Communications and Fundraising Manager, Mental Health Ireland
The human species is incredibly adaptive. We can learn to adjust to most circumstances, challenges and crises. Even so, it can take a toll on our mental health.
When life feels chaotic, overwhelming and out of our control, it can be easy to get stuck in a cycle of stress and worry. Over the last few years, the world might have felt like an unstable and uncertain place with changes and challenges we’ve never experienced before. Prioritising our mental health is so important, and there are simple ways we can mind our wellbeing.
Accept that we have the power to make our own world a better place to be, no matter how restricted.
Exploring the four A’s
If we look at the four A’s mental health approach, we regain some control and can be more at peace with what’s happening around us. We can tune into how we are feeling and improve our mood and overall mental wellbeing. They are:
- Awareness: When we’re overwhelmed or things around us feel like they’re spiralling, we might be feeling scared, angry, frustrated or confused. These are all natural responses to what’s happening around us. Awareness is taking time to tune in to our thoughts, feelings and actions. Pay attention to your breathing and how you feel in your mind and body.
- Acknowledge: Acknowledging what comes up for us is an opportunity to express and validate how we feel and what we are thinking. We might have a good cry, write, talk to someone, listen to podcasts and allow ourselves to say, ‘yes, this is really hard.’
- Acceptable: Acceptance is key. A lot is out of our control. It’s okay to have days when we struggle to get out of bed and don’t want to face the world. Accept that we have the power to make our own world a better place to be, no matter how restricted. Accept that it’s okay to talk to someone who is trained to help when we need it.
- Action: Action is about taking what we have learnt and acting on it. This might look like reaching out to someone to create a support bubble, asking for help, meditating or doing nothing if that’s all you’re in the mood for. Always be kind to yourself!
While it does sometimes feel as if we’ll never turn a corner, the day will come. In the meantime, create a space for yourself to feel how you want to feel and to react with self-compassion and purpose.
Mental Health Ireland provides workshops and training in the workplace promoting mental health, wellbeing and recovery and teaches skills on how to protect and improve mental health and wellbeing. For information, visit www.mentalhealthireland.ie/training