Managing Anxiety around COVID-19: Try an Apple a Day
At the moment, we’re all probably feeling some level of anxiety around uncertainty. When we don’t feel like we have control of a situation, it is normal to feel uneasiness. As part of that, we wanted to share with you a simple technique to manage this kind of anxiety.
Is there something specific causing you to worry right now? It might be useful for you to think of that and go through the technique step-by-step. If there is nothing specific you can think of then that’s fine! Going through the APPLE technique can also help with general feelings of uneasiness and anxiousness.
Try to focus on one step at a time – and go at a pace that suits you. You can also download this as a full infographic here.
Acknowledge: Notice and acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind.
Pause: Don’t react as you normally do. Don’t react at all. Pause and breathe.
Pull back: Tell yourself this is just the worry talking, and this apparent need for certainty is not helpful and not necessary. It is only a thought or feeling. Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are not statements or facts.
Let go: Let go of the thought or feeling. It will pass. You don’t have to respond to them. You might imagine them floating away in a bubble or cloud.
Explore: Explore the present moment, because right now, in this moment, all is well. Notice your breathing and the sensations of your breathing. Notice the ground beneath you. Look around and notice what you see, what you hear, what you can touch, what you can smell. Right now. Then shift your focus of attention to something else – on what you need to do, on what you were doing before you noticed the worry, or do something else – mindfully with your full attention.
How did you find that? Easy? Hard?
In the same way we might use weight training to strengthen our muscles and tone our bodies, we can use techniques to exercise our mind. Neuroscience tells us that the more we practice those exercises, the more natural it becomes – so don’t worry if you found it hard to slow down and go through the APPLE, just save it and give it a go another time when you need it. Download it here.
For more information about Coronavirus and looking after your wellbeing click here:
If you would like more information about anxiety have a look at our page in Mind’s A-Z of mental health.
If you would like to talk to someone about your worries, below are helplines run by Anxiety UK and NoPanic:
Helpline: 03444 775 774
Text Service: 07537 416 905
Monday – Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm (excluding Bank Holidays).
COVID-19 specific: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/coronanxiety-support-resources
“During the coronavirus pandemic, we will be extending our helpline hours to provide additional support in the evenings until 10pm and over the weekend between 10am -8pm so that we can offer support to as many people as possible who need our help.”
Webinars and support groups also available.
Helpline: 0844 967 4848
Email: [email protected]
Everyday – 10:00am – 10pm
By Blake Fontaine. This article has been adapted from: A Mindful Response to Thoughts, © Carol Vivyan 2016, getselfhelp.co.uk
Posted on: 3rd April 2020
Five ways to wellbeing
The 5 Ways to Wellbeing are practical steps that anyone can take to help manage stress, boost their wellbeing and keep feeling happy.
There are so many ways to practice the 5 ways but below are some ideas for how you can try them out without even having to leave the house!
Our relationships with other people are really important for keeping us happy and healthy. If we’re at home there are lots of ways that we can build connections with friends and family.
· Spend time online – message a friend or start a group chat.
· Pick up the phone – messaging is great but sometimes it’s helpful to hear someone’s voice!
· Face to face – video chats can be a great way to feel more connected to someone far away.
· Keep the convo going – plan with a friend to watch the same movie or tv series so you can catch up about it later.
· Find your crowd – use social media to find positive online communities that share your passions.
· Put it in the post – write a postcard or letter to surprise someone you care about.
· Take a trip down memory lane – look through old photo albums with your family.
· Roll the dice – board games can be a great way to connect with family and you can play online versions with far away friends too.
· Explore the app store – mobile games like Heads Up or Words with Friends are great for getting people together.
· Connect with consoles – online video games let you hang out, chat and have fun with your friends.
· Start a project – making something together can build bonds with a sibling, parent or friend e.g. building, baking or blogging!
· Put up pictures – having favourite photos of your friends and family can be a great reminder of the connections in your life.
· Share your feelings – take time to talk about the important stuff with your family and friends.
Physical activity doesn’t just keep our bodies healthy, it also helps our mental wellbeing. Have a look through the ideas below to see how you can stay physically active at home!
· Youtube yoga – there are loads of video guides online for how to get into this mindful workout craze
· Clean up – even a bit of hoovering, dusting and tidying up can get you moving and feeling good.
· Dance like no one’s watching – put on your favourite song and move to the beat!
· Step to it – if you have stairs in your house or building run up and down them and you’ll quickly get your heart pumping.
· Planking challenge – look online to learn this super easy way to work your core.
· Take a few minutes – there are lots of youtube videos and apps with daily workout routines lasting for 5-10 minutes that leave you feeling like you’ve just hit the gym.
· Bake some bread – kneading dough will give your arms a proper workout.
· Ad break – when you’re watching tv use the breaks to get up and move your body e.g. stretches, star jumps or squats.
· Stand up – switch up from sitting down by simply standing more when you can e.g. if you’re on the phone, having a chat with you family in the kitchen and even while playing video games.
Most of the time we’re busy thinking about the past or the future, but it’s also important to pause and pay attention to the here and now. Try some of the tips below to relax and be in the present.
· Freshen up – even if it’s a little chilly outside it can be helpful to open the windows and take a deep breath of fresh air.
· Room with a view – try sketching the view from your window and you might be surprised by what you’ve never noticed before.
· Drawing memories – if you don’t like the view, have a look through your camera roll and try drawing or painting from your favourite photos.
· Listen closely – play some music, close your eyes and try to focus on individual instruments and lyrics.
· Happy apps – Calm, Headspace and Stop, Breathe, Think all have free mindfulness and relaxation activities that you can try with your phone.
· Chop, chop – cooking can be a great way to clear your mind by focussing on the sensations, sounds and smells of food.
· Write it down – journaling can be a great way to reflect on how you’re feeling and clear worries from your mind.
· Memory box – create a special place to store cards, photos and souvenirs to celebrate all your treasured memories.
· Notice nature – even in towns and cities we can all benefit from the calming powers of nature e.g. look after houseplants, spend time in the garden if you have one or even just play recordings of natural sounds like birdsong and the ocean.
· Time for slime – slime or play dough can be useful tools for relaxing and there are loads of online tutorials on how you can make your own at home.
· Make gratitude a habit – we can sometimes find it hard to notice the positives in our lives so keep a diary or scrapbook where you can list the things you’re grateful for.
· Just breathe – 5 deep breaths can be enough to make you feel a lot calmer and there are lots of breathing exercises online that you can also use to do this.
Trying new things, following our interests and staying curious about the world can help us to stay positive and proud of ourselves. The following ideas are all ways that we can keep learning and growing.
· Watch and learn – documentaries can be a great way to discover new things and there are lots of interesting ones on streaming sites e.g. ‘Explained’ series on Netflix.
· Curious cooking – look up a recipe that you’ve never tried before and give it a go!
· Learn about your loved ones – ask your family about their lives and you might be surprised by all the things you never knew.
· Get crafty – have a go at arts and crafts that you’ve never tried before like origami, knitting or upcycling.
· Play along – if you have a musical instrument there are lots of video tutorials online so that you can try to learn your favourite songs.
· Visit virtually – lots of the world’s most famous museums offer free online tours of their collections so you can see their treasures from your home!
· Quiz time – there are loads of sites, apps and games that you can use to test you and your friends e.g. Sporcle, Quiz Up, Kahoot, Quizlet and Memrise
· Be the quiz master – once you’ve had a go at these why not try writing your own and host a quiz night for your family.
· Learn a language – apps like Babbel and Duolingo are great for trying out that other language you’ve always liked the sound of.
· Pick a podcast – there’s a podcast out there for everyone and they can be a great way to keep your brain active while going about your day.
· Read around – whether it’s a newspaper article, blog post, novel, short story or poem, reading can open up our world so find a way that works for you.
One of the best ways to feel good in ourselves is to show kindness to others. Even small acts like the ones below can make a big difference to others and improve your wellbeing too.
· Positivity playlist – find the songs that help you feel happy and share them with your friends and family.
· De-clutter and donate – have a clear out of things you don’t want or need anymore and see if there is anything that you could donate to a charity shop
· Sharing is caring – find videos, memes or articles that make you smile and share these with your friends.
· Pamper party – have an evening with your family of relaxing and looking after yourselves e.g. face masks, manicures and treats.
· Movie marathon – have everyone in your family pick a favourite film and plan evenings where you can watch them all together.
· Thank you notes – write a message to someone you’re grateful to and leave it somewhere they will find it as a surprise.
· Tea time – offer to make your parents/caregivers a cup of tea and ask them how they’re feeling.
Here is a video of Nic Marks discussing how The Five Ways to Wellbeing came about.
By Joshua Byworth. Acknowledgements to the Wellbeing Team
Author: Molly Phillips
Posted on: 18th March 2020
Filmmaking collaboration – ‘It’s OK to ask for help’
Over October half-term, we collaborated with the Octavia Foundation on an exciting project aiming to encourage young people to ask for help for their mental health. 16 young people participated in a three-day project where they came together to plan, develop and produce two short films between them which will be displayed on YouTube and shown in schools across West London. The following films were created almost entirely by the young people.
Pictured above: Just some of the talented and passionate young people who took part.
Visit the Octavia Foundation website for more information on how you could get involved with their young people’s programmes! https://www.octaviafoundation.org.uk/our_work/young_people_children
By Molly Phillips
Author: Tabatha Mac
Posted on: 21st February 2020
H&F Mind Youth Services selected to run a second Trailblazer programme
Congratulations to H&F Mind Youth Services, who, in partnership with NHS Hammersmith & Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), has been selected to deliver a second Trailblazer programme later this year. The first Trailblazer programme being delivered by H&F Mind is in West London CCG (Kensington & Chelsea and Queen’s Park Paddington areas in Westminster). The Trailblazer programmes delivered by H&F Mind are now available for schools and colleges in selected education settings in Hammersmith & Fulham, Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea.
The programme will deliver Mental Health Support Teams across a range of primary, secondary and special schools, as well as alternative education provision, sixth form colleges and further education for children and young people between the ages of 5-25 years old. The Hammersmith and Fulham team will be ready to start seeing children and young people by the beginning of 2020 and will include group work and 1:1 guided self help.
This is a really exciting opportunity to provide children and young people with preventative and early intervention mental health services, so that we can reduce the risk of longer term mental health conditions developing, support young people to have happier, healthier childhoods and to stay in education.
Author: Tabatha Mac
Posted on: 30th January 2020
Youth Club Workshops at Action on Disability
H&F Mind Youth Services worked with the Action on Disability Youth Service to deliver two workshops to young people during their summer holiday program on the 31st July 2019 and the 7th August 2019. The workshops covered topics on mental health awareness and the five ways to wellbeing; five actions that are proven to improve mental wellbeing.
The young people enjoyed participating in the workshop activities, and discussing mental health and ways they can support their own mental wellbeing.
Thanks for having us AOD!
Posted on: 7th August 2019
Staff Wellbeing Training at Isleworth & Syon School
HF Mind Youth Services have been working with Isleworth and Syon School for Boys on a ‘Whole School Approach to Mental Health’. As part of this work, all school staff received training on managing mental health and wellbeing in the workplace on 18th June 2019.
Staff from the training reported that they found it helpful to have a ‘safe space’ where they could talk about mental health with colleagues. They found the resources and activities helpful and valued having a space to give feedback and suggestions to the school.
Well done to the Youth Services team and Isleworth & Syon School!
Author: Tabatha Mac
Posted on: 10th July 2019
It is with great sadness that we share with you the news that one of our volunteers, Joseph ‘Joe’ Naud has died. We are thankful to have had his energy and input and the chance to get to know him. He was a kind and lovely young man.
We would like to say a very big thank you to his family who, whilst dealing with their grief, thought of Hammersmith, Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow Mind and asked for people who attended Joseph’s funeral to donate to us. Their generosity, and that of those who donated, is overwhelming.
We will use it to the best possible outcome in his memory.
Author: Tabatha Mac
Posted on: 13th May 2019
Mental Health Awareness Week 2019
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 will take place from Monday 13 to Sunday 19 May 2019. The theme for 2019 is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies.
Body image issues can affect all of us at any age, and have a massive effect on our mental health. With the rise of social media, young people in particular are inundated with unrealistic and heavily photoshopped beauty ideals that leave them feeling bad about themselves and the very natural changes their bodies go through.
There will be a number of fundraisers and events taking place across the country for Mental Health week, as well as brand new research, campaigns for change and practical tools for combatting negative self-image.
How can I get involved in Mental Health Awareness Week?
During Mental Health Awareness Week, hundreds of events take place around the country to raise awareness for mental health. Schools, businesses, community groups and even people in their own homes are hosting events to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation.
What resources are available?
If you’re running an event or even if you just want to raise awareness, maybe via your website or social media, the Mental Health Foundation have several useful resources that are free to download. There will also be little green ribbon pin badges for sale via their website and in certain retailers, so be sure to look out for them!
Author: Tabatha Mac
Posted on: 30th April 2019
Thanks to SOS Electrical!
Thanks to the generous team at SOS Electrical, our 2019 Compulsory Emergency Lighting test was carried out free of charge so we can invest the savings back into the services we offer our local community. Their generous offer has saved us £216!
Everyone at H&F Mind would like to say a big thank you to SOS Electrical for their valuable contribution- THANK YOU!
Author: Tabatha Mac
Posted on: 18th April 2019
Fiona and Jo arrive at Santiago
After a gruelling 11-day trek along the hilly Camino de Santiago, Fiona and Jo have finally arrived at the stunning Cathedral of Santiago which marks the end of the pilgrimage.
The 100km hike was to raise funds for Hammersmith, Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow Mind’s work with schools in improving children’s internet safety and the effect the web has on their mental health. The money raised by Fiona and Jo will help us to make important steps towards protecting our kids and informing the conversation around their mental wellbeing.
If you’d like to contribute to Jo and Fiona’s cause, there’s still time – just follow this link or, alternatively, you can leave a comment to show your support.
From everyone here at Hammersmith, Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow Mind, a big well done to Jo and Fiona!
Author: Tabatha Mac
Posted on: 23rd March 2019