Surviving to thriving this Mental Health Awareness Week

How are you doing this week? And how are you really doing? We know that it is an important question to ask, and we sure don’t ask it enough. It’s Mental Health Awareness Week this week and we’re talking about all things mental wellbeing and give you the tips for Surviving to Thriving. What better way to start your own inner wellbeing journey than this week. 

We all know someone that has been affected by the stresses and issues caused by mental illness. We have all heard of someone succumbing to said symptoms and we can be left wondering “why” or “how” does this happen. And we have brought you this statistic before, but we will leave it here again;

  • If the number of people who suffered with mental health issues in Britain was a country on its own, it would have a larger population than Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales combined.

Let’s just take that in for a second. Over 16 million people in our country are struggling. And we believe we need to take the time and talk about it more. 

Famous faces – just like us… 

From celebrities to our own founder; we have some great pieces of inspiration to help us open up that conversation and begin to go from surviving to thriving;

Actress and model Cara Delevingne has always been open about her own internal struggles. In a 2017 interview with This Morning she said;“Being vulnerable is actually a strength and not a weakness — that’s why more and more mental health is such an important thing to talk about.” – and we couldn’t agree more. 

Our Marketing Manager Molls has written a few articles herself about mental health stating that; “I like to think of my own mental health like the Japanese art of Kintsugi – the art of repairing broken items with gold. I may have been broken before, but when I had the strength to be repaired I became even stronger and valuable”. 

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex famously said in an interview with ITV; “It’s not enough to just survive something. You’ve got to thrive, you’ve got to feel happy.” She may have had the dream lifestyle, but behind closed doors she was clearly very unhappy. But she was brave enough to admit that and it shows in her new mental state – and that beautiful glow she now has.

But most importantly our CEO Ian created MindPanda out of the sole need to be more hands on with our mental health. He champions the need to talk about our own struggles after overcoming his own anxieties, and in turn founded MindPanda in order to tackle this growing issue. 

Mental health awareness week 2020

So when we tell you that in the UK, one in four people experience mental health problems each year, each one of they examples above are part of the statistic. The most common conditions of mental health problems are anxiety to depression, so if so many of us are affected, why don’t we talk about it more?

Which is why we always excited about celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week each year as it give us all the chance to freely talk about our struggles without judgement – as it should be. 

This year’s Mental Health Week theme is kindness. Why? Because isolation caused by the lockdown means we need more of it than ever. It’s even good for the person being kind, boosting self-esteem and a sense of belonging. As Captain Tom Moore’s amazing NHS campaign showed, social distancing doesn’t have to mean emotional distance.

What are you doing for Mental Health Awareness Week this year? Here are a few of our favourite ideas to help us all Surviving to Thriving.

Kindness is contagious – pass it on

We still need to stay at home as much as possible, but there are lots of things we can do for others. Why not check on the neighbours, volunteer and raise some smiles? Anything goes. Like this Spider-Man jogger who cheered up isolated children. Or random compliments from the little ones.

30-minute movement challenge

Are you slowly becoming one with your sofa, after too much time at home? Take action and get active with the thirty-minute movement challenge.

For example, you could try mindful walking. There are formal meditations that you can learn. Or you could simply bring more awareness to your walk. Turn off the autopilot. Notice your breathing – the speed, the depth, the sensations. How does your body feel as you plant each foot and how does your clothing feel on your skin? What are the sounds, smells and colours around you?

Daily mindfulness meditation

It’s official: mindfulness has been proven to reduce anxiety. It has a positive effect on the symptoms of depression. It can help your brain process distractions better, too. Not to mention that it makes you feel great.

If you’d like to get started with mindfulness, we have a big range of guided meditations available for free. Head over to our resources page to have a look.

Feed your brain

Starting a new book, getting the latest news from a friend, trying out a new activity… Indulging our curiosity is a great way to distract us from negative feelings. It can also encourage empathy and strengthen relationships. How are you going to feed your brain today?

Connect with others

Some of us would love to escape lockdown with our relatives. Others are feeling the effects of too much isolation. But all of us would benefit from more social connectedness. Take time to call your older relatives. WhatsApp your friends. Chat with neighbours over the garden fence or by the lift. Your mental wellbeing will thank you.

Give thanks

Gratitude is a great way to boost empathy and add a feel-good factor to your day. In fact, it’s been proven. Take a moment to consider all the things you are grateful for. In fact, you could write them down. You may even like to make this part of your regular routine, for example with a gratitude journal.

These simple actions can really boost your sense of wellbeing. To help you surviving to thriving. But sometimes you’ll need professional help. As Ruby Wax said: “It’s so common, it could be anyone. The trouble is, nobody wants to talk about it. And that makes everything worse.” So, whatever is going on in your life, please make sure you get the help you need. Stay well and stay safe.

Xbox console boredom

In Times of Boredom Look to Mindfulness

In times of boredom, we all do it. We look around, we do the pat down and we mindlessly pull out our phones and tap into a world filled with likes, shares and fast moving media.    If you are like me, then sometimes you can get a little overwhelmed with all of the scrolling and aggressive reality that gets all up in my face. I work with social media for a living, so to me, the lines can be blurred on what is reality and what are my job duties.    And I am not the only one who feels a little ‘off’ when online. Generation Z (the new cool kids on the block) are growing up in a world full of online content – in fact, they have never known a world where an internet connection didn’t exist. However, in their world full of apps and notifications, they are deciding to forego the need for social media in times of boredom and indulge in the old-timey world of books, board games and wait for it…actual human contact! I know, I need a breather.  I’m in my late twenties, and I can remember dial up, cassettes and the good ol’ VHS. I can also remember AOL, mySpace and the dawn of the Facebook likes and comments, (let’s forget about the ‘poking’ function. Ew). But I also remember the good times of video games, of Pokemon and of Nintendo. Which makes my generation – us infamous millennials – the last generation of kids who grew up without the internet. And we coped just fine.   

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