Let’s talk about Mental Health

This week, all over the United Kingdom nurseries and early year’s settings are taking part in Early Year’s Wellbeing Week. Alongside recognising this, we are supporting our 2020 charity partner, YoungMinds and taking part in HelloYellow on Friday 9th October and throughout October are collecting clothes and donations for mental health charity, Mind, as part of our annual donations drive to support mental health. If you would like to support us with our clothes and donations drive please speak to a member of the team on drop off or collection.

Although every day is the ideal day to look after our physical and mental wellbeing, Saturday happens to be World Mental Health Day so it is the perfect opportunity to shine a light on what we can do to ensure good mental health. With all that is happening in the world around us, now is as good a time as any to be checking in on our mental health and also that of those around us.

At Cherubs Nurseries, we are committed to ensuring we properly support the mental health of our children and staff. We are proud to acknowledge and take part in a variety of events that promote wellness and mental health including Mental Health Awareness Week, World Mental Health Day, Pride and Black Lives Matter. In our nurseries, our staff are trained to promote the very best environment for our children and many of our nurseries have introduced a more natural approach with regard to resources and equipment to foster a more relaxed but engaging environment for the children to explore, enjoy and learn. We also champion time spent outdoors as exercise and fresh air are two massive factors that can influence overall mental health. It doesn’t just stop there as we have taken mental health into account the putting together our nursery menus. These were recently overhauled in preparation for the launch of our Autumn/Winter Menus (which launched this week). Our nursery menus are now much more diverse and offer new and exciting foods and textures including fruit smoothies, dried fruit and exciting main meals including Fish and Leek Crumble with Kale and Tofu and Chickpea Curry – all designed to promote good mental health and give children the energy they need to fuel them through their time at nursery.

Thinking about our staff, we are passionate about building an inclusive and diverse culture where conversations about mental health can take place openly, honestly and without judgement. We provide resources and support for our nursery managers to support their teams and actively promote the support available to our colleagues. On top of this, we have dedicated spaces for staff to take breaks, comfort boxes in all our staff toilets and offer little things like tea, coffee and hot chocolate at lunch time along with “little lifts” throughout the year whether this be chocolate eggs at Easter, ice creams in summer and cookies at Christmas.

We are also keen to share tips for coping with mental health, some of which we have included below:

Talk about your feelings – talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled.

Keep active – regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and feel better. Exercise keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy, and is also a significant benefit towards improving your mental health.

Eat well – your brain needs a mix of nutrients in order to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body. A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health. Here are some of our favourite smoothie recipes to get you started.

Drink sensibly – We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary. When the drink wears off, you feel worse because of the way the alcohol has affected your brain and the rest of your body. Drinking is not a good way to manage difficult feelings.

Keep in touch – There’s nothing better than catching up with someone face to face, but that’s not always possible. You can also give them a call, drop them a note, or chat to them online instead. Keep the lines of communication open: it’s good for you!

Ask for help – None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help. Your family or friends may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear. Local services are there to help you too. Scroll to the bottom of this email to find out more.

Take a break – a change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’.

Do something you are good at –What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself can help beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it, and achieving something boosts your self-esteem

Accept who you are –we’re all different. It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else. Feeling good about yourself boosts your confidence to learn new skills, visit new places and make new friends. Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn.

Care for others – caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together.

Anyone suffering with mental health problems or looking for support may find the below information useful:

Mind – 0300 123 3393 or text 86463

Samaritans – 116 123

Depression Alliance – 0845 123 2320

Anxiety UK – 08444 775 774

BACP Find a Therapist Directory – 0845 123 2320

*Cover photograph taken from Google Images and GMCA.

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