elaine, Author at Jigsaw

Relaxation for mental health

How many times have you heard the words ‘just relax’. Sometimes it’s easier said than done.

It can also be quite annoying to have someone telling you to relax, when there seems to be a lot on and out of your control.

But often, life can be so busy we forget to take a break and step back. It’s not unusual to have several things on our mind all at once.

Things like exams, family, friends, finances, and the future can feel overwhelming. Feeling stressed or tense can be a signal to take a break and have some downtime. Relaxation is important for our mental health.

In this article, you will find:

Stacked stones by the water to illustrate relaxation for mental health

Ask Jigsaw: Lockdown affecting eating habits

I think the lockdown is damaging my eating habits and the way I view myself. I’ve been isolated to my house for weeks now. I’ve felt an extreme hatred towards myself, and it just seems to worsen everyday.

But I feel so awful for upsetting my family, especially my mam, who I know is being really hard on herself because of how I’m behaving.

I really do try to eat and not think about the disordered thoughts, but because I can’t distract myself, I feel sort of trapped with them.

I feel extremely guilty and horrible for adding more stress to my family, but I just can’t do what they’re asking me. I can’t see myself getting better and I feel like such a burden on everyone. I really do wish I could snap my fingers and make everything right, but I can’t. I don’t know what to do, it’s too difficult.

-Anna

Hi Anna,

I’m sorry to hear that you are going through such an intense experience during an already difficult time. Thoughts about body image can be all consuming, and can have a strong negative effect on our mental health, as you have described.

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How to ask for help

Whether we are feeling run down, experiencing low mood, or are in crisis we all need to reach out for support sometimes. You are not alone.

Recent research conducted by Orgyen and the World Economic Forum highlighted that 87% of the global population is affected by mental health difficulties. This can either be through individuals’ own experience or that of someone close to them.

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Ask Jigsaw: I feel so lost right now

My Mam and Dad separated recently and my Dad moved out. I am really angry with him for loads of different reasons. I have access with him on Saturday’s and its really awkward , we sit in McDonald’s and he asks really awkward questions about school and my Mam, I have told my Mam that I don’t want to go anymore and she says i have to go or else she will get in trouble with the court.

Its really getting to me because i think neither of them care about how i am feeling, they just care about the court and doing what they think they have to do, I done think anyone really cares about me and its getting me down

-Louise

Hi Louise,

When parents are separated it can bring up lots of emotions for people. We may feel relief, sadness, anger or fear about what will happen.  It means change in terms of practical arrangements and often can have an impact on our relationships with parents.

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Mental health services for over 18s

If you’re feeling down or anxious, or just generally not in a good place, there are many mental health services and supports that can help you.

What mental health services are there if I’m over 18?

Once you’re 18, you don’t need the consent of a parent or guardian to contact any services. But you can ask for support from them if you think it would help.

Below we’ve made a list of the mental health services for young people who are 18 or older. Whichever service you go to can depend on factors like what’s available in your area and what difficulties you’re having. If you talk to a health professional they should guide you on that.

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Ask Jigsaw: Family bereavement

1. I keep getting so angry and upset for the dumbest reasons (mostly because of disagreements with my mom) what do I do? 

2. My dad died a few years ago and I keep crying because of it and some girls in my class made fun of me because of it and I really miss him but I don’t trust anyone enough to say anything what do I do? 

3. I feel like I hate my mom because we don’t click what do I do? 

– Amy.88345 

Dear Amy.88345 

Sounds like you’re dealing with a whole lot right now. Losing someone close to you is one of the hardest things to experience. Grief and loss can be so challenging to cope with, and it’s not uncommon to feel like our emotions are all over the place. 

The way that we experience grief can come in waves or cycles. There can be points in time where the feelings are intense or painful, and others when we’re feeling okay.  It is ok to cry about what has happened.

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Ask Jigsaw: Divorce affecting eating habits

My parents told me they were getting a divorce before lockdown, i told only 1 of my friends since quarantine. they have been living in the same house. i feel alone sometimes.

a few days ago my brother found out that my father was with another woman. he blamed me. for the last month i have been exercising and weighing myself everyday ive been counting calories and weighing my food .i dont know how to deal with the divorce but ive began to become obsessed with food and its leaving me tired and hungry.

-Henan

Hi Henan,

I’m sorry that your parents are separating during an already very difficult time. When parents’ divorce, we can feel a number of intense emotions including anger, relief, and sadness. There is certainly no right or wrong way to react.  It sounds like you could be managing this intense situation by trying to control your food intake.

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Ask Jigsaw: I want to start loving myself

I’ve been told I might be suffering from body dysmorphia and I can see the signs, but despite that I seem to be getting worse? It’s gone to the point where I tear up when I see a recent picture of myself..and I do want to start loving myself but it’s just really hard to. I’ve been thinking of making an appointment, but I’m really scared of face to face interaction. I’m scared of my anxiety since it’s really hard for me to talk to strangers especially when I have to bring up my concerns.. Any recommendations on what I should do? 

– zwolfxo 

Hi zwolfxo, 

Sounds like it’s been really tough for you recently, but you did the right thing to reach out! At different points throughout life, body image can become more, or less important. But there’s no doubt that being unhappy with your physical body can have a big impact on your mental health.  

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Ask Jigsaw: Feelings during lockdown

I’m feeling very anxious at the moment and I’m finding myself very lonely without the company of my friends, I’m lacking the social interaction I had on a daily basis that distracted me from all my worries and negative thoughts, I can’t seem to find that same distraction that works as good for me at home, I’m just finding myself unmotivated to do anything and generally just very sad.

-Anniemac

Hi Anniemac,

What you describe is a completely understandable reaction to the Covid-19 restrictions. It makes sense that you are feeling anxious because your routine has entirely changed, and there is a lot of uncertainty around. In the same way, it’s understandable that you feel lonely without the company of friends and daily social interaction.

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Ask Jigsaw: My partner is depressed

Im concerned for my partner he has depression and is depressed now and just wants to be alone due to the lockdown im not with him and its killing us i don’t know how to help him, I ring him often to check up on him and i told him im here for him, i have anxiety myself please give me some advice.

-Bluebells

Hi Bluebells,

It takes a lot of strength to support a loved one when they are going through difficulties. It’s even more challenging at a time like this, when we are forced to be apart and may also be struggling with our own mental health. It sounds like you are doing your best to let your partner know that you are there for them. Covid-19 restrictions make it impossible to support others the way that we might want to. It can be helpful to acknowledge that, and accept that we are doing what we can.

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