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As part of his role, our forensic psychologist, Darren, uses psychotherapeutic approaches that can help in managing depression/ low mood, anxiety, anger and stress, and help enhance quality of life. Naturally, emotional wellbeing is incredibly important both for Precious colleagues and the people we support. With summer nearly over, Darren has pulled together his thoughts on how to manage mental health and emotional wellbeing during the Autumn.
See how many seasonal autumn local foods you can include in your diet. Blackberry picking is a great way to connect with nature, free to eat, and a great source of calcium, manganese and vitamins C, E and K.
Set yourself the challenge of drinking 1 ½ litres per day. Pay attention to how much better you feel when properly hydrated. It helps with fatigue, concentration and indeed aids sleep.
Poor quality sleep makes it harder for us to pay attention, learn and remember. It can also make feelings of anxiety and depression worse. Enjoy relaxing and resting during the longer and darker nights. Spend half an hour doing something you enjoy for example reading, crosswords, or a game like spot the difference. It is important to give yourself a break.
Make a plan for each day (or get a member of staff to help). Do lots of different things that you find interesting and fun. Try new things too. Try to avoid spending too long using screens though and put any screens down at least one hour before sleep. Do a mixture of activities, some that require you to think or work things out and others that involve physical activity (physical exercise can help us feel better and improve our mood).
Think about what you like most about autumn and plan activities that allow you to
enjoy these things. For example, looking at the different coloured leaves, bonfire/fireworks night, or wearing warm clothes. But remember you don’t have to force yourself to do things you do not like. For example, if you do not like loud noises you do not have to watch fireworks. If you do not agree with Halloween you do not have to get involved.
Spend time with people you like. If you can’t meet with them face to face then keep in touch using video call or phone call.
Talk about how you feel with your friends, family, or support team/colleagues. If you are feeling anxious about something sharing this with other people and asking for support will help.
Notice how this makes you feel as well as them.