We’ve all been holding out for a better end to 2020, having endured lockdown after lockdown and tiers that have prevented us from seeing family, friends and taking part in anything remotely ‘normal’, and as Christmas approaches, the circumstances are and will be still very challenging for many. During this time, it’s important to look after ourselves, both physically and mentally. We often talk about the importance of keeping physically healthy; active, getting plenty of rest, and a good diet, but this also applies to our minds. The two work together. Our brains are really powerful and are responsible for a lot when it comes to our own mental health and wellbeing. You may have heard of the concept of a mental health continuum. This concept talks of the idea that we can move up and down between maximum wellbeing and poor wellbeing, as well as horizontally between no diagnosis and diagnosis.
We can move all around this continuum over a period of years, months, weeks and even days and this is largely affected by what’s going on in our lives and how we can cope with challenges we may face. I mention this as it’s likely during this festive time and into the new year, we will find ourselves moving around the continuum. This is very normal, yet not always very well understood, but the importance is in the recognition and self-awareness of possible changes in our mood, behaviour and environment that may have a negative impact on our wellbeing. Once we begin to understand what may be ‘usual’ behaviour and emotions for ourselves, we will then be able to identify when patterns start to change.
This is why effective support and selfcare is crucial as it’s these things that will positivity affect our mental health when we start to notice or feel like we’re moving down the continuum. But what does that look like? What support is available and what can we do to look after ourselves? Below, are a number of support services that can be accessed over the Christmas period and beyond. Please note, some of these may be closed on Christmas Day itself. You can also see more services on the pages that follow this article.
www.samaritans.org 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 116 123 for free. Email [email protected] Write a letter to: Chris, Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 9090, STIRLING FK8 2SA Self-help app (available via website)
CAMPAIGN AGAINST LIVING MISERABLY (CALM)
www.thecalmzone.net Call 0800 58 58 58 – Open 5pm – Midnight, 365 days a year. Webchat – Open 5pm – Midnight, 365 days a year.
STAY ALIVE Free on the Appstore. Provides advice and resources to help you stay alive and support someone who may feel suicidal.
CALM HARM Free Self-Harm distraction techniques and activities.
HEADSPACE Free for some during the pandemic, in-app purchases Provides music and tracks to listen to for sleep, meditation and for working out