Mental Health Awareness Week (16-20 May) is focusing this year on good relationships. Positive relationships with others are fundamental to our health and wellbeing. In fact, they are as important as other factors we know are good for us like stopping smoking, healthy eating and exercise.
People who have good, strong relationships feel less stressed. They are less likely to become unwell and if they are unwell, recover more quickly and feel more supported.
The Mental Health Foundation is challenging everyone to prioritise relationships during Mental Health Awareness Week and commit to making a relationship resolution. The resolution looks at how much time we spend on our relationships and how we can build on them and improve them.
So how can we look after the relationships we have?
- Make time to nurture important relationships. We can be so busy with work and daily tasks that we forget to do this.
- Be present: When you’re with friends and family, don’t check your phone all the time. Be present in the moment and there for your loved ones. This week is also Walk to School week. Why not spend some time walking your children to school and talking to them?
- Listen: Actively listen to what others have to say in a non-judgmental way. Concentrate on what they are saying and their needs.
- Be listened to: Talk honestly about how you are feeling. Allow others to listen to and support you.
- Recognise unhealthy relationships: Are certain relationships making you unhappy? Recognising these can help you move forward and find solutions to issues that are affecting you badly.
- Join in: Be part of your community. Why not volunteer or join a group such as a choir.
If you are worried about your mental health or someone you know, contact BSL Healthy Minds. BSL Healthy Minds is a therapy and counselling service delivered in British Sign Language which helps Deaf people who are struggling to live with anxiety, depression and similar problems. You can also check out our Facebook page, where we share videos in BSL on mental health issues and how you can get support.
Image Credit: Federico Feroldi