“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, the other for helping others’. Maya Angelou

Here are 5 tried and tested ways of protecting and nurturing your mental health when you are grappling with trauma of any kind. Be it through divorce, bereavement, business failure, familial tensions, inheritance, succession; or any combination.

Help yourself:

  1. Find a mentor or coach to hold your hand through the mire
    Someone who is in your corner. A person you can trust. It could be family, friend on an independent coach. It is important you are listened to.
  2. Breathe and take time out
    Simply indulge yourself, read, exercise, go on a trek, meditate, take up yoga, sing, learn something new, visit a spa or health farm – no one is watching.
  3. Surround yourself with positive people
    Recognise those who are ‘emotional hoovers’ and let them go. Trust me, this really is YOUR time.
  4. Accept help and advice
    Let your pride take a back seat. Just say thank you.
  5. Seek out medical advice and psychiatric therapy
    There are experts out there who are experienced and skilled in the field of mental health. Ask for a referral from a friend , advisor or your GP. The range of expertise from medical to natural therapies are huge.

Helps others:

  1. Speak up about your emotional trauma within an online forum or support network.
    You can make it okay and give confidence for others to share without fear or shame. Keep a diary. The act of writing is therapy in itself and you will be able to look back and reflect.
  2. Support a charity.
    Fundraising, advocacy, marketing and social media, start a campaign in raising awareness, set yourself a challenge ie trek around the world, run a marathon, walk The North Downs Way… invite/involve friends. Your problems become diminished. Someone else’s problems are always worse than yours. Think about it. It will put things into perspective.
  3. Get involved.
    Be useful and seek out a way to support your local community. Become a magistrate or prison volunteer, sit with, play board games and shop for an elderly person living alone. Your compassion is priceless.
  4. Start your own thing.
    Sit back, watch listen and you will find a gap that needs filling and something you would enjoy and become passionate about. Perhaps start a new social enterprise. Involve your friends and associates.
  5. Mentor a young person.
    Your experience of life and your skills/expertise will ignite a flame, I promise.

When we give, we release happy hormones; serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins. They promote positive feelings like pleasure, happiness, and even love. So lets begin. Breathe, sit up straight, relax your shoulders, close your eyes and be quiet.

For more tips, advice and support in protecting or repairing your mental health – contact me today.

Anita Brightley-Hodges
Founder, Saphora Private