In the long dark days of winter looking after your mental wellbeing is as important as looking after your physical health.
This Self Care Week is an opportunity to ask ourselves, could I do more to look after my own mental wellbeing? Please take a few moments to look through some of the ideas here and see if there is anything you would like to try.
Be sleep aware research suggests that we ideally need seven and a half to eight hours sleep every night. There are top tips available on the Sleep Council website.
Think about a spot of mindfulness and relaxation. There are many ways to be mindful and take a moment or two out of your busy day to reflect and be aware of how you feel in your mind and body. Relaxation techniques and mindfulness are great ways to reduce your stress levels, reduce your anxiety and improve your low mood. Try one of the free mindfulness podcasts which are available online from steps2change SoundCloud channel, or visit the website for more information.
Do something amazing and give something back. We are looking for people who want to be part of our organisation by providing the most precious commodity – their time. We have a range of opportunities available and some fantastic volunteers who work with us now and help us do what we do. Small acts of kindness toward others such as volunteering can give you a sense of purpose and can make you feel happier and more satisfied with life. Please consider applying to be a volunteer, whatever the amount of time you can give. Apply to be an LPFT volunteer.
Getting active and social can be great for your physical health and fitness, and evidence shows that it can also improve your mental wellbeing. Lincolnshire’s Managed Care Network is a collection of community groups which offers support through various activities to help people recovering from mental ill health, or those living with dementia. It offers a wide variety of activities and groups ranging from local social and friendship groups, sporting and other outdoor physical activities, through to creative therapy and support for carers. Read more about the Managed Care Network.
Learn how to become an expert in self care through our Recovery College. The college uses an educational based approach. This can enable people to recognise and develop their personal resourcefulness in order to become experts in their self care, make informed choices and do the things they want to in life. The college offers free courses to anyone who wants to know more about mental health, whether they are a service user, carer, professional or just someone interested in learning more. Find out more, or download a prospectus.
Under 19 and looking for emotional wellbeing support? Go to www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/ewb which is a first step to accessing information and advice about emotional wellbeing. There’s also our Healthy Minds service for young people. Evidence tells us that early help when issues arise prevents mental health problems arising in the future. We can help young people with a range of emotional wellbeing concerns eg exam stress, worries, low mood, low body image, self-harm, relationship difficulties, low self-confidence.
Get involved in talking about mental health. We are running a series of workshops on mental health in partnership with our colleagues in the SHINE network. We cover the whole of Lincolnshire and could be coming to a town near you, find out more on the website.
We know that empowering people and giving them the tools to look after their own mental and physical health can be imperative for stability and recovery. Every winter we hear a lot about flu jabs and colds but please don’t forget about your mental health.
Jane Marshall is Director of Strategy at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. She has worked in the NHS for 30 years in various roles and for the last seven years, when she’s been with LPFT, she has been working on ensuring that mental health is given the same importance as physical health.