Mental Health Awareness Week: Feeling anxious? You’re not alone.
Posted on 15 May 2023
Mental Health Awareness Week 2023, taking place Monday 15th – Sunday 21st May, is a reminder of the importance of taking care of our mental wellbeing. It’s an ideal time for us to think about mental health, tackle stigma, and find out how we can create a society that prevents mental health problems from developing.
One of the most common mental health issues that people face is anxiety. Anxiety can manifest in different ways, such as feeling nervous or worried, experiencing panic attacks, or feeling a sense of dread or apprehension. If left unchecked, it can have a debilitating impact on our lives. However, there are steps we can take to help cope and reduce the impact on our mental health.
Here are some tips and suggestions that might help:
Recognise the triggers
So much of what may trigger anxiety is not within our control, and while causes are complex, work-related stress, financial worries, relationship issues, health concerns, and traumatic events can all play a part. Once you identify your triggers, you can take steps to try and avoid certain situations or find ways to manage them.
Mindfulness is a technique that involves being present, in the moment and focusing on your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Practising mindfulness can help you become more aware of your anxiety triggers and manage your reactions to them. Why not try meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply taking a few minutes each day to focus on your thoughts and feelings?
Exercise is an excellent way to reduce anxiety and improve your overall mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals that can boost your mood and reduce stress levels. You don't need to run a marathon or join a gym to get the benefits of exercise. Simple activities like walking, jogging, or cycling can be effective.
Take care of your physical health
Eating a healthy, balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and avoiding drugs and alcohol can all help reduce anxiety levels. You could also talk to your doctor about any medications or supplements that may help manage your anxiety.
Seek professional advice
Talking to someone about your anxiety can be a great way to cope with it. You can talk to a friend or family member, a therapist, or a support group. It's essential to know that you're not alone and that there are people who can help you manage your anxiety.
Samaritans are open 24/7 for anyone who needs to talk.
Call: 116 123
Mind offers advice, support, and information to people experiencing mental health difficulty and their family and friends. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm (except bank holidays).
Call: 0300 123 3393
Shout - If you would prefer not to talk but want some mental health support, you could text SHOUT to 85258. Shout offers a confidential 24/7 text service providing support if you are in crisis and need immediate help.
Anxiety UK provides advice and support to people living with anxiety.
Call: 03444 775 774
Text: 07537 416 905
For more tips on coping with anxiety visit the Mental Health Foundation website.
Coping with anxiety is not easy, but it is possible. Remember, taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health so take the opportunity to start taking care of your mental wellbeing and prioritise your self-care today.