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Blue Monday - Taking care of your mental health

Woman relaxing and drinking tea

Our mental wellbeing is dynamic and can change from day to day, month to month or year to year. These hints and tips can help you make small changes to your lifestyle to deal with difficult situations. 

Connect
Connect with people at home, at work or in your community. Social interaction is critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental health problems for people of all ages. For example, you could:
• make time to talk to someone instead of sending an email or text
• take lunch or have coffee with a colleague or friend

Be active
Find a physical activity you enjoy. Even the smallest activity can have a positive impact. If you can, spend ten minutes a day gently raising your heart and breathing rate to benefit both your physical and mental health. Here are a few ideas for keeping active:
• take the stairs instead of the lift
• go for a walk at lunchtime, by yourself or with a colleague
• try chair-based exercise if you have trouble getting up and about, or if you just want a change of activity on days you can’t get outdoors

Take notice
Take some time to be mindful of the present. During busy times it’s easy to get lost in thought. Reminding yourself to take notice of your surroundings can strengthen and broaden awareness. You could, for example:
• take time to breathe and unwind
• take a walk, focusing on your surroundings
• reflect on your own and others’ successes, for example by asking for feedback on a recent piece of work or commending someone on their work

Keep learning
Try something new or rediscover an old interest. The practice of setting goals, at work or outside of work, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing. You could:
• find a new hobby
• explore a new area near your home or workplace
• offer to share a skill you already have with a friend or colleague

Give
Find new ways to give to others. While a lot has been written about the benefits of giving, most of us don’t realise the impact of this or acknowledge what we regularly give on a day to day basis. You could:
• do something nice for a friend or a stranger
• volunteer your time