Welcome to 2020! There’s a lot to look forward to this year, but it can be normal to become stressed or anxious over the unknown. We wanted to share some tips and hints with you for the new year, as well as talking about what’s going on in January.
By having ‘2020 vision’ we want everyone this year to see and think clearly, not just about what’s in front of us but about the longer term, bigger picture too. Allowing yourself the opportunity to think clearly is easier said than done but can be the first step in improving your mental health and helping everything begin to slot into place over the next 12 months.
To kick 2020 off right, we want to focus on;
- Breaking Negative Cycles
- Managing Stress
Breaking Negative Cycles
Mediation is just one way that you can begin to soften and control your thoughts if you feel they are becoming difficult to manage. Yes, meditation is typically seen as laying down in a quiet room by yourself, but you could start by simply being mindful of your surroundings when you’re walking down the street. Listen to what is around you. Are there cars? Maybe birds are chirping in the background? Whatever your surroundings are, they give you a chance to be mindful and take notice of the present moment.
Something that can be helpful and works quite quickly is keeping a grounding technique in your little box of strategies. A grounding technique can be used in moments where we are struggling to control our thoughts or emotions. Maybe we are worrying about the future quite a bit and a grounding technique can help us focus on the present. The ‘5,4,3,2,1’ technique is a great one because it is really easy to remember, and you can do it anywhere.
Being mindful and respecting others is important when practicing positivity. It seems simple but if we have been in a depressive or negative thought cycle for some time it can be something that we really need to focus on. It’s a fundamental way to begin improving your thoughts and feelings. Treat others like you would want to be treated, consider your reaction before reacting and if you’re able to make positive changes, you’re more likely to receive positive outcomes which will continue to support the break of that negative cycle!
Training your brain to think positively takes practice and requires you to make it a part of your daily life so if you recognise that you have been thinking more negatively recently, it’s worth sharing that with someone close to you so they can help you with acknowledging the positives and help you bring that focus into your daily routine.
A gratitude journal can also help with that, every day writing down 3 things that have happened that have been positive or three things that you are grateful for. Just noticing things that we can be grateful for isn’t something we regularly do so noting down aspects of your life that you are grateful for can trigger happiness and start to allow you to think more positively. Maybe someone did something nice for you today. Maybe something went well for you. It can be as simple as being thankful for your family or your pet. Being grateful in your daily life has been proven to boost mood and support the changing of negative thoughts. It is important to do what is best for you, a physical journal might not work but sometimes even the acknowledgement of things to be grateful for in life can be a great start.
We know that physical activity has an incredible impact on our mental health but it’s important to start steadily to make sure there is consistency and longevity with the activity. We don’t want to go too full on too soon and put ourselves off in the first few weeks!
It is so tempting, especially with a really motivated resolution to go for it and get to the gym 5 days a week but if we aren’t used to it and if it doesn’t fit in with our lifestyle, work and relationships then it may be short lived and start having a wider impact on us and our mental health.
We have a more details guide to Physical Activity and Mental Health here: https://www.arthurellismhs.com/support-guides/supporting-mental-health-with-physical-activity/
Stress is directly linked to increasing the risk of experiencing poor mental health and managing it is a brilliant way to prevent or get more in control of a condition. We want 2020 to be the year that you control your stress rather than stress controlling you!
Start to build up a variety of activities that help you relax, this could be related to seeing friends, exercise, hobbies or just making sure there’s time set aside just for you. These can vary throughout the year, but it is so worth taking the time to figure out and plan these things in for yourself, so you don’t get into the cycle of work, sleep, work, sleep.
If you have some stressful elements of your life right now, you can try this activity from our Guide to Managing Stress;
Write down everything that is causing you stress. Some things you will be able to work on, some things might be out of your control.
Identify which ones you can do something about.
Think about different ideas about actions you can take to solve these stressors in your life.
This could include;
- Talking to someone to address the issue
- Quitting a hobby to give you more time
- Going to bed earlier
Then, once you have a plan, set time aside in your day specifically for those action.
You can read more in our Guide to Managing Stress here: https://www.arthurellismhs.com/support-guides/a-guide-to-managing-stress/
It is important to realise not everyone is into the new year spirit. Maybe someone close to you has experienced a loss or unfortunate event recently. Whatever their circumstance, if someone close to you is feeling low, telling them that you are there to support them can help. You don’t have to provide advice or know all the answers, just listening can help. Sometimes they may not even know their change in character is noticeable, so actively approaching them, asking them if they are okay could have more of a relieving impact than you know! Everyone has the power to make someone’s day, no matter their background or situation.
What’s going on in January?
We have had the pleasure of working with Hazeley and Shenley Brook End School to deliver an INSET Day to train around 60 teachers in tools which can support the management of anxiety. Not just for teachers to be equipped with any children and young people within their classes but for themselves too!
As our training continues to grow, we are really excited to be working on a wellbeing scale specifically to help organisations understand the wellbeing and mental health of their staff whilst allowing us to deliver training that is going to be suitable and have a real positive impact on their colleagues.
Our training days pay for children to get support so we aren’t just helping the individuals we train but helping them practically support others whilst directly impacting a child’s life by allowing us to provide 1:1 sessions with our skilled, experienced Mentors.
You can find out more about our training here: https://www.arthurellismhs.com/corporate-support/
It’s going to be a busy month for our Radio show with MKFM too!
MK Mental Health Hour is back after Christmas with shows covering and helping people manage their mental health with topics like;
- Going Back to Work
- Blue Monday & Depression
- Fitness & Keeping your Resolutions!
The show will be on MKFM 106.3 every Sunday at 7pm and podcasts are available here: https://www.mkfm.com/on-air/podcasts/mk-mental-health-hour-with-lia/
If you want to start thinking positively and take your 2020 vision to the next level, we offer a 1:1 mentoring service where you can work with a mentor to develop your skills in positive thinking whilst helping a child in your community.
Find more information at https://www.arthurellismhs.com/mentoring/
We also offer a collection of guides which talk about a range of topics and how you can support yourself or someone else in everyday life.
You can view them all at https://www.arthurellismhs.com/support-guides/