Prevention is better than cure. It’s a mantra we all know well.
In health care it conjures up behaviours like healthy eating, staying active and limiting alcohol intake, and includes participation in screening and vaccination programmes. With the right information and support, people can take very practical steps to improve their physical wellbeing.
As World Mental Health Day (10 October) approaches, it’s worth remembering the same is true for our mental health. With the younger members of the Royal Family focusing their energies on mental health and more and more celebrities sharing their personal experiences, the taboo surrounding the subject is falling away.
But what do we mean by mental wellbeing. A bone is either broken or not, but this black and white approach does not work when it comes to mental health. There is a continuum along which most of us move depending on our circumstances and the stage we are at in life. At our best we are spontaneous, creative. We can make the most of our potential and cope with the day-to-day ups and downs of life. Comfortable with who we are, we’re able to build and actively participate in intimate, nurturing relationships with partners, family and friends. We may be knocked by big life events but bounce back relatively quickly, particularly with the right support network in place. At our worst, depression or anxiety, for example, may make it utterly impossible for us to engage with people around us. And when something challenges us, we get weighed down, unable able to recover.
But just as losing weight and cutting back on processed foods can reduce the risk of Diabetes, so there are practical steps we can take to protect our mental wellbeing and increase our resilience. They range from things as seemingly simple and obvious as making sure we get enough regenerative sleep every night to creating a very personal Emotional Tool Box*.
On Saturday 3 November, I am running a workshop with Hayley Tait – Your Wellbeing Matters: it’s time to restore the balance – in Knowle, Solihull. Hayley and I combine psychotherapeutic training with careers in healthcare and corporate communications respectively. We designed the workshop specifically for women who, faced with many demands and responsibilities in life, feel worn down. During the workshop, you will have the support and space you need to participate as fully as you feel able.
Remember, prevention is better than cure. Click on the link here and book your place on the workshop now.
*Elinor Greenberg, 2016