Self-Care Sundays is what’s being prescribed by mental health advocates for the Black community in response to research showing six in 10 Black people regularly experiencing anxiety.
The Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign is calling on the Black community to adopt Self Care Sunday routines to help deal with feelings of anxiety by doing small things that can make a big difference.
Offering support to the campaign are popular Black influencers and mental health advocates Shocka, Vanessa Boachie and Dr Ayodele Ajayi.
In the new research, the top three causes of stress have been identified as juggling family life, a looming to-do list and lack of sleep.
Despite Sunday being the traditional day of rest or a recreational day for most, as the weekend draws to a close, Google searches around sadness appear to spike on a Sunday as people turn to the internet for help. Searches for ‘trouble sleeping’ also peak on a Monday, reflecting the nation’s struggle to unwind as the weekend draws to a close.
As the new research shows that 62% of Black people surveyed (six in 10) regularly experience anxiety and as part of the campaign, Shocka, Vanessa Boachie and Dr T Ayodele Ajayi, who are long-standing advocates for the importance of good mental health, are sharing their tips for alleviating anxiety and preparing for the week ahead.
Shocka, Rapper, Influencer and Mental Health Advocate, said: “From time to time, I do experience anxiety. Incorporating a self-care routine into my life has been a game changer for me. One of the things which I find most helpful is getting outside into the fresh air! Going for a daily walk helps clear my mind, gets my thoughts together and really helps me to stay focused. I used to be such an obsessive thinker, but walking has definitely calmed my mind. Self-Care Sundays are about taking some time out to do simple things, as they make a huge difference to how we feel.”
Vanessa Boachie, Founder of Inside Out Well-being, said: “It’s important to be patient and allow yourself enough time to prepare for the working week. Take care of yourself mentally and physically by eating well, getting enough sleep and spending time doing things you enjoy. These things will help to keep you motivated – not just on a Sunday – but throughout the week.”
Dr T Ayodele Ajayi, Consultant Psychiatrist, said: “Anxiety is something everyone experiences at times and feeling anxious is a perfectly normal reaction to some situations, including Sundays! Some people find relaxation, mindfulness or breathing exercises helpful as they reduce tension and focus our attention on the present moment. Making time for your mental well-being is important – and embedding these small actions into your routine can help ease anxiety any day of the week.”
Visit the Every Mind Matter website to do a Mind Plan quiz, and to access a free personalised mental health action plan with practical tips to help you deal with anxiety, stress, low mood, and trouble sleeping, plus lots more simple, but effective, NHS-approved tips and guides.