In a relatively short period of time, the coronavirus has turned the world upside down. We are all living through extraordinary times, and as a result we’re all facing different challenges, stresses and pressures.
Partners are working incredibly hard to deliver vital services in the face of unprecedented challenges. We recognise that taking care of your mind as well as your body is really important.
You may feel bored, frustrated or lonely. You may also be low, worried or anxious, or concerned about your finances, your health or those close to you.
Whilst, it's important to remember that it is OK to feel this way and to recognise that everyone reacts differently and, for most of us, these difficult feelings will pass; it’s also important to know how to seek help and support if you need it.
We have collected some sources of helpful information as well as tips and advice that you may find useful – but, please make sure you get further support if you feel you need it.
Taking care of YOU Toolkit
We spend on average a third of our adult lives in the workplace with colleagues; we need to notice if another person’s mental health changes. North Yorkshire County Council launched the Taking care of YOU Toolkit to help you to start the conversation, because it is an important first step toward preventing work-related stress and actions employers need to take. This toolkit has been adapted from the ‘Taking care of you’ research (MIND, 2017), and a pilot across the NHS and is a useful tool to bespeak to any working environment. Its aim is: helping you through your working day and beyond. To access the toolkit, use this link: Taking care of YOU.
There are simple things you can do for your mental and physical health that will help including:
- Exercising – You may not be able to get to the gym or swimming pool, and group fitness activities are limited, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to maintain your physical health. The NHS have a wide range of free to access fitness activities and Sport England have also produced lots of tips, advice and guidance on how to keep or get active in and around your home. We’ve also pulled together a few verified recommendations for online fitness classes
- Spending time doing things you enjoy - this might be reading, cooking, radio and TV.
- You need to aim for balance in your food and drink choices – eat well and eat healthily – have a look at the NHS’s Live Well site. If you like a drink, do this in moderation and within the government guidelines on recommended intake. Have a look at Drinkaware’s alcohol units calculator to ensure you know what you are consuming.
- Opening your windows or going into the garden for fresh air and natural sunlight.
- Connect with people.
- Going for a walk outdoors.
- Do something for yourself - from enjoying your favourite hobby, learning something new or simply taking time to relax, it's important to do things that make you happy. If you can, try a new hobby or learn a new skill. Setting goals and learning new skills can be a great way to meet people, build your self-esteem and feel a sense of achievement. Why not check North Yorkshire County Council's Adult Learning’s courses?
- Get enough rest and good quality sleep - Good quality sleep makes a big difference to how you feel mentally and physically, so it's important to get enough. Being well rested can bring you a multitude of benefits - better concentration and productivity, you’re more likely to eat more healthily, it can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, improve your mood and immune function, and improve your social interactions. This NHS video gives you some simple tips on how to get good quality sleep.
Training hub launched to improve mental health and wellbeing
A new hub has been launched to deliver mental health and suicide awareness training across North Yorkshire. Headfirst is a new training hub which aims to create mentally healthy communities and workplaces across the county.
It has been launched by North Yorkshire County Council, who will be working with a range of approved training providers, including MIND Harrogate, Scarborough Survivors, North Yorkshire Sport and others, to deliver the training and tackle discrimination and stigma surrounding mental health issues. The hub also aims to tackle mental health problems caused by loneliness and social and emotional isolation, as well as reducing suicides.
Local communities worst affected by suicide were recently given NHS England funding to contribute to a national reduction in suicides. This funding has enabled the development of the Headfirst website, providing a range of online, as well as face-to-face training to people living and working in North Yorkshire.