practical ways to help you look after your mental wellbeing.

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what is mind yer mind?

Mind yer mind is a campaign by Aberdeenshire Community Planning Partnership to encourage the people of Aberdeenshire to look after their mental wellbeing.

We've created easy-to-digest advice and have pulled together a list of resources and places in your local area of Aberdeenshire, that can help you to look after your mental wellbeing in those five ways.

5 steps to mental wellbeing

Below are five things that, according to research, can really help to boost our mental wellbeing:

connections is a mental health and wellbeing activity

1. connections

Forming and maintaining good relationships with people around you is very important for your mental wellbeing. Staying in touch with family and friends can help us to feel happier and more secure.

The simple act of talking to a shop assistant or holding the door open for someone can also help to lift our mood.

There is lots of evidence to show that connecting with other people can help your mental wellbeing in the following ways:

  1. Good connections can help you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth.
  2. Keeping in contact gives you an opportunity to share positive experiences.
  3. Good connections provide emotional support and allow you to support others.

tips to improve connections

1
Put time aside to connect with family and friends – check your phone less when you do!
2
Send a text to a friend or colleague that you haven’t seen for a while.
3
Talk to your neighbours, ask them how they are and really listen to their answer.
Learning is a mental health and wellbeing activity

2. learning

Research has shown that learning new skills can positively impact our mental well-being. Why not think about something you are interested in so that learning is enjoyable and you are more likely to continue?

Did you know that learning something new activates the release of the ‘feel-good’ chemical dopamine in the brain and helps you cope with the stress and strain of everyday life while increasing your energy levels and immunity?

Evidence shows that learning helps to promote positive mental wellbeing in the following ways:

  1. Learning new skills can boost your self-confidence and raise your self-esteem.
  2. Learning can help you to build a sense of purpose.
  3. Learning can help you to meet new people and form new connections.

tips to improve learning

1
Take up cooking or learn to cook some new meals. Listen to your favourite music at the same for extra benefit!
2
Sign up for a course, online or at a local college. There’s lots of free options online.
3
Ask for extra responsibility at work. Think about what you’d like to do more of and ask your manager if there are any opportunities to learn.
Taking notice is a mental health and wellbeing activity

3. taking notice

Paying more attention to the present moment can improve your mental well-being. This includes your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you.

Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. Mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It can positively change how you feel about life and approach challenges.

Evidence shows that pausing to take notice helps your mental wellbeing in the following ways:

  1. Taking notice can strengthen and broaden your awareness.
  2. Appreciating the moment can help to reaffirm your priorities.
  3. Heightened awareness helps you to understand your thoughts and feelings better and allows you to make positive choices based on what is important to you.

tips to improve taking notice

1
Be aware of your breathing. Take deep breathes in and out, keeping it comfortable, and focus on how each breath feels.
2
Take notice of your thoughts and feelings, and remember that they are all ok and valid. Let them come and go if you can and remember that worries will pass.
3
Spend time in nature. Be aware of colours, sounds, textures and reflections, and take a photo of things you love seeing.
Giving is a mental health and wellbeing activity

4. giving

The acts of giving and showing kindness are good for our mental well-being as well as for those who are on the receiving end of our kindness. The acts of kindness could be small gestures towards others or larger ones like volunteering in your local community.

Research suggests that acts of giving and kindness can help improve your mental wellbeing in the following ways:

  1. Giving to others creates positive feelings and a sense of reward.
  2. Acts of kindness, no matter how small, give you a feeling of purpose and self-worth.
  3. The act of giving helps you connect with other people, which is good for your self-esteem.

tips to improve giving

1
Spend time with someone that you know would like some company, whether a family member, friend, or neighbour.
2
Take notice of how your colleagues feel or act, and start a conversation with them.
3
Look for any charities or volunteer groups in your area that need extra support right now.
Being active is a mental health and wellbeing activity

5. active

Being active is great for our physical health, but it’s also perfect for our mental well-being.

If you are considering taking up an activity to boost your mental well-being, it’s important to choose one that you enjoy and can make part of your life.

There is lots of evidence to show that being active helps your mental well-being in the following ways:

  1. It helps to raise your self-esteem, whether your activity is solo or in a group.
  2. It encourages you to set goals or challenges and when you go on to achieve them that is good for your mood and self-confidence.
  3. Physical activity causes chemical changes in your brain, which in turn can have a positive impact on your mood.

tips to improve active

1
Start walking when you can. Early in the morning, at lunchtime, after work, whenever suits you.
2
Look online for free workouts, given by professionals – there are lots to choose from!
3
Research the activities available in your local area – dance classes, swimming, running clubs, yoga, anything goes!

our ambassadors

We've had amazing volunteers come forward from areas like yours in Aberdeenshire. Each has come forward to share their stories about their own experience with mental ill health, either personally or from someone close to them. Others simply seek to maintain their mental wellbeing and share the methods that help them personally.

Lee Morrison is an ambassador for mind yer mind

Lee Morrison – Peterhead
Connections

I love activities that foster connection with others because not only do they help me to grow physically, spiritually and mentally fit, but they also allow me to nurture healthy relationships with those I am connected to.

Dame Evelyn Glennie is an ambassador for mind yer mind

Evelyn Glennie – Methlick
Learning

Like a garden mental wellbeing requires constant tweaking such as re-seeding, re-planting, exploring new landscapes, experiencing the journey and excitement of new growth. We each can give ourselves the best opportunity possible to plant new experiences in order to keep ourselves mentally healthy and vibrant.

Isobel Gregory is an ambassador for mind yer mind

Isobel Gregory – Pitullie
Giving

"It's not what you gather, it's what you scatter”. The enjoyment and happiness that my activities bring to others gives me a sense of achievement, joy and purpose, which is a core part of my own wellbeing

Adaeze Ifezulike is an ambassador for mind yer mind

Adaeze Ifezulike – Westhill
Active

My chosen activity is brisk long walks through green areas/parks. I see walking as my me-time. I get to listen to music or talk with friends or just enjoy some quietness while walking. Its my time to de-stress and detach from my busy daily activities. Walking is my happy place and is great for my mental health.

Steve Munro is an ambassador for mind yer mind

Steve Munro – Balmedie
Taking Notice

If one of your friends put you down the way you put yourself down, would you be friends with them? Learning positive self-talk is so important. Celebrate the small wins, that is how you build confidence. Positivity grows positivity.

nominate an ambassador

Do you know someone who would make a good mind yer mind ambassador? Then we would love to hear from you!

mind yer mind live

In 2021, we held our first mind yer mind live, an online event that brought together some of our ambassadors, including Dame Evelyn Glennie, Hannah Miley, and local mental health Instagram star Dr Emma Hepburn, AKA @thepsychologymum, to discuss how they look after their mental wellbeing, and take questions from our attendees.

regional e-books

Click on your area to download our regional e-books, you'll find information on free activities resources and advice in your area of the North East.

mind yer mind toolkit

If you are organising an event, or want to help spread the word about mind yer mind, we've created a handy toolkit for you to download. There you'll find poster templates, flyers, and information packs that can help you.

Whatever you'vre got planned, remember to share on socials, tag us, and use the hashtag #mindyermind

your mind yer mind toolkit

helpful information

If you are struggling with your mental health and feel like you might benefit from talking to someone, the following organisations are available to offer advice and support.

in need of urgent help

If you have current and persistent thoughts of suicide and you have a plan in place, call:
  1. NHS24 on 111
  2. Aberdeenshire 1st Response

finding it difficult to cope

Here are some websites with more information and tips for looking after your own mental health and wellbeing:
  1. NHS Inform - five steps to mental health wellbeing
  2. Clear Your Head

need to speak to someone

If you are experiencing isolation or loneliness you can contact:
  1. Samaritans

If you have attempted suicide and need immediate emergency help call 999.