Staff wellbeing is important for maintaining a mentally healthy school, for retaining and motivating staff and for promoting pupil wellbeing and attainment. Let's look at 10 ways how we can take care of our mental health.
1. Talk about your feelings
Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled.
2. Eat Well
There are strong links between what we eat and how we feel, for example, caffeine and sugar can have an immediate effect. The Vagus nerve is one of the biggest nerves connecting your brain to your gut, and signals get send in both directions. Check out this article on The Gut-Brain Connection
We all know exercise helps release 'Happy Hormones'! But we quite often avoid it! Some people say it gives them a buzz! It doesn't have to be boring! Why not dance like no one is watching!!
4. Limit the Alcohol
We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary. Occasional drinking is perfectly healthy and enjoyable for most people. Drinking often and over the limit will have an affect on your mental health. Maybe keep a check on this if you're feeling low. The recommended weekly alcohol limit is 14 units per week for both men and women (not all in one day!).
5. Help, I need somebody!
Superman and Wonder Woman only exist in comic books! We all make mistakes, get tired, feel angry or become overwhelmed. If you feel like this then ask for help! This can be from your work colleagues, leadership or from family and friends. However if you feel they cannot help. Then seek help and advice elsewhere.
For example, you could:
Your GP may be able to refer you to a counsellor. You should consider getting help from your GP if difficult feelings are:
6. Keep in Touch
Nothing better than a good ol' chin wag! Although the Pandemic prevents us from getting together, there are always other ways to Keep In Touch with your friends and family.
7. Take a break
As awesome as it sounds a break to the Maldives would be awesome! However, just taking some time out to have a walk, to meditate, to do some yoga, to sit and have a cuppa or to drive around with Diva Athems blaring out, whilst you sing to the top of your lungs! Do it!! Take time for you! However you want it, but remember! BREATHE
8. Find something you enjoy doing
Ask yourself, what do I enjoy doing? ....if it's sleep, then do it! It could be anything from mindful colouring (who said colouring-in is for kids?), baking, reading, binge watching a Netflix Series or gardening. If you are feeling low, then set aside time to do this. If you're not sure then find some new activities to explore. You never know you might be awesome at it!
9. Mindset and Acceptance
This one is a tough one! a lot of us compare ourselves to others, or feel we are not good enough or don't fit, too tall, too short, too curvy, too slim! Try to find ways to help you change the mindset of how you see yourself and accept it. Be proud of who you are. Recognise and accept what you are not good at, but focus on what you can do well. However, you can still work out if there’s anything about yourself that you still want to change. Are your expectations realistic? If they are, work towards the change in small steps.
A local couple from Hawkinge called Laura and Barry Ash have a company called Rock Solid: Health, Wellbeing and Transformation. They often do videos on youtube about mindset, comparing yourself, low self esteem, acceptance that are really helpful.
You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram or Youtube
10. Share the Love...(socially distancing, of course!)
Helping others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together. Why not share your skills more widely by volunteering for a local charity? Helping out can make us feel needed and valued and that boosts our self-esteem.
Offer help (if you are feeling up to it) to someone you can see may need it, you might make their day! Maybe set yourself a selfless challenge of RAK-a-Day, for those around in the 90s don't confuse this with Wacaday with Timmy Mallet, put that mallet away! RAK stands for Random Acts of Kindness.