible link between hours worked and the likelihood of suffering from a major bout of depression. In fact, the study stated that working more than 11 hours a day led to a 2.5 times increase in the chance of suffering from severe depression when compared to those working a standard seven or eight hour shift.

It goes without saying the relationship between work and depression is complicated and even the mentioned study does not go so far as to suggest the link is concrete. There is enough evidence, however, to cause most of us to heed the warning. Like riding a motorcycle at high speeds will increase your chances of having an accident, pushing yourself too hard at work will increase the chances of becoming depressed . You need to have regard for you emotional wellbeing; you need to be honest with yourself and others about the way you feel, and you need to know when to slow things down before you make yourself ill.

Of course, for many of us working long hours is an everyday fact and it is important to remember that there are lots of things you can do reduce your stress levels and improve your mental wellbeing.

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

30.03.2020

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

30.03.2020

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

30.03.2020

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working