With mental health being such an important factor in general wellbeing, now more so than ever due to the pandemic that is sweeping the globe, I invited Kim Dunn from Positive Young Minds for a Q&A interview to discuss what she does, why she does it and how we can all flourish... even with COVID19 on the loose. Read on to learn more...
What is Positive Minds all about? What do you do and why do you do what you do?
Positive Young Minds is a Child and Adolescent Psychology business. I have worked with children and adolescents for about 14 years, and of course – that means working with lots of mums. I decided on this area of prevention and early intervention into mental health difficulties because of my experiences as lonely, anxious and depressed child and adolescent myself! (You’ll find a lot of psychologists have very interesting upbringings). When I was growing up there wasn’t the mental health understanding or support.
Then as a mum I felt the isolation come back and when you have challenging children, it is even harder. So now, it is equally important for me to support mums with their mental health through helping them learn about and develop positive, practical self-care; and teaching them how to reconnect with themselves, others and the outside world. This is a win-win, for them and their children.
I currently do this through emails, a weekly podcast – Creating Connections that Matter, providing pop up self-care groups on topics such as self-compassion, gratitude, mindfulness, wellbeing walks etc. and an online program Live YOUR Best Life – The Personal Wellbeing Roadmap for Women who do too Much.
How do you define wellbeing?
The World Health Organisation defines wellbeing as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” In practical mum terms wellbeing is about being able to do the things that are important to you without feeling exhausted.
What are your top 3 wellbeing tips for mums to flourish?
My top three tips to flourish.
- Start with awareness. Checking in with yourself and knowing what you are thinking and how you are feeling helps create the space for calm. Practice using the words – “I am feeling sad” “I am thinking my children hate me”, Instead of “I am sad” “my children hate me”.
- Practice being in the moment (mindfulness). Studies show that people are happiest when they are focused on the present. Therefore, when you notice your mind is thinking about the past or the future and has slipped into judgement and criticism mode, bring your mind back to what is happening. Do this through the use of your senses. What can you see, what can you touch, what can you hear etc.
- We all need a break/space. But I know when you have young children breaks can be non-existent. Focus on micro breaks. For example, each time you walk through a door stop and take one deep breath in. When you can stretch it to three.
As a win-win, you can model all of these for your children. State your thoughts and feelings out loud, encourage your children to tune into their senses and let them breathe with you.
And as a bonus – start each day afresh. Use self-compassion to put the past behind you, wipe the slate of any regrets from the day before and know that you are doing your best.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post by the lovely Kim. Please comment below!