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13.05.2019

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019: Every body matters!

One in eight adults across the UK have experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of concerns about their body, new research has revealed.

The figures, published by the Mental Health Foundation to kickstart Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, make for stark reading as the organisation highlights the importance between body image and mental health and provides the theme for this year’s campaign.

More than 4,500 adults from around the country were asked about their relationship between their bodies and mind as part of the research published in the report Body Image: How we think and feel about our bodies.

And statistics from the report show that just over one third of UK adults (34%) have felt anxious, or depressed (35%) because of concerns about their body image, while almost one in five adults claim to have felt ‘disgusted’ because of their body image. A further 20% also revealed they had felt ‘shame’ because of their body image in the last year.

The link between body image and mental health has long been headline news, however, Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 will highlight that the impact negative thoughts can have on all corners of society.

Not an issue simply confined to in front of the mirror, these thoughts have long lasting effects on all aspects of life – from confidence to the ability to tackle problem solving in everyday life.

To mark the annual awareness week, Creditfix is shining a light on simple ways to tackle negative thoughts not only about body image, but all aspects of mental health.

Mental health top tips:

Let’s talk

It might sound obvious but talking is vital for mental health and wellbeing, however, the reality is it’s often one of the hardest things to do. Being open about feelings and showing emotion is often easier said than done, contributing to the struggles faced by 450 million people living with mental health conditions around the world.

Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Duke and Duchess of Sussex launched a new text messaging service for those experiencing a mental health crisis. The young royals, dubbed the Fab Four, have pledged their backing to the initiative, called Shout, with £3 million from their Royal Foundation.

The new messaging service will allow people facing a ‘tough moment’ to instantly connect with trained volunteers anonymously and free of charge. Shout operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Fitness first

Regular exercise is heralded as being one of the best ways to stay fit both physically and mentally. There is an inextricable link between mental and physical fitness as exercise is thought to cause chemical changes in the brain, positively changing moods. A natural way to boost self-esteem, exercise plays a vital role on helping people become more productive and improves sleeping patterns.

Getting active isn’t just confined to pumping iron in the gym and you don’t need to be a gym bunny to get more active. For those not keen on joining a fitness class or lifting weights in the gym, a fitness app offers the chance to get active on their own terms.

Smart phones might get the blame for a multitude of sins, however, they unlock a world of fitness potential. From My Fitness Pal to Run Zombie, Run apps are the way to do it to boost your energy levels.

Dig in

Eating your way to better mental health might sound too good to be true, however, there is an undeniable link between our diet and wellbeing.

Just like a top of the range car, your brain functions at its best when it has the best fuel making it imperative to tuck into a varied diet, packed with nutrients. Research shows that eating foods with high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress – which can damage cells.

Eating well can mean different things to different people, however, there are some simple tips to stick to when considering a healthy diet. Adopting a Mediterranean style diet, high in vegetables, fruit, nuts, fish, beans and unsaturated fats such as olive oil, has been heralded as playing a part in helping those living with depression.

Be mindful

There’s no escaping mindfulness these days, however, there’s more to the integrative mind-body based approach than a 21st century buzz word. Just as we hear more about people living with anxiety or other mental health conditions, mindfulness is a hot topic around the country.

A technique that helps people manage their thoughts, feelings and mental health, mindfulness is recommended by NICE as a preventative practice for those living with recurrent depression as well as an approach for those to manage the stresses of day-to-day life.

Studies have shown that mindfulness can help people feel less overwhelmed, improve quality of sleep, reduce levels of anxiety and depression and help people make better life choices – highlighting that it is more than just a passing fad.

Apps such as Calm or Headspace can be a good introduction to mindfulness techniques that can be incorporated into daily routines.

Life admin

As the pace of life continues to increase sometimes it can be difficult to keep on top of the little things that tick over every day. Mastering the art of life admin isn’t always easy and isn’t something that should be taken for granted.

The reality is, there are thousands of people living across the country who struggle make ends meet and find it hard to make a pay cheque stretch throughout a month. Understandably, it can be all too easy to try and ignore money problems when times are tough, however, this can only add to stress and anxiety levels.

At Creditfix we understand that sometimes life doesn’t always go as planned, which is why we’re proud to offer advice and guidance to those who find themselves living in debt. From supporting those who are worried about bailiffs knocking on their door to guiding people through the options available to them, we’re the people who understand debt and how to help.

If you are struggling with your debts and would like to speak to someone, give us a call on 0808 2234 102.

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