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Avoid summer stresses - top tips for looking after your mental wellbeing

By Heather Large | Woman | Published:

With an abundance of social activities, the summer months can be a busy time for us all.

West Bromwich health and wellbeing charity The Kaleidoscope Plus Group has launched a Self Help Toolbox

And when you’re racing from place to place, stresses can mount up and really take their toll.

This can make it harder for you to take the time to look after your mental wellbeing.

It’s important to take care of yourself so you get the most from life and there are many simple ways you can do this that don’t need to cost a fortune or take up loads of time.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, which began on Monday, health and wellbeing charity The Kaleidoscope Plus Group has launched a Self Help Toolbox.

It’s aimed that those who have a mental health condition as well as anyone who wants to boost their general wellbeing.

The charity is providing top tips on a range of subjects to help people better manage and control their personal mental health.

They range from getting a good night’s sleep and managing anger and frustration to challenging unhelpful thoughts and embracing joy and happiness.

There is also advice for people experiencing suicidal thoughts including where to go to get help and keeping safe.

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Monica Shafaq, chief executive of The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, said: “We talk about self care but a lot of people don’t know what that means or what they can do.

“We thought it was important to provide people with information at their fingertips on how to help with stress, anxiety and sleep deprivation.

“As well as educating the community and providing a service, we think it’s important to remove the stigma surrounding mental health and raise awareness.

“We often forget about our own well-being because work, family, friends, and other commitments often take a priority.

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“It’s important that we step back and take that time to look after ourselves because we aren’t going to be able to look after anyone else or perform our best in our other roles if we don’t.”

The self-help tool box includes tips to get a good night’s sleep such as creating a sleep routine. This might including sticking to the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends and making sure your bedroom is free from any noise or other distractions that can disturb your sleep.

Advice for managing anxiety includes slowing down your breath by doing some deep breathing and sharing your worries with somebody you trust.

If you’re struggling with anger, then the charity recommends engaging in some physical activity to release any frustration that you may have.

Tips for challenging unhelpful thoughts includes asking yourself questions such as ‘Am I only noticing the negative?’ or ‘What advice would I give to a friend if they felt like this?’ and ‘Is there an alternative way of looking at this thought?’.

Embracing the joy and happiness in life can also help boost mental wellbeing.

This might be done by making sure you manage your time effectively including all the things you love to do.

Doing random acts of kindness for the people around you – whether it be friends, community members or strangers you come across – will also put you in a good mood.

The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, based in West Bromwich, was founded in 1973 and services include community wellbeing activities across Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

To get find out more about its services or to get involved by becoming a charity partner to promote positive mental health call 0121 565 5605.

Here are some of The Kaleidoscope Plus Group’s top tips to help you better boost your mental wellbeing:

Getting a good night’s sleep:

  • Make your sleep environment comfortable and relaxed – bedrooms should be for sleep only
  • Cut out caffeine six hours before bed, and meals three hours before bed
  • Write down things if you feel your mind is full – it may be worth having a pad and pen next to your bed

Stress management

  • Talk to somebody about what you feel stressed about – whether it be a friend, family member, or colleague
  • Engage in some form of exercise – this can be a great stress relief
  • Learn how to say no and be realistic with what you can and can’t do

Managing anger and frustration

  • Never count to 10 – count backwards 10-1
  • Walk away from the situation if you can – take time out
  • It’s so important to Know what your triggers are to anger – this way you can learn what you need to do if that issue approaches

Managing anxiety

  • Share your worries with somebody you trust – whether that’s a friend, family member, colleague, GP
  • Try some light exercise such as going out for a walk
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and mood-altering substances – also be mindful of how much sugar is in your diet

Managing low mood and depression

  • Talk to somebody about how you feel – whether it be a friend, family member or colleague
  • Try and get involved in social activities – whether it be with friends or community groups
  • Set small goals for each day for you to achieve – making sure they are realistic on how you feel on, its key that you create a structure to your day

Embracing joy and happiness

  • Make sure that you have fun and laughter in each day
  • Do random acts of kindness for the people around you – whether it be friends, community members or strangers you come across
  • Why not try doing a gratitude journal – outline each day three things that you are grateful for
  • Set yourself achievable goals to work towards!! It feels great when you’ve achieved them
  • Make sure you manage your time effectively – including all the things you love to do

Visit www.kaleidoscopeplus.org.uk/self-help-toolbox

Heather Large

By Heather Large
Special projects reporter - @HeatherL_star

Senior reporter and part of the Express & Star special projects team specialising in education and human interest features.

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