World Mental Health Day 2020 is the most important one yet. The months of lockdown, uncertain times and the lack of contact with loved ones has really had a huge impact on us all.

Therefore, it’s prioritising mental health has never been more important than it is now.

Here at X1, we are lucky enough to have our very own qualified Clinical Counsellor and Psychotherapist who is head of our HR Department. It’s the ever so lovely and amazing, Anna Bonner ūüíú

Anna Bonner

To create awareness of World Mental Health Week 2020 & to help our tenants, we sat down with Anna (via the magical world of Zoom) to bring you a Q&A on the most common issues we’re all experiencing at the moment.

Do you have any tips on how to deal with loneliness during lockdown?

Loneliness can feel debilitating at times, particularly when friends, family and loved ones might be far away from you, or even close by but not able or as keen to get out and about as much as they did pre-covid.

For anyone feeling lonely, the best thing I would suggest is to reach out and let people into how you are feeling – a problem shared is a problem halved.

Of course, face to face contact will for many, always feel the most comforting to combat loneliness, but in these modern times we live in, we have so much technology at our fingertips that can help us connect to others without physical contact, whether that is by picking up the phone, a video call, Zoom call, joining an online club or even emails and texting with friends or family.

You could even schedule in a time each day or week with a specific loved one so you know you will always get that regular dose of company and interaction!

 

Why is self care important for your mental health?

Self care is the key to health of both the mind and body. Self care is essentially looking after yourself, and in my view, nothing is more important than self care, you must tend to your own needs and be a solid foundation in yourself before you can even think about supporting others.

I didn’t know there were different types of self care?

There are four different types, mental, physical, emotional and social.

Mental self care might be doing something like snuggling up with a favourite book on the sofa, or even learning or studying something new in your free time – it is anything that engages your mind.

Physical self care could be a weekly yoga class, a daily dog walk or it might even be eyeing up Joe Wicks whilst he takes you through a YouTube workout in your living room!

Emotional self care is often based in self-awareness, being aware and accepting of your own feelings. Notice, acknowledge and accept them as they come and go, whether that is anger, sadness, frustration or anything else on the emotional spectrum.

We are humans, not robots, and will all feel a full range of emotions at various points of our days, weeks and years Рeveryone does!

Whether that is your boss, mum or dad, favourite celebrity Рemotions are part of all of us.

Try to treat yourself with care and kindness when it comes to your emotional wellbeing; it can be useful to check in with yourself regularly and ask internally ‘how am I feeling?’, ‘what’s¬†bothering me right now?’, ‘what could help me feel even better?’, this may help you feel more in tune with your emotions.

Social self care is about connections to to others, that might be through time with friends or family, either in person or phone/video calls, chatting to colleagues whilst making up a cut of tea in the office, connecting online via social media, it might even be smiling at a stranger on the street and just knowing you have brightened up their day.
We are all social beings to different degrees – take time to consider what your ideal level of social interaction is, and keep that in mind whether that means making more plans, or cancelling some!

Tips to stay positive during a negative period?

Always remember these words: this too shall pass! 

Just like a sunrise follows every single dark night, there is always a bright new day ahead of you which has new possibilities, new chances and new connections.

Life will naturally have its ups and downs, but even on those dark gloomy days where the sun doesn’t peak out from the clouds, remember it is still up there above them shining, you just can’t see it.

This can also be true of negative periods, when you are feeling low and in a hole it can be difficult to remember the good things in life, like those who love you, like how strong you are and how much you have been through to get to this point, and the exciting possibilities that the rest of life will hold for you!

Open up to someone about how you are feeling, they are likely to be the thing that can part the clouds and remind you that the sun is always shining somewhere for you, even if you can’t see it.

How to battle feelings of guilt surrounding mental health?

Mental health is sometimes viewed as something separate to physical health, when really they are entirely interlinked and inseparable.

Physical illness can often receive more sympathy and understanding from others because it is clear and visible, but can we all just take a moment to remind ourselves what clever little brainy organ allows us to be physically active in the first place!

The brain is our operating box that controls all behaviour, actions, emotions and thoughts. It is every bit as important to look after your mind as it is your body.

Self care is NOT selfish

Sometimes self care and ‘looking after number one’ can be viewed as selfish or self-indulgent but for me, I am proud to say I take pleasure and pride in looking after myself mentally and have absolutely sought help when I felt I might have needed it.

Because really, what else could possible be more important than looking after your own personal operating box, your unique, creative and wonderful mind!

For more information or to speak to a professional, please click here 

If this blog helps just one person, reassuring them that’s it’s ok not to be ok all of the time, then we will be very very happy ūü§ó