Welcome to week 3 of Mental Fitness month! Created in conjunction with our friend James Lamper, Clinical Director of EmotionMatters, throughout February we are bringing you a collection of mental health tips and advice.
We hope you’ve been actively talking to your friends and family about mental health. Think of mental fitness like cardio exercise, the more you work with it, the fitter and healthier you become. Mental fitness this week, in collaboration with James Lamper, Clinical Director of EmotionMatters, explores how to cope with low mood and depression.
WEEK 3 - LOW MOOD AND DEPRESSION
The uncertainty of lockdown, changes in our routine, and the loneliness that social isolation can bring, may cause some of us to feel particularly low.
Depression might feel like everything is grey and empty, and that there is nothing to look forward to. You might find yourself feeling very sad, or you may feel numb and struggling to feel any emotion. You may have negative thoughts about yourself or the future, and feel uninterested in activities you normally enjoy.
Sometimes depression can have physical consequences, including changes to your appetite or sleep pattern. It may feel difficult to get out of bed in the morning, and completing small tasks may suddenly feel exhausting.
You may have unsuccessfully tried things to distract yourself from feeling low. Some people have experienced ‘Zoom fatigue’, feeling the constant pressure to be positive and sociable with loved ones on Zoom, is too draining.
The best thing to do if you feel depressed is to talk with a friend, or arrange to speak with a qualified therapist. For now, here are some tips to help you improve your low mood, to help you find some small pockets of light in what might feel like a dark time.
Set small goals - creating small and achievable goals can be rewarding, and help us feel more fulfilled and energised. Having a daily goal of a 30-minute walk, or a weekly goal of trying out a new recipe, can give you something to look forward to, and help get you through difficult days.
Keep a daily journal - set aside some time everyday to write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal. This can help you make sense of what is going on, and open up ideas of how you can make small changes to look after your mental health. Finish this self-reflection time by noting down 3 things you are grateful for in your life.
Practise mindfulness - focusing on keeping your awareness in the present moment can help you disconnect from unhelpful thoughts, improve your mood and sleep quality, and reduce stress levels. Try meditating for 10 minutes everyday, focusing on your breath and connecting with your body. Don’t worry if you find your mind wandering, just return your attention back to your breath.
If you, or someone you know, needs a little extra support to get on top of some mental health issues, EmotionMatters has a large experienced team of counsellors, psychotherapists and clinical psychologists who can help you move towards mental wellness.
To coincide with national ‘Time To Talk’ day on February 4th, EmotionMatters are offering all Boom riders, and their friends and family, two sessions free when they choose to start therapy and purchase an initial block of 6-sessions.
All you need to do is go to the EmotionMatters website and book a free assessment call. On the call mention BOOM FEBRUARY OFFER, and after your initial free 30-minute session with one of the therapists, if you decide to move forwards with an initial block of 6-sessions, you will get 2 extra sessions for free.
All sessions are online from the safety of your home during lockdown. Make sure you book your assessment call before 28th February 2021, and all initial blocks of therapy must start before 31st March 2021 for the offer to be valid.