This year, Mental Health Awareness Week is focusing on loneliness, and how this can impact mental wellbeing.
The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed how people socialised and who they socialised with. With social activities cancelled, and restrictions placed on what people could do and when they could do it, loneliness became a confronting experience that many of us faced.
As we move away from the days of lockdown, loneliness will continue; it existed before the pandemic, and it will exist after.
Anyone can feel lonely, anytime, or anywhere.
The longer people feel lonely, the more at risk they are to mental health problems.
It is no secret that exercise is a great way of improving mental health and feeling good, but it is also a fantastic way of meeting new people and expanding social lives.
Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and make sleeping and concentrating much easier.
Group exercise, whether it’s yoga with friend or playing football for your local team, combines two things that are known to improve mental health: socialising and exercise.
Rhondda Cynon Taf have an enormous range of activities that local residents can get involved with, get healthy, and make friends. Sport RCT offers a huge variety of services to those around the borough, from Pickleball and Walking Football, to Roller
Derby and Running Clubs. You can find a programme of Community Sport Programme events here Community Sport Programme (rctcbc.gov.uk)
To find an activity in your area, visit Community Sport and Physical Activity (rctcbc.gov.uk)
Exercising doesn’t have to be strenuous or intense, it can mean simply a walk in the park with a friend or colleague. Do what makes you feel good.
Food can also have a big impact on mental health. There are strong links between what we eat and how we feel.
A diet that is good for your physical health is great for your mental health too.
A healthy and balanced diet can include:
- lots of different types of fruit and vegetables
- wholegrain cereals or bread
- nuts and seeds
- dairy products
- oily fish
- plenty of water.
Eating well does not have to be expensive. With a little planning, cooking up healthy meals can be really easy. BBC Good Food have a great budget-friendly meal plan that you can follow to help fuel your body and mind: 7 days of healthy budget family meals | BBC Good Food
For more information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw or join the conversation on social media using #IveBeenThere and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek