- Sunday 10 October 2021
The theme for World Mental Health Day is 'Mental health care for all: let's make it a reality'. At the 2021 World Health Assembly, government leaders recognised the necessity for quality mental health services around the globe.
It has been 18 months since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and whilst some countries are returning to a somewhat 'normal' lifestyle, others still suffer through high rates of transmission and hospital admissions, impacting the lives of families and friends within the community. Let's not forget, the pandemic was hardly the only trauma the world was suffering through. Australia was dealing with the impact of the 'Black Summer', a period of intense bushfires across the nation. The murder of George Floyd sparked outrage in the United States, just months after Hall of Fame basketball player Kobe Bryant and his daughter passed away in a tragic helicopter crash. Through all of this, plus hurricanes, earthquakes, cyclones and flash floods, 2020 took its toll on all of us.
Mental health has become a prominent talking point, and as we see more and more recognisable faces come out and talk about their own experiences we see the topic only gaining traction. With influential celebrities like Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson and Emma Stone coming forward and discussing topics like depression and anxiety, the door has been opened for the rest of the world to speak out about their mental health. The taboo that once surrounded the topic is slowly being broken, and we need to take full advantage of the momentum that has been created.
Knowing how important self-care is in helping yourself (which also helps those around you), we have put together some ideas and strategies to help you.
1. Check in on yourself
We often put other people's needs ahead of our own. Take some time to check in with yourself, and address any feelings of sadness, loneliness or stress. Don't let these feelings build up on top of each other and negatively impact the routines and habits of your day-to-day life.
Journalling can be one of the best ways to get the negativity out of your own head. Putting pen to paper releases what you are feeling internally into the physical world. Another great thing about journalling is the ability to reflect, giving you time to try and identify any patterns that continue to cause you stress and anxiety.
3. Be kind to your mind, take some time out
Take it easy on yourself. We often put too much pressure on ourselves when it comes to our work and our families. It's important to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Take a bath, read a book, watch your favourite movie, do something for yourself that makes you smile. Remember, we all need to take some time out to recharge, your mind will thank you.
4. Remember: It's not weak to speak
Too often people are afraid or ashamed to speak up for the fear of being judged, appearing weak or any number of other reasons. Remember—It takes strength to talk. Any struggles you're going through, it's important to realise you're not alone.
5. Check out our Mindfulness matters resource and activity pack
Bring calmness to your classroom! Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. Watch as childrens stress and anxiety levels decrease, whilst their self-esteem and self-love increase.
If you would like to find out more about World Mental Health Day 2021, please click here. If you need someone to talk to, there are many people and places offering help and support:
- Pieta House on 1800 247 247