Mental Health Awareness Week 2023
Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 runs from the 15th to the 21st of May.
This year the focus is on anxiety. Feeling anxious from time to time is normal and to be expected, but sometimes it can become a problem and develop into a mental health issue. Here at the SPRINT Project, we encourage everyone to reach out and seek professional help if needed.
To keep mentally well and increase feelings of happiness, we love to practice self-care. Self-care can take many different forms and is something we can all try to do a bit more of.
Getting out and about in nature is a great way to take care of yourself. You can check out how some of our team members like to do this below.
Name: Dr Mary Quinton
Self-care activity: Walking the new puppy!
Why do I like this activity: A big reason for getting a dog in the first place for me was to embed a healthier lifestyle into my daily routine, both in terms of physical activity but also the mental health benefits of more time outside. As my puppy (Kingsley) is still young and learning a lot, we actually don't get very far on our walks at the moment. However, I see this as a good reminder that it's good to slow down sometimes and that I don't always need to rush to get things done.
Top tip for this activity: I lay out my clothes for the morning walk before I go to bed - this especially helps me on those really dark and rainy mornings!
Name: Dr Grace Tidmarsh
Self-care activity: Walking my dog.
Why do I like this activity: Walking my dog is something that must be done but it provides a great opportunity to look after myself by getting out in the fresh air, exploring different places locally (and further away) and often talking to other people at the park. I often feel much happier and more relaxed after walking my dog and I see the benefits of feeling more relaxed in other parts of my life.
Top tip for this activity: I try and be really present when I'm walking Raisin, taking in what I can, see and hear etc. and that helps it feel more relaxing by taking in my surroundings rather than simply passing through them.
Name: Georgia Bird
Self-care activity: Hiking
Why do I like this activity: Being outside in nature and climbing a mountain pushes me physically but also provides me the space to get some perspective on things that may be on my mind. Reaching the top and taking in the view gives me a real sense of accomplishment and makes me really appreciate the world around me.
Top tip for this activity: Plan ahead and do it with someone you enjoy spending time with. It also doesn't matter how long it takes or how far you get, I find being in the mountains is enough to clear my mind.
What do you like to do to take care of yourself? We’d love to hear about your approaches in the comments below, or on Twitter using #SPRINTProject #SPselfcare
Next week, we will be sharing some of our other team members approaches to self-care!
Visit the Mental Health Foundation’s website for more information about Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 and why anxiety has been chosen as this year’s theme.
To find out more about Mary, Grace, and Georgia’s work in the SPRINT Project click here.
Photo credit: Dr Mary Quinton, Dr Grace Tidmarsh, Georgia Bird and Canva.
Written by Dr Sally Reynard, Research Associate in the SPRINT Project.