What is mental health?
Mental health, defined by the World Health Organization, is
“a state of well-being in which the individual realizes their own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community”.
How are well-being and mental health connected?
As mental health is a state of well-being, our mental health begins to decline when the way we think starts to impact our day to day activities. Mainly, those positive day to day activities we do that have a positive impact on our well-being, our bananas. Put this together over a long period of time or a difficult period in our lives then we don’t have that protection in place and it feels like it’s just going to get worse.
Mental health is often demonstrated across a spectrum but we prefer to use a wave. This demonstrates the typical ups and downs of life that we all experience. The purple lines show our banana behaviours (check out our well-being page to find out more about our bananas).
If those purple lines (our banana behaviours) are our barriers against poor mental health and if we are experiencing difficulties, we will probably recognise that somewhere along the way, our bananas have become disrupted or something has happened that has stopped us doing them. If this has happened, we are at risk of our doughnuts taking over and getting stuck in a rut.
What is poor mental health?
If we dip into the territory of experiencing poor mental health, we need to work at getting our bananas back in our lives as quickly as possible.
First, we need to recognise what our doughnuts are. It might be that we are sleeping more than usual, not exercising as much or we just can’t stop scrolling on social media. It might be that we have noticed we are becoming more irritable, unmotivated or anxious and it’s beginning to having trouble with our relationships, work or school. Maybe we find communicating with people quite tiring and we prefer to be alone but it risks us becoming isolated.
Identifying those unhelpful ruts we might be susceptible to is an incredible start to gaining that control back. It might be that you need some extra help to identify them, and that’s okay. We are here to help with our 1:1 service.
Once we figure out what our doughnuts are, we can then start working towards building those bananas back up, those barriers against poor mental health. Along the way, we might need to work on some extra coping strategies to deal with any negative thoughts or other challenges that may come up.
As a really good starting point, checking what you’re currently doing in The Arthur Ellis Five a Day and see if we have stopped doing something we used to and try to get a balance across the five areas. For some, that might just be enough to help!
If you need some support to look at building them back up, then you can turn to your partner, family, friends or us here at Arthur Ellis to help you.
If we aren’t getting enough bananas from these different, negative doughnuts coming in and disrupting them, our brains and minds aren’t getting what they need, just like our bodies getting the right vitamins and nutrients. Whether this is how we regulate our emotions through moving, getting regular confidence boosts through discovering new things or our brains being flooded with dopamine (happy hormone) or oxytocin (love hormone) through helping others.
The drop in these amazing things flooding into brains can leave us in that rut and the walls are sometimes a bit too steep to get out alone.
This is the time that you might need some help to figure out how to get back on track.
This can get started by visiting your GP or you can self-refer to our team who can help you.
Sometimes, it helps to write things down so we have put together a ‘Shopping List’ for you to write down what you do in The Arthur Ellis Five a Day. We have also put together a handy schedule for you to map out when you can fit them in to build your positive bananas around work, school or other commitments you may have.
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