Published on: 10th October 2023
For World Mental Health Day (10 October), we asked everyone to share the small things they do to look after their mental health.
Some of our experts of shared what helps them along with other advice. But if things are starting to get too much, please reach out for help.
NHS Talking Therapies can help if you’re feeling low, depressed, anxious, stressed or have trouble sleeping. You can refer yourself to NHS Talking Therapies online, by clicking the borough where your GP is based.
Or if you are struggling and need someone to talk to, our 24/7 crisis mental health helpline is free to call: 0800 014 9995
Alex - spend time in nature
Alex Engel, assistant clinical psychologist, shares more info about horticultural therapy and the benefits nature can have for your mental health:
“People have an instinctive affinity and attraction to nature, known as biophilia, so spending time in or looking at nature can improve stress, anxiety and depression.
“And there are many links between ill health and the reduction of green spaces. So aim to do something regular, whether that’s weekly walks in the forest, woods, or somewhere green to give yourself a boost.
“Gardening can also have extra benefits, from the physical activity and endorphins that are released. There’s evidence to show that having plants at home or in your work office can improve the air quality and even reduce sickness levels.
Chinonyerem - digital detox
Chinonyerem, clinical lead for our talking therapies services, has set a challenge for anyone who wants to give something a go this week…
“Have you thought of digital detox this World Mental Health Day?
The amount of time spent on digital technology can also impact on our mental health, wellbeing and relationships with friends and family if not managed.
Practice a period of reduced screen time and be more present in the physical rather than virtual world.
Try disconnecting from digital devices including smartphones and computers or reduce the time you spend on specific apps.”
David - get creative
David Milligan-Croft, technical instructor, has helped to develop a new exhibition called Art is Medicine at Arc Stockport gallery. The exhbibition features work by many patients from Arden ward and you can check it out until Friday 10 November.
David said: “Engaging in arts activities for mental wellbeing is about the process, not the result.
“When a person engages in art their brain releases dopamine regardless of whether the resulting work is any good or not.
“It is the process of creating something that gives the benefit, not the end result. Engaging in the arts improves brain plasticity and increases neural connections.
“Numerous patients have gone on to be referred to Arc’s creative programmes which have helped create the link between their treatment in hospital and a safe space in the community.
“Ultimately, giving people new coping strategies to maintain mental wellbeing and avoid readmission to hospital.”