Mental Health Awareness Week, 15-21 May 2023

Ways to beat anxiety this Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 15 to 21 May, and Northumberland County Council is sharing some simple tips to help residents recognise and manage anxiety through improving their general wellbeing. 

While stress and anxiety affect many people, there are things we can all do to help relieve this tension. By using these methods, it can lead to a better overall feeling and improved general health. 

Top tips to beat anxiety:   

When stressed or anxious, breathing gets faster. By controlling your breathing, you can also have control over your anxiety levels. 

Exercise regularly 
Exercise is proven to reduce stress and anxiety as it elevates your heart rate and releases endorphins that will help your mood. Exercise gives your mind something to focus on and can help relieve anxiety. 

Spend time with loved ones 
Talking to people and staying in contact with loved ones can be very beneficial. Sharing your thoughts with others can release worry. Even just sending a message can have an uplifting effect on your mood and reduce stress. 

Improve your diet 
Many people eat and drink excessively when dealing with stress or anxiety, leading them to potentially gain weight. While eating unhealthy foods may feel good at the time, the long-term effects outweigh the short-term benefits. 

Take some time just for yourself 
Do things that you enjoy—whether it’s going for a walk, reading a book, or working on a puzzle. 

Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine 
It’s a common belief that smoking helps you relax.  But smoking actually increases anxiety and tension.  

Too much alcohol use can also be negative. It can impair judgment and increase feelings of depression in those who drink excessively. 

Too much caffeine can make you feel irritated, increasing your stress. Caffeine can take up to 12 hours for it to break down in your system so can keep you up at night or disrupt your sleep. 

Cllr Catherine Seymour, Northumberland County Council’s Mental Health Champion said: “Mental health is as important as physical health, so we are keen to share some tips during Mental Health Awareness Week. 

“Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems we can face.  There are many symptoms of stress and anxiety but the most common are constant worrying, your mind racing with thoughts, being forgetful and feeling unable to focus and generally feeling pessimistic and seeing the negative side of things.   

“We want to increase people's awareness and understanding of anxiety, by sharing information on the things that can help prevent it from becoming a problem. 

“By doing simple things like taking exercise and talking to loved ones, we can all find the right way to manage our stress and overall wellbeing.” 

For residents who would like to find out about the support and services available to improve mental and overall wellbeing, Northumberland County Council’s Integrated Wellbeing Service is hosting information stands on Thursday 18th May 2023 at:  

Blyth CVA Centre, Unit 6, Keel Row Shopping Centre, Blyth NE24 1AH from 10:00 - 11:30am 

The Community Hub at Cramlington, Manor Walk shopping centre, Cramlington NE23 6YB from 12:30 - 14:00pm 

Expert advice and practical tips on mental health are available at: 
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