Internationally, 10th October is recognised as World Mental Health Day and it is an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues and its impact. The World Federation for Mental Health has set the theme this year ‘Mental Health for All’.

With a ‘new normal’ way of doing things, there is more reason to be more aware and look after our mental health. Therefore we need to develop emotional resilience. Resilience is not just the ability to bounce back but also the capacity to adapt in the face of challenging circumstances, whilst maintaining a stable mental wellbeing. Resilience is something that we can all take steps to achieve. It is good to remember we are all different and we have different ways of coping mechanisms.

However despite your best efforts, sometimes you may find yourself feeling helpless, sad, irritable, hopeless, anxious or afraid. You may have trouble concentrating on routine tasks, changes in appetite, difficulty sleeping or you may struggle to face routine tasks. When these signs and symptoms last for several days and cause problems in your daily life or make you so unhappy that you find it hard to carry out normal responsibilities, it's time to seek professional support from your GP or you can talk to the Samaritan on 116 123. Your GP will offer you sound advice and link you with appropriate services. Sharing your thoughts and feelings can help you manage how you are feeling and cope with these feelings more easily.

Tips on self-care strategies for a positive mental health:

  • Focus on positive thoughts   
  • Concentrate on the facts and use a reputable source of news
  • Get connected
  • Eat well and limit caffeine intake
  • Exercise regularly - it can help reduce anxiety and improve mood. This can be a short walk round your local area.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking
  • Relax and recharge your batteries – have ‘me time’
  • Get enough sleep – have a routine
  • Stay busy – explore new hobbies, identify new project or support other people
  • Set priorities – don’t overwhelm yourself with chores