16 May 2020 at 13:01
Mental Health Awareness Week
The issue of mental health has climbed the agenda in recent years. And with one in four people estimated to suffer from mental illness at some point in their life, this is a welcome shift.
But as many people in the UK begin their ninth week in lockdown, looking after our mental health has never been so important. As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we explore how homeopathy can help keep us happy and healthy.
Lockdown has forced us all to slow down, take a breath and re-evaluate what is important to us. With few leisure activities available, exercise has become a daily treat, improving our health and fitness and encouraging us to appreciate the changes in the natural world. The environment too appears to be breathing a sigh of relief, with vapour trails now a rare sight and cleaner air enjoyed by cities that are usually heavy with pollution.
Yet there are clearly major challenges for all of us right now. Key workers bravely continue in the face of adversity; parents juggle home-education alongside busy work schedules; others feel isolated and lonely in an increasingly digital world. And at a time when biology urges the cutting of apron strings, teenagers find themselves locked down with the very people from whom they would usually be breaking away.
Last week, the UN Secretary General called for more action to protect mental health in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, labelling depression and anxiety as “some of the greatest causes of misery in our world”. And today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, an annual campaign which aims to bring to light this complex and widespread issue.
Homeopathic treatment has a long and successful track record of supporting people with mental health difficulties. It treats the whole person, considering the physical, emotional and mental state of each unique individual. And unlike some conventional medication, there are no risks of dependency or side effects. Here are some key remedies that could be helpful to those in need of additional support in these trying times:
This is a good remedy for depression and dark moods. It is suited to those who have high ideals and expectations, especially in their professional life. Sometimes, ambitions are so strong that work can take over, putting a strain on close relationships. They take things very seriously and feel a deep sense of responsibility. So when things do go wrong at work, feelings of worthlessness, depression and deep despair are likely.
This remedy can help when there is irritability, impatience and a short fuse. Outbursts of anger, sometimes violent, may be present too. Professionally, they work hard to get things just right and are likely to be ambitious and fiercely competitive. Highly sensitive, they will be upset by the slightest thing and even sleep is easily disturbed by noise, draughts and light. Digestive complaints are also a common feature of the Nux Vomica picture.
The daily grind of work, demanding kids and endless domestic chores can leave the Sepia type feeling depleted, heavy and low. Predominantly a woman’s remedy, she feels totally overwhelmed, sensitive and unworthy of being loved. She is indifferent towards her family, preferring to be alone where she can sit and brood on her sadness. And sex is almost certainly off the agenda. Physically, there is a sense of heaviness and dragging, especially in the uterine area.
This is an effective remedy for those who feel lonely, forsaken and nostalgic for times gone by. They feel all alone in the world and want to be looked after, hugged and held. They will cry easily and feel better from company, touch and sympathy. There may be mood swings and they will feel better for fresh air.
Other tips to protect your mental health during lockdown:
Keep a routine. Maintaining a structure to your day is important for preserving your identity, self-confidence and a sense of purpose.
Stay active. Plan your day to include some time outdoors. Engaging in physical activity helps reduce stress, increases energy levels and improves sleep. May is nature’s wonder month as the days lengthen, flowers bloom, and the natural world comes to life.
Find time for stillness. Meditate, be mindful, or simply step outside for a moment. And breathe.
Stay connected. Find ways to be in touch with friends, family and colleagues. Use post, phone, video call. Talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling.
Look after yourself. Eat wholesome foods and plenty of green leafy veg. Avoid using alcohol or other substances as a way to cope with difficult feelings.
Sleep well. Aim to go to bed and get up at a similar time each day. Get as much natural sunlight as possible to regulate your body clock and avoid using devices for an hour before bedtime.
Ask for help. If things do start to feel unmanageable, seek help and contact your GP.
For an individualised prescription and best results, please consult a professional homeopath. Find a practitioner near you at: findahomeopath.org
To find out more about homeopathy, visit: homeopathyawareness.com