With this being a post focused on mental health from a yoga brand on World Mental Health Day you are probably expecting to read about how yoga can help. There will be an element of that but yoga is not the silver bullet it is often described as if you are experiencing mental health difficulties. It is a fabulous part of a toolbox but often we require a little more help and support from other sources.
Getting support from a professional
Therapy can get a bad rap in society at the moment, the conception that everyone feels like they should be in it and surely shouldn’t we just be a bit more British and get on with it? But I think it can be a really important step in figuring out what is going on when you’re not feeling 100%.
We all know the waiting lists are huge and it was tricky enough to get sessions on the NHS before the pandemic let alone after. If you do feel that speaking to a professional would give you some support there are options to try either before joining the waiting list or while on it.
IESO – Online CBT – I recently had some sessions through this online provider which is free on the NHS in most areas. It is a self referral system followed by questionnaires and a varying set number of sessions with a therapist depending on what they feel may be useful. Being CBT there is a certain amount of homework and tasks to complete which I found really useful and it means you have the hand outs and literature to go back to at a later date.
Head to https://www.iesohealth.com/en-gb to see whether your local authority is supporting this service
Counselling Directory – If going private is accessible to you then the Counselling Directory is a perfect place to start researching a therapist. You can search by location, style of therapy and whether you would prefer in person, on the phone or online sessions.
They also have an amazing “What’s worrying you” section of the website where you can research how you are feeling and it gives a breakdown of symptoms, what might be going on and what could help you. If you are uncertain what is affecting your mental health this can be a really helpful place to start.
Hub of Hope – this resource helps connect you to charities, organisations and support in your local area. Head to the website and put in your location and this will bring up not only support for while you might be at crisis point but also the earlier stages when you have realised that you are starting to struggle so that crisis point is not got to
Gettting out of your head
Speaking to people when I’m feeling down is normally the last thing I want to do so I totally understand if you are the same. Ultimately though when things are only in your head they are much harder to deal with. Whether you need to speak to a therapist or someone removed from your life or a trusted friend or partner really do try and share how you are feeling. If speaking to someone in person seems too hard then writing can help too.
When it comes to writing it doesn’t need to be anything fancy or complicated, start by writing down how you feel and go from there.
It can seem inconsequential and like it won’t help but it can be a tool to get out of your head and figure out what might be happening.
The things above will not always be enough. If your mental health is really struggling then please turn to those who can help in a crisis. I’ve put some details below of places to reach out to
Call 111 – if you urgently need help but are not in a life threatening situation
Call 999 – if you feel you are a danger to yourself or others
Samaritans – available 24/7 to speak to on 116123
Crisis – text SHOUT to 85258 if you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need support
So what can yoga help with?
Don’t get me wrong yoga can be an amazing tool for mental health support but sometimes we need a little more help. Yoga is a brilliant way of connecting to yourself and finding out how you feel. Through the practice of yoga we cultivate self awareness. Often working out how we actually feel or even noticing something is wrong is the hardest step and so if you are managing to tune in and notice the cycles of your body and mind it’s a great way of noticing when something is awry before we get closer to a crisis point.
Meditation, asana and breathwork are all tools for bringing ourselves into the present moment and into the body so your practice does not need to look a certain way in order for it to be beneficial.