Taking care of your mental health in the autumn

Kate Kerr our Mental Health First Aider, has some great advice to get you through the next few months….

Colder weather does not necessarily mean you have to retreat to the indoors. Enjoy autumnal walks in the most colourful season of the year.

Eat Well – Its harvest time so there is an abundance of healthy vegetables bursting with vitamins and nutrients which will help boost our immune system, including beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, kale, pumpkin, broths, roasted squash.

Autumn is perfect for embracing your inner child: Go pumpkin picking, walk/run through the crunchy leaves, collect conkers, bake some autumn treats or fly a kite.

Wellbeing in the workplace

If workloads increase following the summer holidays, communicate with colleagues and support each other to avoid workloads becoming overwhelming.  This will also prevent stress and burnout.

Ensure your work environment is well lit and comfortable as daylight hours reduce and have regular screen breaks.
Reduce lone working where possible and communicate with colleagues regularly.
Reduce germs by maintaining good hygiene through the autumn

Set aside time for wellbeing in the working week, as little as 5 minutes per day reduces stress and anxiety and can support people

QUARTERLY WELLNESS CHALLENGE – MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Practicing mindfulness is proven to relax the body and mind and reduce stress.

  1. Grasp your hands tightly for five seconds, then release and notice how your hands feel. Keep your attention focused on the feeling for as long as you can. This is a wonderful exercise for getting out of your head and into your physical awareness.
  2. Music Appreciation. Yes, singing along to your favourite song counts as a mindfulness exercise! Pay attention to how this piece makes you feel. What emotions do you experience? What memories come up, and how do those memories make you feel? Savour these emotions and see if they carry over throughout the day.
  3. One Minute Breathing. Talk about an anxiety buster. This exercise can be done anywhere at any time, standing up or sitting down. Start by breathing in and out slowly. After a few seconds practice the 4-4-4: Inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of four, then exhale for a count of four. Let the breath flow in and out effortlessly. Repeat four times.