Mental health can affect any person at any time, but 10th October each year is marked at World Mental Health Day. Each year, people are encouraged to recognise the impacts that our day-to-day lives and events around the world have on our mental health and to understand the small steps that we can take to take care of ourselves.
This year, World Mental Health Day is particularly important. After months of lockdown and adapting to a new normal, people have seen a decrease in their mental health. 1 in 4 Brits reported feeling lonely during lockdown, with others stating that the removal of their usual coping mechanisms and reduced access to mental health professionals impeding their state of mind as well.
Looking after your mental health
Much like the coronavirus, mental health can affect anyone but there are simple steps you can take to make sure that you are taking care of yourself.
Spending more time outside
The benefits of spending time in nature are well known and getting outdoors in the fresh air has positive effects on your mental health. Reducing stress levels and making connections within your local area are just some of the positive side effects of spending time in the great outdoors.
There is no doubt that being active outdoors in places full of greenery and wildlife is so beneficial for mental and physical health.”TCV Volunteer, 2020
Learn a new skill
During lockdown, many of us took to learning new things to keep ourselves occupied such as baking, cooking, or using it as an opportunity to get back into reading. However, there are many skills that you can learn at home that will also have a positive impact not only on your mental health, but the environment too.
Head over to the TCV YouTube channel for a whole host of ‘How To’ videos that will provide you with a new skill that can help the wildlife in your local area.
The feel-good factor that comes from helping others in need has a positive effect on your mental health. At TCV, we have resumed volunteering whilst following the latest guidelines to keep our sessions COVID-19 safe, protecting our staff and volunteers.
Protecting and caring for your local green spaces is one way to ensure that you’re helping your environment, improving your mental and physical health and potentially proving an accessible and relaxing space for someone else who is suffering from similar issues.
I would like to volunteer with TCV to do more to improve green areas near me once lockdown is reduced.”TCV Volunteer, 2020.
With everything that is going on in the world right now, it can be difficult to focus on the little things. The small everyday things that bring us joy. Whether it be walking through your local park and noticing the plants, the trees, and the birds. Or it is perhaps sitting down with a good book, a cup of tea and listening to the wind blow outside. Whatever the small things that bring you joy are, taking a few minutes of your day to appreciate them and revel in them does wonders for your mental health.
Connect with people
When lockdown was at its peak, many of our volunteers told us that the social connectivity that came from volunteering and normal life was something they missed. We live in a time where staying connected is easier than ever before. Now with reduced lockdown measures in some parts of the UK, it is important to check in with our friends and family.
Not just for our own mental health, but a simple message to let someone know that you’re thinking of them or a knock on someone’s door may be just what they needed to turn a difficult day into a great one.