Finding Your Way – Melo x Samaritans
Earlier this year, Samaritans Cymru launched a new resource, Finding Your Way: A Guide for Anyone Who’s Struggling to Cope. It was launched after the UK went into lockdowns, where many experienced feelings of heightened anxiety with disruptions to their daily lives, causing people to suffer with poor mental health.
The pandemic has made vulnerable people experience higher levels of distress than they did previously, which is why the Samaritans are proud to have launched this new, free resource for people living in Wales, which is for anyone struggling to cope. Whether you’re experiencing a dip in your mental health, or are feeling lonely and isolated, or are struggling with suicidal thoughts, this guide is for you.
In amongst a whole host of incredibly helpful information and support, is a section titled ‘What to do if you’re feeling low or struggling to cope: Helping Yourself’ where we identified how some of the suggestions mirrored the 5 Ways to Wellbeing and were being encouraged as a way to boost your mental wellbeing. We’re going to share snippets from the resource that link to the 5 Ways which will in turn, help your mental health!
First, let’s remind ourselves of the 5 Ways:
Be Active – Connect – Give – Keep Learning – Take Notice
Set achievable goals
If you’re feeling anxious about doing something, try breaking it down to a list of smaller tasks. For example, if you haven’t been to the shops in a while, you might want to try walking in that part of town before going inside. Focus on what you want to achieve and try not to compare yourself to what you think others are doing. Go at your own pace.
Make time for yourself
(Be Active | Take Notice | Keep Learning)
It could be something creative, playing sports or taking a copy of the paper to a park for half an hour in the sun. Even stepping away and taking a five-minute break over a cup of tea can help you relax and take some time for yourself.
(Be Active | Take Notice)
Whatever way you can, taking some time to enjoy the outdoors can have a positive effect on your mood. From visiting our local parks or nature reserves to tending to plants indoors, spending quality time with nature has been proven to have a positive effect on our mood.
(Be Active | Connect)
Exercise can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and other difficult feelings. There are lots of different ways to be active. You could start off with a brisk walk or join a free online exercise class. Setting goals with others is a great way to stay motivated. Try teaming up with friends and family or taking part in an online challenge.
Talk about how you’re feeling
(Connect | Take Notice)
Talking can help put things into perspective and help us feel less isolated. It can be hard to reach out but talking to a trusted friend, colleague or family member is something we’d encourage you to try, however you can. Remember, you can always talk to Samaritans too.
Connect and meet up with other people
(Connect | Give)
Relationships are important for our wellbeing. They can help with our self-esteem and make us feel valued. Supporting others can also boost our own wellbeing.
The resource also goes into detail on the importance of connection, discussing the human need for social connection and relationships, and how a lack of social connection can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health.
Ways you can combat loneliness
- Volunteering. It’s a powerful way to make new friends, help your community and improve your wellbeing. To read about the wide range of benefits of volunteering, click here. You can find lots of local volunteering opportunities here.
- Local community groups. They’re a great way to make new connections and make friends.
- Connect with a befriender. You can connect with a trainer volunteer who can provide support to anyone feeling lonely or isolated. You can connect with one here.
Remember, if you’re struggling and feel there is nowhere to turn to, you’re not alone. Help is out there.
To read the full Samaritans resource, ‘Finding Your Way: A Guide for Anyone Struggling to Cope’, click here.
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