Keep Learning: Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. The focus for this year is Keep Learning, and what better place than the library for inspiration!

Evidence shows continuing to learn throughout life can help improve and maintain our mental wellbeing. Learning can boost self-confidence and self-esteem, help build a sense of purpose and connect us with others. Studies have shown that ongoing learning can be linked with greater satisfaction and optimism and improved ability to get the most from life.

Learning isn’t about going to University and aiming for that Ph.D. in Neuroscience (although that is a worthy aim); it’s also about connecting with other people, having fun and achieving something… anything!

Cover of Everyone Can Learn to Ride a BicycleIt doesn’t need to cost money and may not take up much time depending on your circumstances, but it is a way to reach out and learn at the same time. This earlier post from our blog has some great ideas for lifelong learning.

Our CINCH database is also a good place to start. Every type of skill or hobby imaginable is listed and I am always amazed at just how many people out there are willing to share their knowledge and passions with others.

However perhaps you or someone you know is at a really low point. I have always found reading a good way to find solace and help – to read that others are struggling with similar things is comforting, and learning new ways and ideas to help has at times been a lifesaver. If reading feels too hard then our audio material may be worth a try. Listening takes far less concentration and there is the added bonus of a friendly voice.

Our website has links to various organisations that work in the area of mental health that can offer support when needed, and here are some new titles on mental health that have just arrived on our shelves.

Cover of The Mood Repair Toolkit Cover of Change Your Life With CBT Cover of Overcoming Shock Cover of The Noonday Demon Cover of When Depression Hurts Your Relationship

The Beauty of Lists

Cover of The Librarian's Book of Lists Memory – as you get older – seems to fail you at the most inopportune moments…  And if, heaven forbid, you are a little ‘distracted’ or ‘stressed’, then it completely goes out of the window.

Once upon a time I could remember the titles of books and authors’ names without having to play mental ‘charades’  with myself (or rope in increasingly bewildered colleagues) to acquire them! Ah, those were the days…

Thank heavens for our catalogue’s nifty little function entitled Lists. I was asked a question the other day: ‘what books could I recommend’. Well, this time I was prepared. I had a List, you see. Quick as a flash I went into My Account on BiblioCommons, clicked on My Lists and there they were – my top books (in no particular order) that I have access to via the library collection.

Cover of PersonalYou don’t have to make lists public if you are of a reticent nature; whilst I make my own private  lists, I also peruse the public list titles on the catalogue page and find that some of them are really rather quirky and/or list very unusual topics. I’ve actually found quite a few books to place reserves on via this method.

Who could fail to be impressed with titles such as If you like… fiction for hipsters or If you like… Chick Lit – Beyond Bridget Jones and Marion Keyes? And, if you are desperate to find Lee Child-like books by different authors, THEN miraculously there is a list called If you like… Lee Child which puts forward 21 different authors to try. Yeah!!

Have you ever created or made use of a list? Check out the Staff Picks lists created by our librarians (you can choose from Adults, Kids and Teens) – I guarantee you’ll be surprised by the range they cover.

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