COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions have had a serious impact on many people’s mental health and wellbeing. As lockdown restrictions are eased, it is vital that we recognise and continue to take care of our mental health and wellbeing.
Mental Health Awareness Week, 10-16 May, is a national week dedicated to talking about mental health, wellbeing and the support available to all those who may be finding it difficult to cope.
This year’s theme is nature, and in keeping with the theme, Ealing Council is encouraging you to discover a physical outdoor activity that you enjoy and one that boosts your wellbeing.
Mental wellbeing is about feeling good, happy and enjoying life, having a positive outlook, good relationships with others and a sense of control and purpose.
When those anxious thoughts and negative feelings come, as they often do, it is important to remember that help is available.
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health and experiencing distress, or is in crisis, or if you want urgent advice about mental health please call West London Mental Health Trust free on 0800 328 4444 – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You can also check the NHS website for the most up-to-date advice and information on what to do if you are feeling unwell.
Clinically vulnerable people
From 1 April, shielding was lifted for clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people, and government guidance advises vulnerable groups to take extra precautions and take care of their mental health now that the lockdown has been eased.
If you are struggling with your emotional well-being and transitioning back outside, there is practical local support and resources available to talk through how you are feeling, mental wellbeing apps and other resources that can help you.
Visit the council’s Ealing Advice Service if you are worried about your own or a loved ones mental health and wellbeing. This service is open to all residents.
Ealing Together can put you in touch with local volunteers who can help with day-to-day support, such as food shopping if you are too stressed or unwell to go out. The team can also provide support if you are in financial crisis and cannot pay for food.
Three tips for staying well
- Talk to someone: Speak to your GP or to an independent trained counsellor. Talking therapy can help, whatever your age. Also talk with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours, at home, work, school or in your local community. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.
2. Stay Active: Check out Active Ealing. Running and walking are great ways to keep moving. Cycling has a number of proven health benefits helping you to keep fit and have fun – and all are good for the environment.
Any form of exercising makes you feel good, and it is important to discover a physical activity you enjoy and one that suits your level of mobility and fitness.
There are many free apps you can download to encourage you to be active, including:
3. Keep learning: Try something new or rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course you have been thinking about. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or learn how to cook your favourite food. Learning new things is fun and will make you more confident, so set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. You can also explore a number of free courses with Ealing adult learning.