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Making our Mental Health a Priority

Yesterday, 10th of October, was World Mental Health Day.

The dialogue about mental health is no doubt more open than it has been in the past and many fabulous organisations, individuals and groups are raising awareness about a wide range of mental health conditions, illnesses, problems and what might and can help.

But you don't need to have a particular mental health condition or problem to make looking after your mental health a priority. After all, most of us try to look after our physical health by eating healthily, exercising and attending regular check ups.

Why should it be any different for our mental health?

How often do you check in with yourself to see how you are feeling? How often do you do something to take care of you? Emotionally?

We talk a lot about self care but self care also means looking after our feelings and our mental health.

So what does this mean in practice?

Often we tend to push our feelings to one side because we're too busy or don't know what to do with them or maybe we just don't want to feel them. But our feelings tell us a lot about what is going on for us. For example, do you find yourself feeling sad? Or angry? Or frustrated? Disappointed? Lonely?

Whatever comes up when you check in with yourself, gives you a clue of what you might need in that particular moment.

If you're feeling lonely, might it help to phone a friend? Sometimes just going to the corner shop and talking to the sales assistant about the weather might be enough.

If you're feeling sad, might you need a good cry? Or to soothe yourself in whatever way feels right to you? It might be listening to your favourite song or watching your favourite film. It might be having a cup of tea or a hot bath. It might be wrapping yourself in a soft, warm blanket.

The important thing is to acknowledge your feelings and to try to be compassionate with yourself. It's okay to feel things. We all do.

And taking care of our mental health is just as essential as taking care of our bodies. It doesn't have to be a daunting or scary thing.

What can you do for yourself today to take care of yourself and your mental health?

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