Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. However, according to a new report: Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain, more than two-thirds of adults in the UK (69%) are feeling somewhat or very worried about the impact of COVID-19 on their lives. The most common issues affecting wellbeing are: worrying about the future (63%), feeling stressed or anxious (56%), and feeling bored (49%).
We’re living in unprecedented times and whilst our daily lives can feel overwhelming right now, there are things that we can do to boost our mental health. Good mental health is linked with better physical health, so it’s win, win!
Boosting Your Mood with Kindness
Research from the Mental Health Foundation has revealed that kindness and our mental health are connected. Kindness is an antidote to isolation, creating a sense of belonging. It helps reduce stress and deepens friendships. Whilst being kind to ourselves can help boost our self-esteem, even improving confidence and optimism.
We have seen so much kindness during the coronavirus outbreak over the last few months across our community and beyond, from Helping Hands in Penarth to 100-year-old Captain Tom Moore as he walked around his garden to raise money for the NHS to Clapping for Carers on Thursday nights.
Kindness is also present in abundance here at The Business Centre (Cardiff), it’s one of our favourite parts about coming to work here. From our fundraising extravaganza for CLAPA, to what is becoming a firm favourite in the TBC calendar: Barry Bake Off; to celebrating each other’s accomplishments and successes. Our little community at The Business Centre is fuelled by kindness.
It has been an incredibly anxious and stressful time for all of us, however, we understand that running your own business, whether you’re a sole trader or a Ltd company, will have added even more pressure.
Top Tips for Looking After Your Mental Health
We asked our team, and clients, what helps them to look after their mental health when they’re struggling, and we received some really insightful answers which we’ve used to compile our top tips for looking after your mental health, especially as a small business owner. You can also take a look at our top tips for staying organised and looking after your wellbeing in the lockdown here.
Time to Talk
Just because we’ve been self-isolating, it doesn’t have to mean social isolation! Talk to your team, stay in touch with friends and family, there is a wealth of video calling platforms. Not only will it boost your own mental health and wellbeing, who knows how much reaching out to someone might make their day.
Take Some Time Out
When you’re self-employed, either working as a freelancer working from a virtual office or running a small business, you have to juggle a lot of different roles and wear lots of different hats, it might seem tempting to work all hours of the day and night. However, this is the quickest route to burn out! Take some time to switch off, if you’re looking for a break from screens, Audible, have released hundreds of free titles for battling the boredom!
Practise Some Kindness
As we said above, Research from the Mental Health Foundation has shown that kindness and our mental health are connected. Creating a sense of belonging in a community and boosting our confidence when we practise self-directed kindness! It could be as simple as popping a rainbow in your window to show key workers how much you care or sending a card to a loved one to tell them how much you’re thinking of them. If you’re looking for rainbow inspiration, Rhiannon Lewis in Cardiff even went as far to paint a rainbow across their whole house to thank the NHS!
Eat Well to Live Well
When our mood is low or we’re worrying about something, it can be tempting to snack or reach for the take away menu but try to ensure you’re maintaining a balanced diet. Why not get fancy in the kitchen and try a new recipe? Or recreate your favourite takeaway at home? Lots of our favourite restaurants have been letting peek behind the scenes at how they create some of our favourite dishes, for example Wagamama’s executive chef has launched a series on YouTube called ‘Wok at Home’.
Similar to the urge to snack, the desire to curl up in something comfy and delve into a Netflix marathon can be tempting but try to ensure you’re getting a bit of movement into your day too. This can look different for everyone, our fundraising Queen, Mel of Mel’s Cafe, goes for walks with Milo and has been getting out into the garden. However, maybe you’re looking for more of a work out? There are countless workout at home videos online, get your heart racing with Joe Wicks. Or if something you’re looking for something a bit stretchier, Yoga with Adriene is excellent and has hundreds of videos online.
If you’re struggling with your mental health, remember that you are not alone and can reach out to your GP, as well as numerous mental health charities such as Mind Cymru and the Samaritans who run a telephone service that is free to contact at any time of the day.
Do you have any tips for looking after your mental health? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn social media channels! Whilst we have compiled these tips in light of the pandemic, we think they’re useful for looking after your mental health in any situation.