The importance of mental fitness and wellbeing in difficult times
Wg Cdr Sharon McMillan (SO1 Wellbeing & Resilience) on mental fitness and wellbeing in difficult times.
Looking after our mental health and wellbeing can help us deal with and manage difficult times. You can support your mental health by being aware of the things that can cause you poor wellbeing and the activities and resources that can help to address this.
It’s important to remember to take care of your mind as well as your body and to get support if you need it. Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media. Further information can be found in the links within the RAF Families Federation website and on the NHS Every Mind Matters website.
Public Health England have also produced Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19) which includes useful information on looking after and maintaining our mental health and wellbeing.
You may want to limit watching coverage on the news and be careful what you read if it isn’t making you feel better. Try to stick to trusted news sources such as gov.uk and PHE websites. Consider having a break from social media and ‘mute’ conversations or keywords, or unfollow pages or people if you are finding them too overwhelming.
Mental fitness and wellbeing resources
The NHS website has a calming breathing exercise to help with stress and anxiety.
Anxiety UK has developed advice and support online via their website blogs: health and other forms of anxiety and COVID-19 and anxiety. They give helpful tips on what to do when self-isolating to protect your mental wellbeing and how to deal with mental health issues such as anxiety disorders.
HeadFIT is a new mental fitness digital web-based training and resources product designed specifically for the Defence community, provides 24/7 access to self-help tools that can enhance mood, drive and confidence, and help Defence people manage the stresses of everyday life.
The platform includes tools such as breathing exercises, body posture and relaxation techniques that have been designed for all defence personnel, whether they are new recruits, long-serving personnel, veterans, civilian staff or those in uniform. The techniques are designed so they can be easily integrated into their everyday lives.
Further information on health and wellbeing
The RAF FF’s website provides a good reference section on all things health-related. You can also sign up to our (free) weekly eBulletin and/or quarterly Envoy magazine to keep yourself up to date generally with updates and information on new initiatives as they go live.