With 60% of adults and 68% of young people stating that their mental health has declined during lockdown, it has never been so important to tune in and try to safeguard our mental health whilst we are in trying times.
Here is our very own ‘Rule of Six’ to help us all safeguard our minds and wellbeing:
1. Be kind to yourself and others
Aptly the theme of this year’s Mental Health Day was kindness.
Remember that there is no textbook on how to handle this situation and that everyone will be responding to it in their own way, however you choose to get through this is okay so please be kind to yourself. Don’t speak down or unkindly to yourself, don’t put any unnecessary strain, burdens or pressures on, and remind yourself that you’re doing everything that you can.
Studies have also found that being kind to others directly improves our wellbeing*. Do something for someone else and see how it makes you feel – donating to charity, checking in on friends, workmates and family, and supporting a small business are all examples of showing kindness from home right now.
2. Treat your emotions like a bag of Skittles
Nobody is expected to be happy all the time, it’s unrealistic and not the definition of ‘staying positive’. In the same context, if you are feeling sad this may not be your only emotion either.
We are living through something that we have never experienced before, and it’s bringing up a mixed bag of emotions. The advice is to give yourself some credit and accept the mixed bag, every emotion and why you’re feeling them.
3. Don’t discredit your negative feelings by comparing your situation with others
Please remember that everyone’s situation is individual, and that your feelings are valid.
It is a damaging mentality to tell yourself that you are wrong to be feeling negative emotions, by comparing yourself to somebody who you see as ‘worse off’ than you. Whilst this perspective can give gratitude, please don’t get into a habit of suppressing your emotions.
4. Treat yourself like a Sims character (yes, really)
Go with us on this. Did you ever play the computer game The Sims? Do you remember when your sims would have needs bars for things such as sleep, hygiene, nutrition, hydration and social interaction, and start to scream and wave at you (their creator) when any of those levels were depleting?
Do your best to tune in and look after your mind and body, recognising when your levels are depleting each day and doing whatever you need to do to rest and recharge your batteries. This could be a night of self-care and solitude, or scheduling in video calls with friends and family a few times a day.
5. Remember that this will pass, and focus on what you can control in the meantime
As we’ve mentioned, what we are living through right now is both temporary and a piece of history – the world will go back to some form of normality again.
Remind and be proud of yourself for how far you’ve come already, and tough things you may have got through before this.
It’s also difficult to look ahead and get excited for things when we are faced with so much uncertainty in all aspects of our lives and unable to plan, so all we have right now is the present moment.
Focus on what is in your control today, right now, however small you may think it is. See getting out of bed, dressed and ready for work as an achievement. Keep on winning in the moment with ‘small wins’ if you can’t win the day!
6. Talk it out
Please don’t bottle up anything you’re thinking or feeling; a problem shared is always a problem halved. This could be with someone you know, or a stranger – whatever you’re most comfortable with.
If you notice that your negative feelings are really overwhelming you, speak to someone. Here are some options available to everyone at Grayce:
- Grayce Delivery Managers and the HQ Team are always here to listen
- Our Employee Assistance Programme which provides 24/7 wellbeing support, including counselling and CBT.
- Make an appointment with your GP
- SHOUT is the UK’s first 24-hour crisis text service (free). Text 85258
- Samaritans work 24/7, free of any charges. You can email, write a letter, speak face to face and call them on 116 123.