We’re proud to be supporting Mental Health Awareness Week between the 15th and 21st May 2023. The theme of this year is anxiety, and how to understand and manage these feelings.
Anxiety is a feeling experienced by all of us at some point in our life. It can be caused by a variety of factors ranging from exam stress to financial worries, and sometimes it can get out of control and become a mental health problem. This year, the Mental Health Foundation is raising awareness of anxiety, including how to understand it and manage it.
Here are a few ways to help manage anxiety:
Focus on breathing.
When having anxious thoughts, try to concentrate on the feeling of your body as you breathe in and out. This can be done through the 4-7-8 breathing technique, as well as other relaxation exercises and mindfulness.
Whether it be through fencing or more gentle activity such as yoga or going for a walk, any amount of exercise can help to take your mind away from your anxious thoughts.
Keep a diary.
Keeping a record of what’s going on in your life and how it’s affecting you can help you to better prepare for situations that may cause you anxiety. Additionally, you can give yourself some time in the day called ‘worry time’, in which you write down all of your worries. This will allow you to take control and to move on with your day.
Challenge your thoughts.
When you catch yourself thinking about something over and over, write down the thought and challenge it.
Get support for money worries.
Visit the Mental Health Foundation’s advice on how to cope with cost-of-living pressures and information on where to get practical support.
Spend time in nature.
Spending time in nature helps us to feel calmer, and can be anything from looking after plants to taking a walk.
Connect with people and talk about how you feel.
Spending time with friends or meeting people through volunteering, sport or other social activities can help to lessen feelings of loneliness. Talking to people in peer support groups about what’s on your mind can also help to reduce anxiety.
Try to get some quality sleep or rest.
If anxiety is keeping you awake, write down your thoughts and sleep patterns in a diary. This can help you to work out a routine in order to gain a better quality of sleep.
Try to eat a healthy diet.
Eating healthy food helps us to regulate our blood sugar and gives us the energy to live well. Meanwhile, caffeine can affect your mood and cause sleep problems, so try to have these in moderation and not too close to bedtime.
Are you OK? For more mental health resources and advice on how to speak out, visit this page in our Welfare Zone.
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