This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from May 15-21. It’s organised by the Mental Health Foundation and the focus for 2023 is issues around anxiety. Feeling anxious is something we can all relate to, whether it’s waiting for something to happen, or worrying about the unknown. Many people thrive on the feeling of excitement the unknown brings and channel that into a positive force. But for others, anxiety can become linked to worry and stress, and impact their lives in all kinds of negative ways. As a consequence, anxiety can become overwhelming and cause issues, both at work and at home.
Anxiety is our response to aspects of our lives that are out of our control. It can affect us both physically and mentally. Common symptoms of anxiety include a faster heartrate, headaches, a loss of appetite, breathlessness or chest pain. You can become emotional or tense, or cause you to have insomnia or lack concentration. People around you, such as friends, family or work colleagues, may find you become more tense and irritable with them, snappy even, or quieter and more withdrawn. The rising panic associated with anxiety is not a pleasant experience and can cause your reasoning to become irrational.
There are coping mechanisms however, that will help anyone experiencing anxiousness to deal with the issue and push back against it. Everyone is different, so what works for one person – from medication to behavioural changes – will not work for another. Some people swear by getting out and exercising, or going for a walk out in the countryside. Others use breathing techniques or meditation to calm themselves. Diet can have a massive impact on mental and physical wellbeing, which can cause all kinds of changes in your body and mind. There is much to worry about in the world at the moment and the constant barrage of news and social media can have people scared to leave their homes. It’s important to get the balance right between keeping in the loop when it comes to news and not having your feelings ruled by them.
Help is at hand
There are many ways to get involved with Mental Health Awareness Week 2023. You can visit the website to find useful resources, including a social media guide to help you join in the conversation using #ToHelpMyAnxiety. You can also join in on Thursday 18 May with ‘Wear it Green Day 2023’, to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation. By going green and raising funds, you can support the organisation to carry out vital research and deliver programmes for different communities.
The Forshaw Group endeavours to recognise the importance of mental issues and ensure the wellbeing of its staff. The continued raising of these issues in open public forums is making the conversation easier for those who find conditions such as anxiety a challenge. It highlights the importance of making sure your colleagues are doing okay and of checking on their wellbeing, if there are signs they need support.
There is much more information and links on Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 at https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health/blogs/why-anxiety-theme-mental-health-awareness-week-2023