Mental health problems can affect people irrespective of age, personality or background. Too often, people feel afraid to admit they are struggling with their mental health. Make Time for Mental Health is one of the Women’s Institute’s campaigns for 2018, a call to make it as acceptable to talk about mental health as it is about physical health.
World Mental Health Day is an opportunity for us all to reflect and engage in open discussion. With the help of two expert speakers, our October meeting gave members and guests the chance to learn two ways to nurture mental well-being.
Author and award-winning journalist Caroline Millington, shared her personal experiences of how vital the act of being kind to one’s self is as an everyday self-care mechanism and how those learnings inspired a book on that very topic. Titled Kindfulness, her book combines her own down-to-earth ideas on incorporating this philosophy in today’s lifestyle with contributions from various independent experts. Some key takeaways of her talk included:
- Practice gentler self-chat – too often we are harsh, negative judges of our own actions instead of being supportive the way we would be with a friend.
- Avoid comparisons – we are all different and have our own strengths.
- Use social media wisely – this regular distraction can hinder quality personal or social time and feed self-doubt. Have limits and select what you see.
- Learn the art of a soft no – preventing yourself from being stretched doesn’t have to mean cutting yourself off. Its all in how you say it.
- Set realistic goals and appreciate the small wins – the aim is happiness not perfection, we are all a work in progress!
Get your copy of this fab book here.
Yoga expert Ann started her session by explaining how the word yoga, from the Sanskrit word yuj, means the union of body, mind and soul. This simple definition does a great job of showing how through breathing, meditation and low-impact movement, Yoga promotes balance and calmness.
A 30 minute demonstration from the comfort of our chairs showed how you can practice easy yoga exercises in everyday life, without the headstands or alike! Find out more about Yoga Balance with Ann here.
We all ended World Mental Health Day feeling calm and connected with our mental well-being! Visit the WI website to learn more about the Make Time for Mental Health campaign.
Good luck to committee member Sarah on her forthcoming World Mental Health Day inspired trek. Raising funds to train 100 expedition leaders in mental health first-aid training, she will trek Mount Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains. Read more here. Go Sarah!