The UK is facing a mental health crisis, it’s probably a good time for us all to think about how we can look after our own mental wellbeing – and to check in on others too.
World Wellbeing Week aims to raise awareness of the importance of looking after our wellbeing and give us the opportunity to check in with each other – and after the turbulence of the last 18 months this has never been more necessary.
Figures from the Government’s Covid-19 Mental Health and Wellbeing Surveillance Report found that average mental distress was 8.1 percent higher in April 2020 than it was between 2017 and 2019.
The proportion of people experiencing sleep problems has unsurprisingly also increased, with loneliness, health anxiety, financial worries and too much screen-time to thank.
Burnout is also on the rise. In a survey conducted by job-finder giant Indeed, during the pandemic, over half (52 percent) of survey respondents said they are experiencing burnout in 2021, up from 43 percent pre-Covid.
Several CBD brands have also reported a rise in customers looking for an antidote to their Covid-induced anxiety.
Meanwhile a survey of 800 UK residents by CBD brand Trip, found a staggering 85 percent believe the most recent lockdown has negatively affected their sleeping habits, with over two thirds saying that 2020 was the most stressful year of their life.
With this in mind, it’s probably a good time for us all to think about how we can look after our own mental wellbeing – and check on others too. Here’s a few suggestions, based on recommendations by NHS England and UK mental health charities.
There’s a reason people are always banging on about it. Exercise is good for physical and mental health. Even if it’s the last thing you feel like doing, evidence shows exercise helps raise your self-esteem and causes chemical changes in the brain to boost your mood.
It doesn’t need to mean spending hours in the gym, just a short walk in the fresh air will help change your perspective and if you’re living with a chronic condition or disability, the NHS has suggested some small changes you could make to help you be more active during your day.
The term mindfulness has become a bit of a buzzword, which can put some people off. But in essence, all it means is focusing on the present moment and not letting your thoughts run away from you.
According to the NHS being mindful can help positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges. Yoga, meditation and breathing exercises are all tools which can help you focus on what’s happening now.
Get enough sleep
A good night’s sleep is crucial for our wellbeing – and not getting enough can have a detrimental effect on our physical and mental health. Make sure you’re taking other measures to help your mind and body switch off.
Avoiding screens after a certain time, establishing a calming routine including a hot bath or breathing exercises, adjusting the room temperature and light and investing in a supportive mattress and pillows will all help you to drift off peacefully. If you’re struggling to switch off, try a few drops of CBD before bed.
A good place to start is with 10 to 20mg a day. If this doesn’t feel like it’s working, try upping the dose by 5mg a week until you hit the sweet spot – it is thought that 25mg a day is a realistic goal for treating insomnia.
Connect with others
Good relationships with other people in your life, not only offer you somewhere to turn to for support, but also a place to share positive experiences and build your self-worth and sense of belonging.
You might not feel like socialising or think you have the time, but we rarely regret making an effort to see a friend, or even giving a family member a quick call. Technology is great for connecting with loved ones who live far away – particularly in these pandemic times – but don’t become reliant on social media for all your socialising, it can actually be very isolating.
Talk to someone
If you’re struggling, or even just having a bit of a bad day, talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling. We don’t need to wait until we reach crisis point before reaching out.
If you need support with your mental health, there is always someone you can talk to.
Mind Tel: 0300 123 3393 / firstname.lastname@example.org/
Samaritans Tel: 116 123 / email@example.com
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