Expert Tips For Self-Care On World Mental Health Day
In honour of World Mental Health Day, Positive Psychology expert and Clinical Hypnotherapist Fiona Brennan has written a special piece for eumom; on how to make sure you can look after your mental health, and ensure you, and your family, can stay mentally fit:
'Every year Mental Health is recognised on the 10th of October as World Mental Health Day, however, in order to be mentally fit we need to look after our mental health every day. It is wonderful that we have made significant progress in terms of mental health awareness, and removing some of the stigma, but we still have a long way to go.
According to the World Mental Health Organisation, 1 in 4 people globally will suffer with some form of mental health issue in their life. That is a quarter of the population of the world, and yet only a handful of people feel safe enough to come out and speak about their mental suffering.
This year’s Mental Health Week focuses on mental health in the workplace. Stigma in the workplace is still highly prevalent, and many people fear that speaking out will hinder their chances of success and promotion. However, if someone has a physical health problem, instead of fearing people’s disapproval the person will often receive great empathy and support.
In my work as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, I am fortunate enough to meet and help people from all walks of life. Many of my clients are mothers who are struggling to meet the demands of juggling family, and also perhaps working full or part time outside the home.
As a stay at home parent or a working mother; the weight of responsibility can leave many women feeling overwhelmed and a feeling that there is no time left for them. This leads to unwanted feelings of stress and low self-esteem, which left unmanaged can lead to anxiety; chronic anxiety has the potential to lead to depression so like many things early intervention is crucial.
I work closely with these lovely, courageous mothers to help them to realise the importance of building a self-care routine that cares for their mental health in addition to their physical. The body and mind are indeed one; so eating a balanced diet and getting exercise is great, but the part many women often forget about is the importance of caring for their minds. The most common complaint I have from women is that they simply ‘don’t have time’ to care for themselves in addition to all of their responsibilities.
The truth is that you don’t have time to NOT take care of yourself.
When you take care of yourself, you are taking care of your family; as at the end of the day your health and wellbeing is essential. As one of my clients put it very succinctly ‘a happy mammy = a happy home.’ Children are like sponges and even if we ‘pretend’ we are feeling fine, they pick up on the tension and stress that we may be trying to mask. I suggest that you take this opportunity that World Mental Health Day offers us, to stop and pause for a moment and to ask yourself:
‘What can I do to take care of my mental health every day?’
Some Tips that I give my clients include:
Tips for Mental Fitness.
Release the stigma from yourself. Many people feel shame and guilt for their unwanted feelings of anxiety and depression. The first step is to accept these feelings and realise that there is no shame in having them, remember ¼ of the world has them at some point, and this is just the reported cases: In reality it is much higher.
Be kinder to yourself. When you feel sad, think if this was someone you love, what way would you relate to their pain? No doubt you would be kind, compassionate and full of empathy it is time to turn this kindness towards yourself.
Your brain is a muscle like any other and by consistent training you can teach yourself to become more calm, confident and content. This is known as neuroplasticity and is the brains capacity to rewire itself.
Develop a self-care routine that includes at least one of the following on a daily basis: Meditation, Listening to self-hypnosis recording, Breathing exercises, practicing Gratitude, Positive Affirmations, and Journaling of positive emotions and releasing negative emotions.
Fiona Brennan is a renowned clinical hypnotherapist and positive psychology expert, with a busy practice in Ballsbridge. She is fast becoming Ireland’s leading female ambassador for positive psychology and a strong voice in the wellness industry, featuring in a number of national publications. Fiona also writes monthly articles for'A Lust for Life: the mental health site set up by Bressie.
Fiona has helped transform the lives of thousands of people, both in her clinic, and with her five-star online program: The Positive Habit, Ireland’s only online hypnotherapy course.