At the BFA we can support you through many of life’s challenges that you may find overwhelming. Our partnership has a friendly and experienced team to help you and your family with the things that we can all face from time to time.
Your trade association understands the devastating impact that money worries can have as well as bereavement, ill health,redundancy and family breakdown have on lives and that everyone can experience financial difficulties.
But you’re not alone. If you need someone to talk to about your own or even your employers mental health and well being then log into the BFA member or IoPF members area and find all the details you need to contact and more importantly speak to someone.Members can access the BFA partner in the Members Area under Useful documents – Click here to log in
Defining mental health
Being mentally healthy or having good mental health, is more than just the absence of feeling unwell, rather it’s a state of overall wellbeing.
Generally it relates to:
- Enjoyment of life
- Having the ability to cope with and ‘bounce back’ from stress and sadness
- Being able to set and fulfil goals
- Having the capability to build and maintain relationships with others.
Mental health and wellbeing influences
There are lots of factors that can influence the way we feel. Biological, psychological, social and environmental factors which join together in complex ways. These include:
- Structural factors such as safe living environments, employment, education, freedom from discrimination and violence, and access to economic resources
- Community factors such as a positive sense of belonging, community connectedness, activities to highlight and embrace diversity, social support, and participation in society
- Individual factors such as the ability to manage thoughts and cope with stressors and having communication and social skills to support connection with others.
Tips for mental health and wellbeing
The NHS has provided some top tips to help improve your mental health and wellbeing.
- Reframe unhelpful thoughts. The way we think, feel and behave are linked. Sometimes we develop patterns of thoughts or behaviours that are unhelpful so recognising them, and taking steps to think about things differently, can improve your mental health and wellbeing.
- Be in the present. Enjoying listening to the birds and watching the wind blow through tall grasses are some of the reasons people give for enjoying working in horticulture. But it’s so easy to get caught up in the challenges of everyday life to rush about and forget these simple pleasures found all around us. Paying attention to the present moment can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
- Get good sleep. Evidence shows that good quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel both mentally and physically. Keeping good sleep hygiene and regular sleeping patterns can really help. Try to avoid ipads, mobiles & computers before bed, cut back on caffeine and create a restful environment in which to sleep.
- Live a healthy life. Many in our industry are physically active at work, but that’s a different kind of activity to doing something for yourself, something you can enjoy away from the work environment. Try going for a walk or a run, taking out your bike, taking up dancing – whatever takes your fancy!
- Connect with others. It’s easy to feel alone, especially when so many people in our industry work alone, so it’s important to connect with friends, family or people in your community. There are also many online groups. You can access online communities for different horticultural professions where you can meet other people with similar interests and challenges.
- Give to others. During the Coronavirus crisis we have seen how acts of kindness in the community can create positive feelings and it can give you a purpose and a sense of reward. From mowing the lawn for an elderly neighbour to joining a local community group, helping others is also a way to help yourself.
- Do something for yourself. Is there something you’ve always fancied having a go at? Baking a cake, building a bench, creating a website or video game, learning a musical instrument… now’s the time! There are lots of ways to learn something new and it will give you a great sense of fulfilment and satisfaction. Attending evening classes gives you the chance to meet new people, or you can look at videos or courses on-line.
- Get enough sleep and rest.
- Take time out for things you enjoy.
- Be active and eat well.
- Nurture relationships and connect with others.
- Learn to manage stress.
- Get involved and join in.
- Build your confidence.
- Be comfortable in your own skin.
- Set realistic goals and deal with tasks one at a time.
- Reach out for help when you need it.