2020 has been a lot, and this World Mental Health Day, we all need to acknowledge how much we have dealt with this year and know that it’s okay to admit you have struggled.

We posted about the need to look after ourselves back in March and highlighted ways to prevent and manage struggling with your mental health over lockdown. Now, we’re on the other side of summer and things haven’t progressed as far as we may have hoped in terms of a return to normal.

While some of us have managed to get out diving and snorkelling, as the winter months roll in, off-season brings around fewer opportunities. Club nights may continue online, but remember that everyone is dealing with the situation differently. Here are some things to try and remember for those who are struggling whether it’s you or someone else you know.

1. It’s okay not to be okay

This year has been one heck of a rollercoaster. No one is denying that and if you’ve struggled this year – with work, with studying, in your personal life, with your physical health – that is absolutely a-okay and you need to stop being so harsh on yourself. It’s okay if you haven’t made the changes you planned to on New Year’s Day because no one expected the year to turn out like this.

2. Talk to your people

Socialising isn’t what it used to be pre-Covid, but equally, we’re not quite on weekly Zoom quizzes anymore either. Stay in touch with people – your family, your friends, your Club members – and ask for help if you need it. There is absolutely no shame in reaching out for help, even if it’s just for a FaceTime with coffee and cake.

Equally, if you think someone you know may be struggling – if they live alone, or you just haven’t heard from them in a while – reach out! Just sending them a text could brighten their day exponentially.

3. Taking baby steps is okay

Finding your own pace is really important right now. People around you may be meeting with friends or going back into the office, while others are still shielding and working from home. Everyone has different priorities and limits and it’s really important to respect others, as well as feeling confident with your own. Remember to not push yourself too hard, you’re doing really great as you are.

4. Find what feels good

Utilise our post on looking after yourself and find something that makes you feel good. Did you find a fun new hobby over lockdown? Maybe your happy place used to be diving but you can’t go as often anymore. Have you found that daily lunchtime walks free your mind and calm your stresses? Is there a specific local cycle route you discovered that looks so beautiful as the sun is setting? Maybe you’ve realised that reading a chapter of a book with a cup of tea is exactly what you need after a long day of work. Let us know on social media!

5. This isn’t forever

I know it may feel like it right now, but this absolutely will not be forever. Remember that things are changing every day, whether it’s improving or worsening, it is still ever-changing. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better, but they will get better.

We’re hoping to start a conversation on our social media today about World Mental Health Day and we’d like you to let us know what you’ve been doing to make yourself feel good each day or week. What activity have you found to carve out some time for yourself? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

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