World Mental Health Day is on Saturday 10 October and Earthen Lamp’s Client Services Manager Jaanika Okk has recently been learning more about mindfulness and taking care of our own mental well-being. We asked Jaankia for a rundown of some mental health hints and tips.
In the current climate, with a second lockdown on everyone’s lips, your mental health is one of the most important things to look after. But that is easier said than done. Thankfully, the days of “just get over it” are gone and there are excellent tools and techniques that can help you when you’re at your lowest, and help you keep a good day going longer.
Even if you feel that your mental health is good overall, it’s worth looking at these techniques to keep yourself in that good place. It’s such a slippery slope that can spiral downwards extremely quickly if you’re not mindful of your mental state.
Following my recent discussions with psychology professionals, the main technique they suggested is around meditation.
Try a little meditation
Guided meditation can help you settle into a relaxed state which will in turn allow you to put your mind in a state of rest. When combined with breathing exercises, it allows your mind to concentrate on the task at hand. This is perfect if you are an “overthinker”. Headspace has brilliant meditations that are specifically designed to help with stress, anxiety and depression but if you are more of an app person, then take a look at Meditopia. They have over 250 meditation sessions covering different topics with one section dedicated to overthinking.
Understand your triggers
Another suggestion was to learn more about how your brain works, and what triggers you have. The reason this works, especially for people who are analytical, is that by understanding what is going on, you will feel more capable to deal with your triggers and feelings. There are a number of good resources available such as The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters or The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris. However, this does come with a caveat: it’s one thing to read a book to understand, and another thing entirely to read one and apply it. The self-help book market is a rabbit hole so please be very selective on what you read, refer to recommendations and reviews from trusted sources.
The final recommendation is to talk with a professional, either through the NHS, privately or via one of the many amazing charities, such as Mind. The most important thing to know is that you aren’t on your own. There is always someone who is willing to go that extra mile to help.
If you are struggling, that’s OK. It’s OK to not be OK. If you’re not ready to talk just yet, try some of these techniques and see if they help you. If not, maybe it is time to talk.