CAP Column – May 2020

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Give your mind a little TLC this May

May usually brings lots of opportunities to get out of the house and do something, whether that’s going for a run, taking the kids to play in the park or planning a trip out somewhere during the May bank holidays. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the world we’re used to suddenly looks very different. At times like these, it’s vital that we take care of our mental health and wellbeing.

Get a good night’s sleep

The theme for this May’s Mental Health Awareness Week is how to sleep better. Sleepless nights can be a common experience, whether that’s due to being a parent or having a snoring partner, and sometimes it can be due to anxiety. If we are anxious about anything including health or money worries, the lack of sleep can affect our mental health – it’s a vicious cycle. Take a look at mentalhealth.org.uk/blog/ten-top-tips-good-sleep for tips for getting a good night’s sleep.

Seek help with problem finances

At Christians Against Poverty (CAP), we know all too well the link between financial struggles and mental ill-health. If you have money worries, seek help sooner rather than later. There are lots of free debt counselling charities who can help and just taking this first step can feel like a weight has been lifted. Have a look at moneysavingexpert.com/loans/debt-help-plan for advice.

Make time to get outside

Sometimes being stuck indoors can make us feel tired and worn out with little energy. Advice from the NHS and mental health charity Mind says that being outside and having a chance to breathe fresh air can increase our energy levels and improve our mental health and wellbeing. Both the NHS and Mind websites have tons of great ideas for getting off the sofa, exercising and enjoying the health benefits of the outdoors. Find out more at nhs.uk and mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living.

Create your own little garden haven

Gardening is an ideal way to get out in the fresh air, give your mind a little TLC and maybe even save some money if you choose to grow your own fruit and veg. Short on space? You can still create your own little garden spot. There are all sorts of vegetables that can be grown in small spaces – all you need is a tub, some soil and seeds. See gardenersworld.com/plants/vegetable-seeds-to-sow-in-may for some ideas.

Get the kids involved in the garden

You’ll find lots of resources online to encourage the kids to go outdoors, gain a sense of achievement and boost their mental wellbeing too. Check out childrensgardeningweek.co.uk/fun-things-to-do and make the most of National Children’s Gardening Week during the last week of May.

Be kind to yourself

With nationwide lockdowns, enforced social distancing and of course serious health concerns, the last few months have been a challenge across the world. Any emotions you may be feeling are valid and you’re not alone. So be kind to yourself – each step you take towards a more positive outlook will be worth it for your personal wellbeing and that of your family.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a UK charity with 588 services across the country delivering debt counselling, money management, job clubs, life skills groups, and support for people breaking habitual dependencies. 

Visit capuk.org to find out more.