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  • Writer's picturekirstiewright

Why It’s Important To Notice Mental Health Warning Signs

Updated: Jan 4

Mental health is a key factor in our overall well-being. Our mental health affects how we think, feel, and act. Our mental health is crucial as it helps us cope with stressors, work productively, engage and contribute to our world. When we have good mental health we see challenges as opportunities and feel more engaged in the world.

Sometimes we may experience changes in our Mental Health. We are often so busy that it’s easy to miss warning signs that our mental health is starting to decrease. In the creative industries when our working life is often fast paced it’s easy to miss these warning signs. It's important to notice these changes because if we don’t, we can’t take early action to improve our mental health.

Why noticing when our mental health drops is a key first step:

1. Early Action

Noticing early changes in our mental health can help us act before our mental health get worse. Early intervention is key as it can prevent minor issues from turning into major ones. When we notice things are difficult, we can take steps to manage our mental health. If we don’t notice, we can’t act. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is based on the theory that what we think, feel and do are linked. For example, if we feel heavy and tired, we might experience thoughts of ‘I can’t be bothered to do this’ and as a result we might not go to see friends. This short term gives us a sense of relief, but we do not get a sense of pleasure and achievement and as a result are likely to feel more tired and the cycle continues. Noticing signs that things are getting difficult when the cycle is starting can prevent this cycle from spiralling. Its often easier to start making changes that will lift mood long term but short term may cause anxiety e.g having that difficult conversation or facing that fear when we first start to notice our mental health is dropping rather than when we are feeling really low.

2. If we know how we are feeling we are more likely to choose helpful coping strategies.

When our mental health is starting to decline, we often turn to coping strategies that short term give relief, but longer term maintains our difficulties. For example, when feeling tired we crave fast food which reduces the craving but does not give our body all of the nutrition we need. This means we are more likely to feel tired again soon so we eat more fast food and the cycle continues. If we notice when we aren’t feeling great and are turning towards coping strategies that longer term are less helpful then we have more choice in how we want to act. If we don’t notice, we can’t make changes. These change can be key in improving mental health.

3. We can implement the things that help

If we notice early warning signs that our mental health is declining, we can take steps to manage our mental health. What helps improve mental health looks different for everyone and means putting in place time for relaxation and things that refuel us. I know that this is often easier said than done working in the busy world of creative industries but every little helps. This could include taking time to ourselves, mindfulness, going on holiday, seeing friends and family. Take a moment to think about what refuels you. Thinking about thid in advance to when you are feeling distressed is helpful. When we feel distressed it can be hard to remember what helps us to feel better.

4. Increased Resilience

Noticing changes in our mental health and taking action can increase our resilience. Resilience is our ability to cope with hardship and overcome challenges. By improving our mental health and taking note of our early warning signs, we can increase our resilience and better handle the challenges that life throws at us. This can help us feel more confident and better equipped to face future challenges.

5. We can seek help

If we notice that our mental health is declining, we can seek help if needed. This can mean reaching out to friends or family. It may mean going to your GP who will be able to discuss possible referral options with you. Sometimes there are times when we may need to talk to a therapist. If you feel you need support from therapists who understand the demands of the creative industries, please contact us.

What does noticing changes in our mental health look like?

This looks like noticing changes to our thoughts, feelings, physical symptoms and behaviours. Signs that things are getting more difficult, and your mental health is dropping is different for everyone but may include.

Thoughts: Racing thoughts, thoughts becoming more negative, what if worry's, critical thoughts.

Feelings: Anxiety, low mood, shame, guilt, anger.

Behaviours: Avoiding difficult emotions, withdrawing, not doing activities you used to enjoy, procrastinating, avoiding solving problems, finding it difficult to make decision.

Physical Symptoms: headaches, tension, tired, heavy, butterflies in stomach tingling in hands and feet.

Take time to think about what are your signs that your wellbeing is decreasing. This will help you to spot them and take action if needed.

Warning signs mental health

If you notice these warning signs you can then start to take action. The action that you take looks different for everyone.


Noticing changes in our mental health is essential. It can help us take early action, choose the most helpful coping strategies, increase our resilience and seek support. If you notice changes in your mental health, don't hesitate to seek help. Life in the creative industries can be so faced paced with long hours but starting to notice when our mental health is dropping can help prevent our mental health from deteriorating.

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