Good mental wellbeing means:
There are a lot of things that you can do to ensure you're looking after your mental wellbeing. Some easy things you can do include:
The HSE have some really good advice on your mental health, including where to find support and services. You can find all that information here .
Sleep is really important for your mental health and wellbeing. Most people need between 5 to 9 hours sleep a night. The ideal amount is 8 hours, but everyone is different.
We all need to look at our sleep pattern and habits. If you’re regularly struggling to get a good night’s sleep, there are a number of things you can do to improve it.
SpunOut have some great advice on sleep and looking after your mental health.
Every parent finds parenting difficult. There can be days when it feels like everything is a struggle. Be kind to yourself and make time for yourself. Some of these tips might be helpful for you.
The HSE's website mychild.ie is a great resource for more tips.
Good relationships are hugely important for your mental health. It can take courage to meet new people but it can make a big difference to how you feel. You may need to think about whether you want to meet new people with similar interests or just give something back to your community or society.
Some of the following organisations can help you:
If you decide that you would like to get involved in volunteering but you are not sure exactly what you would like to do, then a good place to start is Volunteer Ireland. They can help you find what kind of volunteering suits you.
Find your local volunteering centre here.
A Men’s Shed is a place where men are able to gather and work on meaningful projects at their own pace, in their own time and in the company of other men and where the primary objective is to advance the health and wellbeing of the participating men.
Find your local shed here.
There are GAA clubs in every community. The Healthy Club project empowers clubs to deliver health and wellbeing information and programmes directly to their members and to the wider communities that they serve. Find out more here.
There is increasing evidence that the creative arts can contribute to promoting good health and improving quality of life for people of all ages. Being involved in creative activities can help us to connect with others or to learn new skills which are important ways we can look after our mental wellbeing.
When we talk about the arts, we include visual and performing arts, such as traditional craft, sculpture, digital art, text, dance, film, literature, music, singing, gardening and the culinary arts.
Getting involved with the arts can have powerful and lasting effects on health and there are many ways to engage in arts and improve your mental health.
See Creative Ireland for more information on where to encounter creative arts in your community
Most of us are aware of the physical health risks of smoking, but research shows that smoking also affects your mental health. Quitting smoking can be hard and lots of smokers try to quit a number of times before they are successful.
If you have just given up recently you should know that it's normal to feel angry, low or anxious. Many people use cigarettes to cope with different emotions - such as smoking in a stressful situation. You also may have used cigarettes to block out your feelings. When you stop smoking it can be difficult to manage these feelings without a cigarette. Some tips you can try are:
Distract yourself by going for a walk or talking to somebody
Delay until the urge passes
Deep breathe 20 times
Drink a glass of cold water
For more help follow the QUIT programme on Quit.ie .
A lot of people find their mood improves when they cut down or stop drinking. This may come as a surprise, as it's common to feel that alcohol gives you a boost or relief.
Drinking, hangovers and poor sleep can reduce your energy and productivity. A break from alcohol can get you motivated to get things done.
Use the Ask About Alcohol Drinks Calculator to find out how your drinking is impacting on your health, your wallet and your weight.
And you can always learn more from the HSE's Ask About Alcohol campaign .
It is always safest not to take drugs, as they can have a pretty big impact on your mental wellbeing, as well as your physical health. Drugs can affect different people in different ways, so it's important to make sure you know the facts.
Drugs.ie from the HSE is a one stop shop where you can find out everything you need to know. It includes information on all type of drugs and their side-effects, both short term effects and the impact on your longer term health. The website has information for teens as well as parents. It can also point people to services for drug and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation, and family support services.
Adapting to being full time at home can be challenging, for all the family. Trying to balance working from home, with home schooling kids, to also becoming a chef, PE teacher, and filling the gaps of their friends, can take its toll. Here are a few simple tips to help your family get through this time.
When speaking to our children about Covid-19 staying calm is really important. While we need to be honest with our children we need to make sure to not frighten them. Remember children may be hearing the news on tv and radio and seeing news reports and so may be very concerned.
Department of Education have some great advice on talking to your children about Covid-19.
As we all adapt to this new situation it is very important that we maintain a structure on our day.
Depending on your circumstances you may need to be more creative with scheduling your working hours. Working from home and taking care of children is honours level multitasking and will need careful planning and sometimes creative solutions. Either way shaping a good routine and schedule will be key in making sure that all bases are covered.
This is especially important for our children. Plan your days or even weeks in advance to make sure everyone knows what they will be doing and when. It will also allow you to mark of times during the day when you are working and that the children will need to be a bit quieter.
If your kids are not already home schooled the current situation could be a huge upheaval for them. Some simple planning can help them adjust to their new normal without too much disruption.
Now that more of our time will be spent at home, it is a great opportunity to get creative. Doing something creative can help improve your mood and help you to unwind. It can be something simple such as
Being creative with your children is also a lovely way to spend time together and boost your children’s confidence.
We are bombarded with information constantly through TV, radio and social media. It can become overwhelming for both you and your family. While it is important to keep up to date with the latest messages, it is also important to step away and take a breather. Schedule a time every day to check your social media, and the latest news. Relentless checking can lead to increased anxiety and stress. Misinformation and rumour can cause undue distress to both you and your children so make sure that you rely on trusted sources.
There are various things that can help you to switch off and help you relax.
Being around each other all the time, combined with worry over illness, children, money, or sick relatives, can increase stress levels and put a strain on relationships. We need to really take care of ourselves during this time to ensure that we don’t get overwhelmed and take it out on each other.
While we all love our children and families dearly, being around each other 24/7, especially if that is not your normal pattern, can be stressful and cause tensions to rise. To avoid daily battles, here are some simple tips to keep everyone on good terms.