I bet you know where to find the first-aid kit at home or at work? But what about if you or someone you care about is struggling with their mental health?
Where would you go to find help?
One in 4 people experience mental health issues, which include depression & anxiety, but sadly not many of us have a mental health first-aid kit. when it comes to our mental health prevention is just as crucial as treatment.
We take care of our physical health, but it’s as equally important that we should take care of our mental health, too, being physically well can impact our emotional well-being and vice versa. Sometimes you’ll hear mental health called ‘emotional health’ or ‘well-being’. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also affects the way that we handle stress, our relationships,the choices we make and how we cope with day to day life.
Your mental health can present itself in both helpful and unhelpful ways, and it can fluctuate. We all have times when we feel down, stressed or frightened. Most of the time those feelings pass, but sometimes things can build up to the point where we feel like we cannot manage. If you begin to feel overwhelmed it is a good indicator that your mental health has dipped, but don’t panic it is common to feel like this.
It is important to understand that practicing self-care is an effective preventative tool. We know that to look after our bodies we need to eat, sleep, drink water and exercise... but for some reason we do not always know how to look after our minds.
Remember that your mind needs the same level of self-care as your body.
Having a Mental Health first aid kit at home like the Buddy Bag can be a ‘go to‘ when things are getting too much, it can help you to calm and focus.
“Your mental health condition is smaller than you.
Always, it is smaller than you, even when it feels vast. It operates within you, you do not operate within it.
It may be a dark cloud passing across the sky, but - if that is the metaphor – you are the sky.
You were there before it. And the cloud can’t exist without the sky, but the sky
can exist without the cloud.”
Adapted from Matt Haig “Reasons to Stay Alive”
TEN TIPS FOR EMERGENCY EMOTIONAL FIRST AID
Since it is easy to get thrown off-kilter when you are shocked or surprised by unwelcome news, you may want to try these techniques as first responses:
Take slow, deep breaths, and allow a little extra time to exhale.
Remind yourself that this, too, shall pass.Allow space for all of your feelings.
Have faith in yourself. The truth is that you can handle more than you might believe at this particular moment.
You can use prayer or meditation for added support and to access your belief in a greater power.
Don’t take anything personally.
Try to stick with your routine, even if you are feeling dazed or numb. Having a routine will anchor you.
Eat, sleep, and get some fresh air.
Picture your 6-year-old self, and lovingly embrace that child. Gently reassure the frightened little being inside.
Connect with someone, such as a friend or family member, a therapist or neighbor.
Understand that you are here for everything, good and bad. Visualize yourself as a river of experiences, and let life flow without judgment.