Mental Health Awareness Week at Polystream
Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year www.mind.org.
We wanted to share how some of the team at Polystream deal with personal mental health problems when feeling challenged and overwhelmed and what they do to try and overcome them.
What advice do you give yourself if you feel anxious or worried?
“One day, after the other.”
“Slow things down and form a plan…and breathe. Remember to breathe.”
“Take the pressure off myself until I can approach with a nice, friendly, untroubled attitude. Sometimes a silly conversation with family or friends helps.”
“I try to avoid overthinking. I now know what triggers my anxiety and are able to tell myself “it’s okay, you know this happens, you’ll get over it.”
“To not let it spiral out of control I use mindfulness techniques to stay grounded and in the moment.”
“To walk away for a minute, breathe in and breathe out for 2 minutes and tell myself that I am in control.”
What advice do you give yourself if you’re feeling angry or frustrated?
It can be difficult to control your emotions when feeling overwhelmed. It is important to remove yourself from a situation when you are feeling frustrated and understand what you can do to control the anger.
“Talk about why you think you feel the way you do, if you can.”
“I meditate if I can and think about what actions I had taken when I felt angry and think about how I could tackle the situation differently if it were to happen again.”
“I remove myself from the situation and do a mindfulness body scan to stop myself from boiling over.”
What advice do you give yourself if you’re feeling sad or low?
“Getting to sleep can be is difficult for me, so I try not to put pressure on myself and if it gets really bad I’ll WFH.”
“Exercise and ensure I am getting fresh air.”
“I sleep like a brick. If I don’t it is because something is wrong. I will fix that.”
Try not to eat huge meals before bed. The NHS reported that people who consume a greater number of calories later in the day tend to have less sleep.
Is there any more advice, techniques, etc you’d recommend to someone if they were suffering from a mental health issue?
“Meditation and exercise are really helpful. Sometimes finding even a small amount of time (5-10 minutes) to do these activities can help mentally, but it also gets you thinking about how much time you have available in the day for important things for yourself.”
“I don’t believe in universal cures. I think each person is different and each one should find the activity or technique that works for them. In my case, a Terry Pratchett Disc-world book always makes me smile.”
‘Practice mindfulness as often as you can. Practice when you are feeling good, as you will be better at it than if you are low. When you are feeling low you need mindfulness the most, all that practice will have paid off.’
“Insight Timer is a great meditation app. It allows you to completely switch off and pause, and concentrate on you for that short while. I thoroughly recommend it, you will finish the meditation feeling relaxed and ready to tackle any task thrown your way.”
“My advice is to never underestimate how brave you are for getting help. You wouldn’t break your leg and not get help. If your heart, head, or just stuff feels broken it’s just as important to get help. There is no shame or stigma in taking the best care of yourself possible. Also never underestimate how important sleep and exercise are in giving yourself the endorphins and space to recover. Or a good podcast or book to give you some much-needed inspiration. But if that’s not enough and sometimes it’s scary to reach out to those that know you but there are valuable resources out there that can help when you might feel alone. You can call or text the Samaritans at any time. They offer emotional support to anyone who calls feeling lonely, depressed, suicidal, or just looking for someone to talk to.”
Your thoughts, your emotions, and your behaviour are all linked, an imbalance in any of these can have a dramatic effect on your physical and mental well-being.
You will be surprised at how many people around you are more than likely to be feeling the same way and can relate to your feeling. The more that we are open with ourselves and the people around us the safer the world will feel for everyone.
It’s okay not to feel okay, If you want to talk to someone please seek professional help.