Black Influencers and Mental Health Advocates back new better health – Every Mind Matters campaign calling on the community to be kind to their minds

New research reveals 6 in 10 Black people regularly experience anxiety (62%). Despite Sunday being the traditional day of rest or a recreational day for most as the weekend draws to a close, many begin to worry about the week ahead with juggling family life (66%), a looming to-do list (64%) and lack of sleep (57%) reported as the top causes.

For many people around the country, a typical weekend ends with worry as thoughts turn to the week
ahead; with Google searches around sadness spiking 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. In fact, searches for anxiety have increased 170% in the last 10 years.
Leading Black influencers and mental health advocates, including Shocka, Vanessa Boachie and Dr T
Ayodele Ajayi are supporting the Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign, 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. Despite a significant number of Black people regularly experiencing anxiety (62%), nearly 1 in 3 (31%) rarely or never prioritise self-care on a Sunday. Those that do like to unwind, clean their home (42%), exercise (37%) and go for a walk (36%).

To address this, 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.”

Delivered by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, the Better Health – Every Mind
Matters campaign encourages people to be kind to their mind and help deal with feelings of anxiety by
doing small things that can make a big difference. The website offers a Mind Plan quiz, which delivers
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.
Search Every Mind Matters for ways to be kind to your mind with a free, personalised Mind Plan.
Amazon Alexa users in the UK can simply say “Alexa, start my Mind Plan” for help today.