Whilst I frequently write about child mental health, this blog is a shallow dive into adult mental health, to support parents, carers and wider family members who may need some support.
Mental health, whilst a subject more frequently written and talked about, is still shrouded in its own elements of taboo and stigma.
The reality, all of us have mental health. In its simplest form, mental health is a pendulum, swinging back and forth throughout our lives between good mental health and ill mental health. Different life circumstances, situations and experiences may influence the pendulum in the short, medium or longer term.
So, what dictates our responses to this?
For the majority, core factors that affect our reactions and the impact and duration of the impact on our mental health include (but not exhaustive):
What indicates our mental health may need some TLC?
Mental health doesn’t often just get up and smack us round the face, it often creeps in slowly and gives us warning signs (red flags) that it is feeling overwhelmed. For instance, you may experience:
Anyone can have any combinations or symptoms, but if these last for more than a few days, or are not manageable then it is an indicator that further support is needed. It should also be recognised that the sooner you intercept, the easier these can be to manage.
Do your coping strategies indicate you need a hand?
The greatest difficulty that many adults experience is that they have developed negative coping mechanisms in the past to manage stress. The school curriculum rarely teaches us how to manage stress and as such, we navigate mental health and learn coping strategies from our own experiences. Whilst some people may have experienced coaching, therapy or support to learn how to manage their emotions this is not something that everyone has experienced.
Some things that we can become aware of, which may indicate we need to spend some time investing in our mental health include:
If any of these things are resonating with you, then it may be a time where you want to address these, or develop some positive habits.
Where can I start?
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and mental health is something we need to work on for a lifetime, not just five minutes. But, if you realise that things have gotten out of sync, starting with small steps is a great way to learn to manage things.
#1 – Reach out – picking up the phone and asking for help can feel like an overwhelming step, but if you pick up the phone and start the process, you will have support throughout the time to help you. This can be a confidential health line such as the Samaritans, your GP, referring yourself to TimeToTalk or a private therapist. Engaging with professional support can help you make sense of how you feel, have someone to listen to and also allow you learn new coping strategies and take back a sense of control and peace.
#2 – Start with one small thing – if the world feels overwhelming, then take the pressure off yourself to be performing miracles. Choosing one small thing to achieve, whether it’s taking a shower, making the bed, doing the hoovering or taking a walk to the post office or supermarket. Creating small loops of achievement, where you have a sense of having done something allow us to focus on a small task and keep ourselves focussed for short periods.
#3 – access resources to help – there is a wealth of resource available, whether it’s audios on my website, free EBooks, apps such as Headspace or meditation audios, utilising resources to calm your thoughts down and develop moments of peace in a day can be vital to developing positive coping strategies and feeling more in control. Not everything helps everyone, but experimenting with different resources can help you find the right strategies for you.
#4 – notice your patterns – sitting with a large sheet of paper and writing down all the things bothering you (feelings, thoughts, emotions, responses, situations or events) can help you identify any core patterns that affect you or have been affecting you for a period of time which may be contributing to your mental health. For instance, you may identify negative coping mechanisms, core triggers that impact you or situations that are not resolved and need a helping hand to heal.
#5 – journal – keeping a journal can be a lifeline to a busy brain. Using a journal, and just taking time to sit and write everything on your mind (don’t worry about punctuation, grammar and spelling, just write) can be both calming and allow us to process things. Write without thinking, then re-read and look for – one small actions you could take, one resource or professional who could help you, one thing to be grateful for.
Who can I call? Contact?
There are times in life, when we simply need professional help to manage our feelings and thoughts and support our mental health. In these times, you can reach out to:
If you, or someone you care for is in mental health crisis, please contact
You can read more about by downloading our FREE Ebooks – https://www.dandeliontraininganddevelopment.com/courses/
You can learn more about child anxiety by visiting – https://www.dandeliontraininganddevelopment.com/courses/
You can find therapeutic story books to support your child at – www.adventuresofbrian.co.uk
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