What a year it’s been so far!

Challenges have certainly been thrown our way, and so, this World Mental Health Day, we want to give you a few ideas of what to do if you or someone you know is struggling.

Looking out for others

You never know who might be having a down day. It’s so important to keep communication with your loved ones up to make sure they are doing okay. Check in with them by inviting them out to a safe space to really talk things through. Try going for a coffee and something sweet at somewhere comfortable like Caffe Paradiso.

If someone you care about is struggling and they are vulnerable or do not feel safe enough to come out to meet you, think about things you could do to show them you are thinking of them. Leave a bouquet of flowers from Heavy Petal by their door to brighten their day, or order their favourite take away to their house to surprise them, like a hearty Mediterranean spread from Sami Lebanese Deli (on Deliveroo!), or a warming bowl of pasta they can enjoy assembling themselves from Legare At Home.

As well as people close to you, it’s easy to forget about the people you do not know who may need your help. There are lots of local charities that need help, and volunteering is a great way to give yourself purpose at such a strange time while providing essential help for those in need. Local organisations such as Community Southwark or Southwark Food Bank are always looking for donations and volunteers, so always keep an eye out for opportunities.

woman with hair in a towel looking in mirror

Self-Care

Not only is looking out for each other important, but you should also always make time for some good old self-care.

Looking after yourself can take many forms and is completely dependent on what makes you feel happy and relaxed. A bouncy blow dry at RUSH Tower Bridge? Investing in a treatment you’ve always wanted, like improving your smile with Londent’s Invisalign procedure, or laser hair removal at Skinsmiths? How you look on the outside should not dictate how you feel on the inside, but if engaging in those “Treat Yourself!” moments gives you a boost, it’s important to allow for some self-indulgence every now and again!

Of course, looking after our bodies and minds in a directly internal way is just as important. Tower Bridge Wellness Pharmacy stocks a wide range of Pukka teas for you to browse. A calming night-time tea sipped in a bubble bath when you’ve had a difficult day can relax and reset you ready for what the next day has to bring!

During the pandemic, many of us are suffering heightened anxiety about the world around us. Remember that you can always book a COVID test through the NHS patient access app at Tower Bridge, and can pop into the store or give them a call if you need health advice.

yoga pose by Yoga with Manny

Mindfulness, meditation, and yoga

Whether you’re a self-proclaimed yogi or a complete novice, it’s not news to any of us that yoga is one of the best ways to relieve stress and rest your mind. Just the act of taking the time out of your day to engage in yoga can ease not only physical tension, but the effect that life stressors may be having on you. Our friend @yogawithmanny, from our lockdown yoga sessions says:

“When we think about yoga we often think about the ways it can benefit us physically such as developing greater physical strength and flexibility. However, practicing yoga can help us cultivate mindfulness, greater awareness and the ability to focus on the present moment instead of us just living in our heads.

A true yoga practice will help strengthen the mind as well as the body. This in turn helps with our mental health, making yoga and mindfulness a great way to help ease the physical symptoms of some of the most common mental illnesses such as stress, anxiety and depression.

With a regular practice we can learn to build trust within, create a stronger sense of self, become more grounded, more confident in our own abilities, and less judgmental of what we perceive our ‘flaws’ to be.”

Try a local yoga class such as Manny’s to help you practice mindfulness and meditation through yoga.

Ask for Help

Sometimes things can get very hard. Please remember that there is always help out there. World Mental Health Day is about normalising talking about mental health, and raising awareness of the support that’s available to you. Don’t hesitate to contact one of these organisations recognised by WHO if you need to talk to someone. More locally, Lambeth and Southwark Mind are a charity with access to support groups and one to one therapies.