Our Mental Health, Our Responsibility.

We’ve come a long way in the last number of years with regards to mental health. We are far more open, aware and understanding of the issues surrounding mental health. Businesses, schools and communities are pulling together to fight the stigma and put education and supports in place to enable people to help themselves and help others. A key message from Donegal Mind Wellness this winter is to remember the responsibility starts with you and I, the individual.


Minding our mental health is our responsibility. Not always easy to accept especially when  at our lowest and in need of help. Thankfully we are in a time when the supports are there, we need to empower ourselves to reach out. It’s about taking the right steps towards wellness and sometimes that means pushing ourselves to do the things we least feel like doing.


We are mid November now, the evenings are long, dark and cold, Christmas is everywhere already and we may be feeling vulnerable for one reason or another. For some seasonal depression is creeping in or perhaps you are just overcoming or experiencing a huge event in your life. 


Unfortunately there is no complete guide to managing our mental health as we are all very individual and what works for one may not work for another but below we have come up with a guide of some things that may be helpful to you. 


  • This time of year the temptation is there to hibernate by the fire but isolation can feed depression and anxious thoughts. Beat the blues and join a club, gym, swimming pool, pilates class ,dance class, cooking class, book club. The options are endless get onto Google or Facebook events near me and see what’s out there for you. 


  • Perhaps you’ve fallen in a rut, you’ve been putting your kids first for years and now everyone’s flew the nest and you haven’t the confidence to get out there and try something new? Maybe you were caring for a parent who recently passed and your feeling isolated. Social Prescribing is a great place to start, meet with a coordinator in your area who will link you in with people in similar shoes and social activities in your area. Follow link for more info and contact details on this free service. https://bit.ly/35cwixZ.


  • Stay Connected! Maybe your sitting at home feeling the blues when your neighbour, extended family member or someone in need is doing the exact same thing just a few miles apart. Visit someone or sign up to a volunteer service like ALONE https://alone.ie/ , supporting elderly people in need or visit https://www.volunteer.ie/ for more ideas on how to get community involved.


  • Managing our mental health is a lot to do with self awareness and understanding what is going on within ourselves. Maybe we are stuck in years old negative thought patterns and have just accepted things the way they are but change is possible. CBT, Mindfulness, Counselling and Psychotherapy are all good places to start. We recommend visiting your GP and speaking openly about what your experiencing for more tailored advice on these services. Alternatively see your local family resource center for advice on services and supports in your area http://www.familyresource.ie/


  • Maybe you’ve found yourself at rock bottom and can’t see a way forward. The thought of socializing seems unbearable and your mental health has deteriorated beyond “Self Help”. It’s important to remember that you are not alone!! No matter how complex your home life may seem, how in depth you are financially or how isolated or alone you may feel. No matter what your negative thoughts are telling you about yourself or previous mistakes you’ve made in your life, take advice from someone who has been there, your truly not alone. You can turn it all around make the call today and keep fighting for your own health and wellbeing. Never give up. Follow this link now to the “Need Help Now” section on Mental Health Ireland’s web page and take action now, lift the phone. The first step towards well being starts here with you. https://www.mentalhealthireland.ie/need-help-now/


We hope you find this article useful. Wishing you all a winter full of good health and happiness from Niamh, Donegal Mind Wellness.