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Our next guest blog focuses on our mental health and comes from Essential Life Skills founder, Katherine Clark. Katherine has worked in mental health for 17 years and set up her own business, Essential Life Skills, 5 years ago. Her passion is to support and equip people with the skills and knowledge to remain mentally well and live the life that they wish. 

In 2008 the Government launched a simple, 5-step guide aimed at helping people to maintain their mental and physical wellbeing. Over 10 years later, it is still a brilliant way to check in with yourself, but also a good way to check in on others. 

  1. Connect

Avoid isolating yourself. Make time for social activities that allow you time to build relationships with others. This can include meeting friends for coffee, talking to family or friends, attending a social club or event, attending networking events if you work alone, volunteering and more.

Top Tip - Have you looked to see what groups and activities are available locally in Hertfordshire? Or why not just join the #HertsHour conversation every Monday to connect with people.

  1. Be Active

Build in physical activity into your daily routine. This activity doesn’t have to mean joining a gym or sports team, it can also include gardening, walking the dog, dancing, swimming, yoga, or anything that gets your blood pumping and leaves you a little out of breath.

Top Tip - Walking counts as physical activity and you can find free health walks here. Or better yet tell us in on Twitter or Facebook about your favourite walks in Hertfordshire.

  1. Take Notice

Learn to become more mindful in your day to day life allowing some space every day to focus on the present moment.  Mindful activities can include meditation, mindful eating, colouring in, keeping a gratitude journal, yoga and any activity where you are bringing your attention back to the ‘here and now’.

Top Tip - These are great websites and apps to help you be more mindful:

The Free Mindfulness Project - has free resources on mindfulness and mindful meditation.

Headspace - website and app that offers information and an initial free trial of short, daily, mindful meditations.

  1. Keep Learning

Keeping the brain active and engaged in new and stimulating activities can help your mind to feel healthy and reduce stress.

Top Tip - Here are some useful websites to look at to start getting your brain engaged.

    5. Give

Giving to others focuses our attention away from our own lives and encourages us to feel more connected in our community. Giving doesn’t just include donating money to charity, it can include providing any resource for free. 

Top Tip - Why not give some of your time and find a local charity or community group to volunteer with?

TimeBank - If you’re not able to make a regular commitment to volunteer for an organisation then timebank maybe just the thing for you. 

Do It - Search the growing database of volunteering opportunities in your area. 

The Trussell Trust - The National charity that links food banks and crisis support for people experiencing financial hardship. 


For more information and how to contact Katherine, have a look at her #HertsHour network listing or you can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

We'll see you on Monday for the live conversation visit #HertsHour on Twitter.