We’re taking a short break at SOS for the rest of this week, but thought a few tips on helping yourself in relation to your mental wellbeing may be useful.
Our suggestions are based upon feedback from our service users, whom we believe are the best people to learn from. We’ve also popped in a couple of our own ideas. You could focus on just one, a combination or even all of them! Whatever you feel works best for you and your mind.
- Writing – Writing is a tremendous form of therapy, especially during your very darkest moments. However, it’s a good idea to write a little about how you’re feeling every day, even the better days, so you can identify any patterns or simply learn more about yourself and your illness by reading back.
- Exercise – There can be no doubt that exercise pays dividends both physically and mentally. The good thing about it is the more you do, the more you want to do, which in turn helps keeping you feel just that little bit better! It doesn’t (and shouldn’t be) have to be so demanding you dread it – try walking interspersed with a little jogging, light weight training, swimming, dance classes, gardening. Find what you like best and try and build up a daily routine. Always check with your GP before entering into any prolonged or intense training schedule or if you have existing medical issues.
- Fresh Air – At peak moments of stress/anxiety/depression, try stepping outside if you can. Close your eyes and take a few long, deep breaths of fresh air and allow yourself time to calm and relax. I’ve tried this a few times and it really helps. If you don’t have a garden, or you don’t have the outside privacy you’d like to do this, then simply open a window.
- Speaking – Recording your thoughts rather than writing them can hugely benefit some people. You don’t have to do anything with the recordings, you can simply keep them as an audio diary for your own reference. Or you could start your own blog, sharing your thoughts with others who will understand. Either way, it’s the release that matters.
- Company – Having mental health issues means isolation is a constant concern and issue and is one of the most damaging elements. It’s a good idea to start your own network, made up of people who are, or who have had, mental health struggles and create a buddying system from this. Make sure that there’s someone you can text, ring, email etc at all times to prevent the isolation from winning. And remember, communication always, always helps so don’t be afraid to open up.
- The Samaritans – always on hand 24/7 for anyone affected. Their contact details can be found on this website.
- Music – music is a powerful ally in your personal fight. Even if you don’t feel like jigging around the room, turning up the volume on some dance/pop/reggae really can make you feel different. Not perfect maybe, but definitely a little better – and think of all the new dance moves you can perfect!
Helping yourself is not easy when you’re in the blackest space with the bleakest thoughts, but anything that helps to lessen the pain and isolation is definitely worth trying.
SOS will be back next Monday, 1 May.
In the meantime, feel free to email info@sossilenceofsuicide and we’ll respond upon our return.
Yvette & Michael