At East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau in west-central Scotland, we are here to help. If you live or work in the East Dunbartonshire area, we can give you personalised advice on getting the right support for mental health and wellbeing. Please contact us here, chat online or call us on 0141 775 3220. If you reside outside of East Dunbartonshire, please contact your own local Citizens Advice Bureau for assistance. Find them here.
Mental Wellbeing Self Help Steps
Did you know that we have a specialist team of mental wellbeing experts here at East Dunbartonshire CAB? So, if you are struggling with your personal wellbeing and need help, simply speak to your doctor and request a GP referral to our services. But in the meantime, we are here, online, providing self-help guides to help you to regain some control. So, let’s stop your negative thoughts and actions and take 5 steps to a postive life. Yes, let’s talk about improving your wellbeing! Whether you are suffering with depression and /or anxiety or struggling with stress, read on and set some mental wellness goals to turn your life around.
Firstly, please understand that you are already going in the right direction! It can be exasperating looking for help with mental wellbeing. The NHS and mental health services are overrun and underserviced. And as such, many of us aren’t sure quite where to go for help. But you have already overcome the biggest step! Yes, you are now aware of your mental and physical suffering. And you have accepted that you need to make positive changes. Take comfort knowing that repairing your mental health and emotional wellbeing will be liberating once you begin to take some positive steps. Whatsmore, the key to success is you! Yes, you have more power than you think to turn your life around. So let’s get started by building the following key actions into your day-to-day lives to start a journey to well-being:
1. Connect with others
First step; whilst you may feel like hiding in the dark, a core step to your recovery is making an effort to connect with the people around you. So, whether that is your partner, parents and immediate family, a friend, or even a caring stranger such as the samaritans, you need to talk to somebody. Having someone to open up to and talk through your negative thoughts is very important to taking control. But if you feel you can’t open up to someone, another really good way to process your feelings is to write them down.
Listen to what you are saying, pay attention to what you are writing, and then remove yourself and role play. It’s time to pretend you are helping someone else, and tell yourself what would you say to a close friend or someone you care about if they came to you with your concerns.
And then, once you feel ready, it’s time to expand your circles. This could be making time to exercise with someone else, have a coffee with or enjoy entertainment with colleagues, friends or neighbours. Or look for new activities where you can make new networks. By adding positive energy and activity into your life you will remove the negative feelings of overthinking at home alone. Loneliness is terribly powerful and painful if it manages to take hold. So don’t let it! It’s time to take control. Could you gain company and socialisation as a volunteer? Or get involved in a project with your local community. Or join a local walking group?
And if you are sitting reading this and questioning your ability to take action, then you must think of these as the cornerstones of your life and push yourself to invest time in developing them. By building these connections you will support and enrich your every day.
2. Be active in your mental wellbeing
Second Step; even if you don’t feel like it, you must keep active. Keeping yourself busy is essential to stop you being trapped in your head! So get some exercise, go sightseeing, explore new places or take up a new hobby. Just step outdoors! And do this every day.
Whatsmore you don’t have to be sporty or overly fit to do this! Nor does it doesn’t need to be an epic marathon. A simple walk will suffice. Or why not try something new and throw yourself into a new activity such as horse riding, golf, rock climbing or nature photography? Not floating your boat? Well, go window shopping, take up a hobby such as crafting or woodwork and step outside to find inspiration and materials. Whatever you do, just step outside! You don’t need to have answers or a direction from the outset. Let’s say it again… Just Step Outside. And do it every day! Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Activity makes you feel good and gives us purpose. And most importantly, it helps you move on from your negative thinking and loneliness.
3. Take notice and step toward mental wellbeing
So many of us take our lives and surroundings for granted. As such, especially when we are mentally unwell, we forget all about the here and now. Yes, overthinking and looking ahead to the future is the greatest cause, the biggest factor and the strongest empowerer of mental illness. So from today, set yourself the challenge: forget about tomorrow! From now on, all you have to focus on is today. Set a structure to this, and stick to it!
Next, it’s time for rediscovery … be positively curious about your surroundings and look for the beauty in everything. Be it a little bird singing in a tree. A smile from a stranger. Someone holding a door open for you. Or the sun shining through a rain cloud. Notice and remark on them all and savour each positive moment. How does a strangers kindness make you feel? And how do you feel when you offer kindness to another? Pass on the kindness, and feel good about it. Enjoy the positivity, peace and freedom any wildlife or nature around you provides. Listen to water rushing, feel the wind and rain on your face. And be in the moment.
So, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or buying groceries, always be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Finally, each day, reflect on your experiences as this will help you to understand and appreciate what matters to you.
4. Keep Learning for your mental wellbeing
If you are struggling with your physical and mental wellness, know that you are not alone and that you have the power to be positive. So take control and make change for the good in your life.
It’s time to try something new, rediscover an old interest or sign up for something that interests you. And this doesn’t have to be in your personal time. Why not take on a new responsibility at work? Look at tasks and activities in your daily life and re-energise them with a new approach? Or find something that has been needing attention and turn it around – fix up the garden, redecorate a room, fix your damaged bike? Or find a new hobby; learn to play an instrument, join a modern choir or learn how to cook and look after yourself better. Take an interest in yourself! Set yourself a positive challenge you will enjoy achieving. And remember, learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun, and helping you break away your negative feelings.
5. Give to your mental wellbeing
Finally, the power of being kind to others is stronger than you could possibly imagine. Yes, we have all heard of “passing it on”. But did you realise that by passing on small kindnesses not only enriches the lives of others? Yes, it seriously injects positivity into your life too! And this doesn’t need to be something time-consuming or energy expending… A simple smile to a passing stranger, saying good morning to a neighbour, letting someone out at a junction or in front of you on the bus, helping someone by holding open a door. All these little good deeds, if offered up daily will make you feel so much better. So, do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. That’s all it takes to give and gain a lot of positive feelings in return.
And if you have more time to fill, or want to enrich your life further, then why not take your giving further. As such, you can volunteer your time and learn new skills, meet new friends and be part of something – all positive outcomes. Or join a community group. It’s time to open up your outlooks, change your horizons and see yourself, and your happiness in a new light.
Go on! You can do it! So get up, stop thinking and start focusing on the positive. There is so much goodness around you. But only you can create it in your life! Read and re-read this as many times as you need to cement good habits into your life.
Need more help to plan your next steps? Speak with us about volunteering roles, make use of our wellness resources or research your local community for clubs, activities and new places to explore. All you need is google!
East Dunbartonshire CAB is here to help
If you need any specific advice on getting support for your mental health and wellbeing, your local Citizens Advice Bureau can help. Residents of East Dunbartonshire can contact us here, chat online or call us on 0141 775 3220. If you live outside of East Dunbartonshire, you can find your local CAB here.Contact us