Today Monday 16th May sees the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and the message for this year is that working on your mental health is just as important as focusing on your physical health. The Mental Health Foundation, who run the awareness campaign, want people to celebrate relationships and the people who add to their well-being. Recognising the importance of good relationships and defining new ways of developing and maintaining strong social connections are integral to our overall wellbeing.
As part of the Week, the charity has launched a report ‘Relationships in the 21st century: The Forgotten Foundation of Mental Health and Wellbeing’ and are asking everyone to go the extra mile in prioritising their relationships and in return reap the benefits in terms of health and wellbeing. According to the report there are five things that can help you to reach this goal:
1. Give time: put more time aside to connect with friends and family
2. Be present: it can be tempting to check your phone, Facebook messages or even work emails when with family and friends. Try to be present in the moment and be there for your loved ones, and switch out of ‘work mode’ whenever possible
3. Listen: actively listen to what others are saying in a non-judgemental way and concentrate on their needs in that moment
4. Be listened to: share how you are feeling honestly and allow yourself to be listened to and supported
5. Recognise unhealthy relationships: being around positive people can make us happier; however, our wellbeing can be negatively affected by harmful relationships, leaving us unhappy. Recognising this can help us move forward and find solutions to issues.
The Mental Health Foundation is calling on the British public to take their “Relationships Resolutions” pledge. The pledge allows us to assess how much time we actively commit to building and maintaining good relationships, and to ask whether we can invest more in being present with and listening to friends, family and colleagues.
So, this Mental Health Awareness week make a pledge: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/relationships/my-relationships-resolution