In 2018, Mental Health Awareness Week is from the 14th to the 20th of May. The focus for this year is about stress and how we are coping with it.
Research has shown that 16 million people experience a mental health problem each year, and stress is a key factor in this. By tackling stress, we can go a long way to tackle mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, and, in some instances, self-harm and suicide.
Self-care is one way coping with stress to help improve our mental health. Self-care is engaging in activities and behaviours that have a positive effect on your mental and physical health. There is no one thing — or even a list of things — that encompasses self-care. It’s different for each person.
The end goal is always the same: to reduce stress, preserve relationships, maintain a beneficial work/life balance, and nurture your mental and physical well-being. People are being encouraged to write their own self care plans.
Why self-care is so important
Self-care is necessary for a number of reasons.
- It increases your sense of self-love, allowing you to appreciate and accept yourself for who you are.
- It promotes feelings of calm and relaxation, serving as a way to refocus and come back to your daily life refreshed and ready to take on anything.
- It improves both physical and mental health by reducing the effects of prolonged stress on your mind and body
Self-care requires you identifying your needs and taking the necessary steps to meet them. Ultimately, meeting your own needs makes you a more valuable partner, parent, friend, employee or caregiver.
When you’re healthy and well-rested, you’re better equipped to support others. For some people it will be keeping to a routine, getting creative, dancing, going for a walk for others it will be the having the chance able to speak with others.
Having a self – care plan is really important for those times that we forget to take care of ourselves and don’t have others to take care of us. Each self- care plan is personal and as diverse as the communities we live in.
Characteristics such as racial and cultural backgrounds, ages, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities and religious beliefs open up alternative ways of perceiving, thinking and acting that enriches our understanding of mental health and recovery will all influence self – care plans
Nina Munday, Manager of Fife Centre for Equalities said “As a manager for a charity, it is too easy to neglect my own mental health because naturally I want to be supportive of everyone; staff, volunteers, trustees, users and everyone that comes into contact with the organisation. One of my biggest flaws is that I have my lunch at my desk working through my unpaid lunch hour. To be a positive example for my colleagues, I am going to make an effort to do something healthier during my lunch hour. This could be learning a de-stressing exercise, out for a walk or simply stay away from the computer for an hour.
During the Mental Awareness Week, we are going to encourage our fellow tenants to step away from their desks and share lunch with us on a work day. At FCE, we are keen to hear your tips on being stress free so please get in touch with your stories.”
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