This week is Mental Health Week. I have always been fascinated by how the mind works, at home, at work, at play; but I realised I don’t actually know what the recognised phrase 'Mental Health' means. So this week I have gone in search of answers to this and looked at how a better understanding can help me support my customers, team, family and others around us.
My early research led me to two places. Firstly, the below is from the Mental Health Foundation, and immediately resonated with me:
Being mentally healthy doesn’t just mean that you don’t have a mental health problem.
If you’re in good mental health, you can:
- make the most of your potential
- cope with life
- play a full part in your family, workplace, community and among friends.
- Some people call mental health ‘emotional health’ or ‘well-being’ and it’s just as important as good physical health.
I then turned to Public Health England to see what they have to say on the subject. Their advice is more about the response to mental health problems, but they do say this:
Public Health England (PHE) supports the view that everyone, irrespective of where they live, should have the opportunity to achieve good mental health and wellbeing.
So what does this mean? How do we achieve this? I find myself thinking back to the very early weeks of AestheticSource and why we chose to Trademark the phrase Skin Fitness.
In short, we felt that ‘skin health’ was banded around everywhere, but did not necessarily reflect how we think about ‘health’. When we are ill, we go to the National Health Service or other Health Care professionals to make us better. When we are unfit we (as a general rule) take steps to ensure our own fitness, join a gym, stop smoking, drink less, get outside for walks. So when we need ‘health’ we get someone else to do it. When we need to ‘be fit’ we take that responsibility on ourselves. Skin Fitness has served us well, it resonates in terms of getting consumers/patients to think about skincare.
So, 'Mental Health' or ‘Mental Fitness’? Does it matter? Is it the same for everyone? There is so much to read around this, from autobiographies of personal experiences to detailed scientific research. I know what makes me feel ‘great’ – and I know that repeating those things weekly, daily or spontaneously as feels fit makes me even happier.
This week’s Tips are based on what makes me feel good. I can tell you that writing the below list has made me feel AMAZING – why don’t you write down your own list of what makes you feel good, great or AMAZING?
- When I was leading a shift, I would always encourage the student or junior nurses to choose the patient they least related to and go to them first and ask how they are with a big beaming smile. A bad response was exceptionally rare and always manageable, but the many many good responses set up the rest of the day on a positive note.
- It still makes me feel good when I think back to 1983 and my first interview to train as a nurse. When asked “Why do you want to be a nurse?” I replied, “I want to love people to health.” No, they didn’t like that answer then and I did not get into that teaching hospital. I didn’t say it at the next interview, and got the job! I still live by that ideal – remaining unafraid to say how I feel, and to show that I care.
- A good glass of wine and a quiet hour or two with a good friend – even virtually.
- A walk in the forest with my dogs.
- Putting my arms around my husband every morning.
- Watching the team here at AestheticSource grow in confidence and strength.
- Hearing from clinics who have trusted us and grown as a result of our support and their hard work.
- Watching my 3 sons become the fabulous young men that they are.
- Surprising someone with an unexpected kindness.
Cheers and good health,