Looking after ourselves

White curve
Looking after ourselves (podcast episode 2)

Self-awareness is key to taking care of our mental health and wellbeing.

Charlie Waller trainers Julie Turner and Debbie Spens exchange ideas about how look after ourselves, especially at times when we’re finding things more difficult. Their strategies will help support you through difficult times and enable you to notice when family, friends or colleagues are struggling, empowering you to reach out with kindness and understanding.

Looking after yourself and others (1:25)

It’s important to think about what’s gone well rather than blanking those parts out and focusing on the negatives. Take time to notice the positives. Equally, it’s important to talk to people if things aren’t going as they should. If the person can listen to you and really hear what you’re saying, together you can move things forward.

Notice what’s going on with your friends, family, colleagues. Find the time to ask the question ‘how are you’? And ask it twice to show that you really want to know how the person is, and that it’s not just a question used in passing. It’s so important to talk to each other and listen.

If we look after ourselves, we will thrive – just like a tree. It needs to be in the right position, with access to food and water, in order to blossom.

Plan what you do in your life (4:30)

We need to plan what we do in our lives – if some things are too stressful, hand them on to someone else, who may well enjoy and thrive on what you’ve passed to them. This applies both to your work and family life. Cherry-pick those things that enable you to be the best you can be.

You may feel you don’t have a choice about what you do at work and you’re finding the demands very overwhelming. You have to acknowledge you’re doing the best you’re can and doing the jobs you can do. If it’s feeling too stressful, then it’s about talking to somebody and finding a way forward. If you don’t, and become so overwhelmed, you won’t be able to do anything at all. However, make sure you’re still keeping some of the positive things that you really enjoy doing.

Journaling and positive thinking (06:35)

Journaling is an important part of talking and sharing. If you don’t have someone you can offload on, make sure you have a notebook by the side of the bed where you can note down some of the things you’re feeling overwhelmed by. Seeing them written down sometimes means you can challenge them more, rather than them becoming more overcomplicated and all-consuming in your head.

You can also use journaling to write down some of the things you’re grateful for, and things you have done well and that have made your day much better. These gratitude practices can enable you to go to bed feeling more positive and to wake up the next morning more positive and ready to cope with what happens during the day.

Sleep and rest at night (7:44)

It’s important not to worry if you fall asleep and then wake up and can’t get back to sleep, or struggle to fall asleep. The important thing is not to worry about it. Rest is OK – you’re lying down in bed, being as calm as you possibly can be, and that is good enough.

When going to bed, hold on to the positive thought, which sometimes may be something very simple; anything you haven’t done that day, let it go and move on. Tomorrow is another day. Don’t use your energy on things you haven’t done. This is so important, especially just as you go off to bed.

Be kind to yourself (10:10)

Think about what we say to ourselves – we are our own worst enemies. Think about what we say to ourselves and challenge whether you’d actually say that to a friend. Very often we’d never contemplate uttering those bad things we say to ourselves to someone else, so why say them to ourselves? Let’s spend some time being good and kind to ourselves and congratulating ourselves on the small things we achieve each day. Rest will then come much more easily to us and make tomorrow a happier time.

Being kind to ourselves puts ourselves in a position where we can make a positive impact on ourselves as well as on others.

Resources

Listen to episode 1 in this series

If you found this useful, you may want to listen to or read what Julie and Debbie spoke about in the previous episode: the five ways to wellbeing.

Learn about the Five Ways to Wellbeing
Resource

An emotionally healthy approach to GCSEs - A guide for parents

Packed with practical tips and ideas to support young people before, during and after exam time.

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An emotionally healthy approach to GCSEs - A guide for teachers

Packed with practical tips and ideas to support young people before, during and after exam time.

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Asking for help

Tips for young people on when it’s time to talk about their mental health, or if they want to help a friend

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Resource

Coping with self-harm

This guide includes information on the nature and causes of self-harm and how to support a young person for parents and carers

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Resource

Coping with self-harm (Welsh)

This Welsh language guide includes information on the nature and causes of self-harm and how to support a young person for parents and carers.

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Depression booklet

Featuring useful facts, figures and information, this booklet also contains sources of help and what not to say to people experiencing depression

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Resource

Five Ways to Wellbeing posters

Five posters - one for each of the Five Ways to Wellbeing: connect, give, learn, be active, take notice

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Resource

Guide to depression for parents and carers

This booklet aims to help recognise and understand depression and how to get appropriate help for their child

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Resource

Guide to depression for parents and carers (Welsh)

This booklet aims to help parents recognise and understand depression and how to get appropriate help for their child

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Resource

Life after lockdown Wellbeing Action Plan

During the coronavirus pandemic, we have all been through enormous change and some of us may experience further uncertainty and change in the coming weeks and months

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Resource

Looking after yourself during your GCSEs - A guide for pupils

Packed with practical tips and ideas to support young people before, during and after exam time.

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Resource

Low mood poster

Poster created in partnership with Bank Workers Charity highlighting common causes of low mood, how to help yourself feel better and information on where to get more help.

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Resource

Making the move to university: care leavers

Read how to look after your mental health if you are starting university after being in care.

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Resource

Making the move to university: international students

Moving to university is especially tough for those who are coming from another country. Don't forget to make sure you prioritise your mental health, and read how to do so here.

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Resource

Making the move to university: LGBTQ+ students

Read our resource on how you can best take care of your mental health when making the transition to university if you are part of the LGBTQ+ community.

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Making the move to university: not fitting in

Read our guide on how to protect your wellbeing if you are starting university and feel like you may not fit in in any way.

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Making the move to university: students with adverse childhood experiences

Resource for those starting university who have had adverse childhood experiences such as trauma or abuse.

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Resource

Making the move to university: young carers

Read how to access support and prioritise your mental health while transitioning to university as a young carer.

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Resource

Patent and trade mark professionals

Protecting your mental health and wellbeing: A guide for patent and trade mark professionals

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Resource

Perfectionism

Aiming high can sometimes come at a cost. This eight page guide looks at ‘unhealthy perfectionism’ – how to spot it and advice on how to develop effective interventions.

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Resource

Social media and teenagers

A practical guide for parents and carers of teenagers on using social media

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Resource

Starting University

This guide offers tips and guidance on how to get the best out of your time at university and maintain good mental health.

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Resource

Supervision in education

Ten top tips for setting up staff supervision groups in schools

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Resource

Supporting a child with anxiety

A guide for parents and carers to help understand anxiety more clearly and begin to address it.

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Resource

Supporting children returning to school (parents & carers)

Guidance for parents and carers on how to help your child prepare to go back to school

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Resource

Supporting children returning to school (teachers)

Guidance for school staff on how to comfort primary school pupils while maintaining social distancing

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Resource

Taking care of your mental health for occupational health practitioners

This resource for occupational health practitioners suggests ways for you to take time out of your day to focus on yourself in order to stay healthy and stress-free.

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Resource

Talking about suicide

A guide for college staff developed in partnership with the Association of Colleges

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Resource

Top Tips For Students

A booklet giving tips on how students can look after their mental health.

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Resource

Warning signs poster

A bold A3 poster showing the warning signs that tell you when someone may be depressed. This poster could save a life.

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Resource

Wellbeing Action Plan (aged 16+)

Our new Wellbeing Action Plan is for all young people attending sixth form or college.

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Resource

Wellbeing Action Plan (child)

A simple, resource to help young people keep themselves well and get them through difficult times

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Resource

Wellbeing Challenge 2021 home pack

Activities for parents and carers to print off and do with their children at home

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Resource

Wellbeing Challenge 2021 school pack

Lesson plan and activities based on the five ways to wellbeing

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Resource

Work from home wellbeing action plan

This is a personalised, practical tool that we can all use whether or not we have a mental health issue. There are sections for you to complete, including a positive daily plan.

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Resource

Young people who self-harm

Developed by researchers at the University of Oxford, this guide includes information on the nature and causes of self-harm and how to support a young person for school staff.

View resource

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