These are challenging times – there are many factors that pose a threat to our individual and collective mental health and wellbeing.
So how can we all better equip ourselves for positive wellbeing, and future proof our mental health?
The first step is self-determination. Self-determination is about the choices we make by ourselves without external influence and interference.
Self-determination involves uncovering the motivation behind these choices, and knowing we can have control over the outcome.
Taking Responsibility for our Personal Wellbeing
Once we are conscious of the choices we make, we can take responsibility for our choices and our actions.
Taking responsibility for our own personal wellbeing means noticing how you are feeling and the common, everyday thoughts you have.
It may include:
- Recognising unhelpful thinking patterns
- Identifying unhealthy coping strategies
- Noticing how you feel about certain situations
By becoming more self-aware in this way, we can start to notice when our mental health is declining and start to think of ways we can positively improve our wellbeing.
It’s in this subtle noticing that we have the power to change our behaviours.
Building Your Own Personal Wellbeing Toolbelt
Historically, we haven’t always had the resources to cope with these inner thoughts and feelings, due to a lack of awareness about mental health and long held stigma about mental ill health.
As a result of this lack of understanding, and stigma, many of us may reach for unhealthy coping mechanisms - such as reaching for alcohol or substances, overspending or distancing ourselves from others.
It’s important to be kind to yourself if you have used unhealthy coping strategies in the past, and guide yourself towards building a more supportive framework that supports your mental health and overall well-being.
A personal tool belt is your own list of healthy, helpful mental health resources.
It is a kit of healthy things you can turn to in order to feel better.
This might involve activities such as:
- Going for a walk in nature
- Spending time with animals
- Calling a friend
- Using CBT or other psychological therapies
- Practicing mindfulness
- Listening to music
It’s important to remember that your tool belt is completely unique to you and it is about trying and finding the things that work for you.
Perhaps you find you feel significantly less anxious when you have a clean home or fresh flowers around, or maybe you manage feelings of depression by reframing them on a long walk.
These things can all help support your mental health because you have a list to refer back to when your emotions feel intense. And having a physical list can be really beneficial – so that you can refer to it when needed, as it is not always easy to think clearly when things get difficult.
Having a personal wellbeing tool kit allows you to not only be responsible, but to also know that there are helpful, rather than unhelpful coping strategies you can turn to for support whenever you need to
If you’d like to know more about Mental Health In Business or attend a Mental Health First Aid Training, or one of our other courses, please send us an enquiry at firstname.lastname@example.org