By Rosie Breakwell • Published on 18th May, 2023
With the Royal Bath and West Show just 2 weeks away, Mental Health Awareness Week couldn’t come at a better time in the team. With our fabulous Head of Commercial Sales, Charly, and Head of Shows, Jess, being Mental Health First Aiders, we’ve focused this week on how we can aid our own mental health in a busy world.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is something everybody has. There is a common misconception that the term mental health means negative mental health or a mental health disorder, but the term mental health actually means a state of mental wellbeing, that can at any time be positive, negative, or somewhere in between.
Everybody is busy, but looking after your own wellbeing should be a priority, so we urge you to give yourself at least a few minutes each day to check in with yourself and try out some of the tips that come your way.
Anxiety: The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2023
So, what is anxiety? Anxiety is a feeling of fear, unease and worry, and is something that we all experience at times. Anxiety is something that can help us to take extra care when needed, and even protect us from some situations, but if it gets too much, goes on for a while and becomes all-consuming, it can affect our daily life.
Some signs to look out for in yourself or others:
- Feeling or seeming restless, on edge or fidgety
- Easily irritable
- Getting tired easily
- Having difficulty concentrating or your mind going blank
- Having difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Tense muscles
- Tight chest
- Feeling or appearance of panic
Let’s Check in!
Before we begin our mental health top tips, check in on yourself.
- How am I feeling?
- What would make me feel calmer or happier today?
- How can I support myself today?
- Is there something I am worried about?
- What can I do to make this feel lighter?
Top Tip No.1 Breathing techniques.
Spend some time today focusing on your breathing and concentrating on the feeling of your body as you breathe in and out. Here are some suggestions of techniques to try – you can do this almost anywhere! Sat outside, in a quiet space on your own or even at your desk and nobody would notice.
Close your mouth and quietly breathe in through your noise, counting to four in your head.
Hold your breath and count to seven.
Breathe out through your mouth, making a whoosh sound if you can, whilst counting to eight.
Repeat three more times for a total of four breath cycles.
Looking at a portrait orientation frame or piece of paper, follow the edges starting at the bottom left corner.
Breathe in through your nose slowly as you take your eyes up the left hand side of the page.
Hold your breath as you slowly run your eyes along the top.
Breathe out slowly through your mouth whilst following your eyes down the right hand side of the page or frame.
Hold that as you look along the bottom edge.
Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable.
Using your index finger on one hand trace around the edges of each finger on the other hand as you take breaths.
Breathe in through your nose as you trace up the outside of your little finger, then out through your mouth as you trace down the inside. Try to make each breath last between the count of 3 and 5, and repeat on each finger.
Top Tip No.2 Get outside into nature.
Spending time in nature has a positive impact on our mental health as it can help us to feel calmer and less stressed.
Being out in the sunlight can also improve your sleep. It helps make you feel more tired at night, shortening the time it takes to fall asleep and improving the quality of your rest. Not only this, it takes us away, even if briefly, from the overstimulation that we experience in the modern world, especially at work. From computer screens, to mobile phones, they are all competing for our attention, so stepping outside away from all of the noise gives our brains a chance for a breather and a break.
You can also find yourself feeling more grounded and more connected.
Top Tip No.3 Connect with people and talk about how you feel.
Perhaps one of the hardest things to do, but talking about how you are feeling can be very empowering and help to lighten the load. If you are feeling anxiety, sometimes saying it out loud can take away its power over you. Loneliness can have a detrimental effect on both your mental and physical health, so connecting with others helps to lower those lonely feelings and increase happiness.
Connecting with others helps to build a sense of belonging and self-worth whilst giving the opportunity to share positive experiences as well as provide or receive emotional support.
Top Tip No.4 Get moving.
Exercise, no matter how vigorous, it a good way of dealing with anxiety. It releases endorphins which are known as the happy hormones, allows us to take a break for every day challenges and responsibilities, strengthens our connection with our bodies and helps emotions to move through our bodies.
Top Tip No.5 Try to eat a healthy diet.
For many of us, feeling anxious might cause us to reach for sugary snacks or junk food, however these can sometimes just make these feelings worse.
Eating healthily can boost your self-esteem, improve your overall energy levels and also increase your brain function, which all contributes to our overall wellbeing.
Remember, you are not alone. If you are feeling anxious, reach out to one of the fabulous organisations listed below who always have space for a chat.
The Bath & West Showground : Taking Workplace Wellbeing to the next level
We’re doing more to help ourselves and our clients at The Bath and West Showground, watch this space for more information on our upcoming quiet room, wellbeing focused day delegate packages and more.