The overriding theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from Monday 9 May to Sunday 15 May is “Loneliness” and will focus on how solitude and isolation can affect our state of mind.

Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a spike in mental health issues, and loneliness has been found to be a contributing factor to higher levels of distress, stemming from a sense of isolation and the inability to connect with others in a social and work environment.

These issues are further exacerbated by lockdown restrictions, the uncertainty around global politics, the effect of Ukraine on supply chains, a looming recession, and the cost-of-living crisis.

At Kerfoot, we are committed to ensuring the health and wellbeing of our staff, by offering a supportive work environment. To this end we provide the services of an outsourced wellbeing firm, YuLife. They provide a number of great support services including access to a full EAP service,  financial wellbeing services, 24/7 GP and lifestyle advice. They also feature a health app that gives daily rewards from major brand owners to act as an incentive for every step you take, and every mindful break taken during your day.

According to the mental health charity, Mind, an estimated one in four people in the UK experience mental health problems each year. At Kerfoot, we believe that mental health should be accorded the same importance as physical health – especially in these very difficult times.

While YuLife offers great monitoring and advice, there are also some changes that you could start making today. We would like to share some of our top tips with you that could have a positive effect on your mental health and wellbeing.

  1. Connect with other people – good relationships are important as it helps you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth by offering shared emotional support and the opportunity to share positive experiences. If you have a family, fix a time to eat and play together and try to connect socially with friends and at work. This will have positive benefits as you share experiences, but relies on personal interaction, not simply texts, emails, or social media messaging.


  1. Be physically active – Did you know that physical exercise can help your mental welling by raising your self-esteem and helping you to set goals or challenges and achieve them? Exercise also causes chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood!


  1. Learn a new skill – Research shows that learning a new skill can improve your mental wellbeing by boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem. Build your self-worth by learning a new language or practical skills, hobby, or sport. This is not about applying more pressure on yourself but finding an activity that you enjoy and making it a part of your life!


  1. Giving to others – research suggest that an act of kindness can help improve your mental wellbeing by creating positive feelings and a sense of reward and giving you a feeling of purpose and self-worth. It could be small acts of kindness towards other people, or larger ones like volunteering in your local community.


  1. Paying attention to mindfulness – staying connected to your thoughts and feelings and the world around you can improve mental wellbeing and how you approach challenges.


This Mental Health Awareness Week the Kerfoot team are reaffirming their commitment to tackling mental health issues by providing help and support where we can!

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