World Mental Health Day 2020
World Mental Health Day 2020 is the most important one yet. This year has been a tough one for us all. The months of lockdown, loneliness and loss have had a huge impact on our mental health.
Before the pandemic, statistics showed that up to 50% with Parkinson’s will suffer from anxiety or depression at some point during their illness. Alongside this, we know that many people have developed new mental health problems as a result of the lockdown and isolation and, for some of us, existing mental health problems have gotten worse.
Prioritising mental health has never been more important than it is now. So, this year, to mark World Mental Health Day on 10 October, Parkinson’s Care and Support UK want you all to do or share something positivity today.
Making positive change can seem so hard, especially during uncertain times, but today we are asking you to take time out for yourself. Whether it’s going for a walk, doing something creative, or practising some mindfulness or reaching out to someone else; take time for you this World Mental Health Day.
Can you do one of these positive things today?
- Have some ‘me time’. Taking time out for yourself has got to be one of the most positive and generous things you can do for your mental health. The truth is, if you do not invest in you, how can you expect to get a return? At times we forget to enjoy the simple things which can give you the greatest of pleasures. When was the last time you had a long soak in the bath? Painted a picture? Went for a quiet walk without interruption? Meditated? No excuses today as to why you have not got time for yourself. Find reasons why you must.
- Be grateful. Living in the moment with minimal negativity and judgement requires an appreciation of the positive. By getting into the habit of thinking of things you are thankful of each morning, you will be in the right mindset to deal with whatever comes your way that day. Write down 5 things that you are thankful for.
- Tell someone how much they mean to you. This small but powerful gesture goes a long way to cultivate positivity and happiness around you. Once a person knows how much you appreciate them, it opens up new relationship opportunities. It removes the insecurity that often becomes a hindrance in building relationships, and eventually makes you a happier individual.
- Do not complain. In our world, complaints are part of our daily life. No matter where we are, no matter what we do, people always find something to complain about. We are not just talking about the traffic being slow or the weather being too cold, it is also the habitual complaints we make about our own health and illness. We know that living with Parkinson’s is not easy and each day brings about new tests of resilience, strength and courage. However, in order to get through these tests and hurdles, we need to embrace more acceptance and fight back with the things we have control over instead of complaining about the things we can’t. Don’t let the temptation to complain get the better of you today.
- Practice Mindfulness to help improve your mental health and well-being. Mindfulness can be described in many ways. It is essentially a practice of purposely paying attention in the present moment and bringing a non-judgmental, compassionate awareness to the nature of things. It is a way of being, a way of relating to our inner and outer experiences and a coming to our senses, literally and figurately.
Through Mindfulness, we learn to cultivate choice and develop a greater sense of efficacy and balance in our lives. In this way, we gradually restore a healthy, friendly relationship with ourselves, begin to feel less alienated and isolated (from ourselves and others), and reconnect to our own deep intuitive wisdom and creativity.