A year ago we published this blog not knowing that by now we would have a sister project in Brighton called Gig Buddies For Good Mental Health – a franchise of our project run by Synergy. At the heart of gig buddies core values is our desire to make people’s lives better whatever their barrier to accessing their community is. We know that 25% of people struggle with their mental health and for people with learning disabilities is is much higher at 40%. We believe socialising and connecting with others can really help your mental wellbeing.
Since then, 2 of our team have been on mental health first aid training and we have adapted our volunteer training to include what we have learnt from this. So, a year on The Gig Buddies team decided once again to share our top 5 tips for helping your mental health for World Mental Health Day!
1.) Eat healthy food – We are what we eat! We need fruit and vegetables everyday. Ready meals have lots of added sugar so try to make things fresh if you can or plan ahead with support to make healthy meals.
Everything in moderation – don’t drink too much alcohol or fizzy drinks. Energy drinks can have more caffeine in than a few coffees!
At the gig buddies office we all plan ahead and make things like salad to bring to work and fruit from the greengrocers to stop us buying less healthy food out – it saves money too and is better for the environment to buy food in season.
We all drink a lot of herbal tea and some of us also love eating Ramen – a type of noodle soup! It is very comforting.
2.) Exercise and fresh air! Walking for 10 minutes 3 times a day is really good for you.
Paul loves walking with his dog Nobby in the countryside. Holly says walking is good for mindfulness too. It’s often hard to get Kate off the dance floor at events!
We have been marking World Mental health Day since our project began and here is a flash back to a video of our Gig buddies Feeling good walk in 2015 made by one of our participants David.
3.) Adults should try to sleep for 8 hours a night We might work for ‘Stay Up Late’ but we also need our sleep!
Yes we believe adults should choose their bedtime! But staying up too late playing computer games or flicking through social media right before bed is bad for our mental health. Try winding down and doing something away from a screen before bed to give your brain and eyes a break.
A hot bath, reading a book, or listening to relaxing music is a good alternative!
4.) Tell someone if you are feeling sad or low. Talking to someone in your support circle is really important or writing down your feelings.
Talking to your friends or family about how you feel is really important as they will want to help you. Hang out with people that make you feel good and who you can laugh with too.
5.) Go to Gigs! A study last year showed that 20 minutes at a live show can lead to a 21 % increase in that feeling of well-being.
Gig Buddies recommend lots of free music events around Sussex so it can be accessible to all.