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Taking care of your mental health and wellbeing

View profile for Pam Thompson
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Good mental health and wellbeing are essential for living healthy and happy lives. There are areas of our lives where we can make simple changes to make a big difference to our mental health.

Learn to recognise unhelpful thoughts – In recognising a pattern it may be possible to alter how you approach a task or a problem. Consider perhaps what advice you would offer to someone else and whether there is perhaps a more positive approach to a task or a problem.

Become more aware of your own thoughts and feelings – Give yourself time to be more mindful by learning to focus on the present. Breathing exercises are a good way to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety.

Ensure you get good quality sleep – Sticking to a regular bed time can help as well as making your bedroom as relaxing as possible with less distractions and less light. Try and avoid drinks that contain caffeine before bedtime. Ear plugs and eye masks can be helpful.

Talking to other people – Spend time with family and friends if possible. This can be online or by phone, it does not always have to be in person. Social connection can come in many different forms. Perhaps research social groups in your area.

Care for your physical health – Try to be active and get outdoors, along with a healthy, balanced diet. Even small amounts of regular physical activity can make a difference. If possible perhaps try to cut out on habits that you know are not good for your health.

Take time to do something for yourself – Is there a new hobby you would like to do? Learning a new skill can be a great way to meet people and to build your self-esteem.

Try writing a letter to your future self – when you are feeling good, think about what advice you would give to yourself in harder times. Remind yourself what helps to keep you feeling more positive.

Sometimes we may be concerned about someone else’s mental wellbeing.

What steps can you do to support someone else?

Take time to check in on the person – It could just be a text or a quick call to show them that you’re really interested  in how they are doing.

Listen – Let the person have time to talk about what they are going through and try to avoid making assumptions. Asking open questions can be useful, instead of simple yes or no replies.

Try and be patient – A person may not always feel comfortable talking about what they are going through. A person is likely to be appreciative of you reaching out even if they do not feel like responding.

Finally, give them time to say what they need from you and remember to be yourself and remember they are still the same person you know and care about.  

At Stephensons, we are committed to supporting the mental health of our clients and colleagues alike. We frequently signpost clients to mental health organisations if they need additional support and during lockdown 1, we contacted every clinical negligence client to offer them the opportunity to contact us for a chat if they were feeling isolated, lonely or anxious. We also have appointed specific mental health advisors (of which I am one of them) for all our staff to contact when they need any support or help and have an external counselling service for our staff to access.