The #littlethings campaign was created by the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention and 20 other organisations including SpunOut.ie. It highlights that we all experience difficult times in our lives, and that when we do, there are some simple, evidence-based little things that can make a big difference to how we feel. These #littlethings can help us to cope but there are also supports and services we can use if we need to. For SpunOut’s 2015 mental health campaign we are focusing on the ‘Lending an ear is lending a hand’ Little Thing. Listening is such a powerful skill and we’ve put together some tips to help you be a great listener for your friends or family members when they need a little support.
Here are the #littlethings that can make a big difference to our mental health and our wellbeing:
- Keeping Active – being active every day, something as simple as a walk, is proven to have a positive impact on your mood.
- Talking about your problems – problems feel smaller when they are shared with others, without having to be solved or fixed. Just talking about it will do you good.
- Looking out for others – Lending an ear to someone else in trouble, or catching up with someone who seems distant, can change their day, or their lives. You don’t have to fix it for them – just listening is a huge help.
- Doing things with others – Taking part in a group activity that you enjoy is proven to have a positive impact on how you feel, be it a game of football, joining a choir, volunteering.
- Eating healthily – A regular healthy, balanced and nutritious diet will help both your physical, but also your mental health, and have a positive impact on how you feel.
- Staying in touch – Catching up with friends and family is good for our mental health, reminding us that we’re part of a community, and having a positive impact on how we feel.
- Drinking less alcohol – For the average Irish drinker, reducing alcohol will have a positive impact on their health and mental wellbeing, making it easier to cope with day to day difficulties and stresses.
- Sleeping well – Getting a good night’s sleep of 7 or 8 hours, as often as you can, will have a positive impact on how you feel. Protect your sleep if you can, it will do you good.
To see the #littlethings that work for others, and to share the little things that work for you, see the website Yourmentalhealth.ie, @littlethingshub on Twitter and Facebook at www.facebook.com/littlethingshub. It’ll do you good, and could help someone else. You can also watch Alan’s Little Things video below.