This week it is mental health awareness week and mental health is an important part of keeping fit and well. It is important to take care of yourself and there are plenty of things you can do to keep yourself mentally healthy.
Below are 10 practical ways to look after your mental health and make some simple changes that can make a big difference.
Talk about your feelings
Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. If you find it difficult to talk about how you feel you could always write them down. This will help you gather your thoughts and start to manage things to may feel overwhelmed about.
Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and feel better. Exercise keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy and is also a significant benefit towards improving your mental health.
Your brain needs a mix of nutrients to stay healthy and function well just like the other organs in your body. A diet that is good for your physical health is also good for your mental health. Try to eat a balanced diet and if you are a particularly stressed or anxious person, you should try limiting or cutting out caffeine.
We often drink alcohol to change our mood, but the effect is only temporary. Sometimes you feel worse the next day because of the way the alcohol has affected your brain and the rest of your body. Always drink alcohol in moderation and never use alcohol to mask your feelings.
Get plenty of sunlight
Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D and is important for our bodies and our brains. It helps our brains to release chemicals which improve our mood. Try to go out in the sun when you can but make sure you keep your skin and eyes safe. 30 minutes to two hours a day of sunlight is ideal and the fresh air will always do you good.
Keep in touch
There is nothing better than catching up with someone face to face but at the moment that is not possible. Luckily there are plenty of other ways you can speak to friends and family by picking up the phone or messaging them online instead. Open communication is key and just 10 minutes chatting to someone can help boost your mood!
Take a break
A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work, or taking the dog out for a walk. A few minutes can be enough de-stress you. You are important so give yourself some ‘me time’.
Do something you’re good at
What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? Enjoying yourself can help beat stress and partaking in a hobby can give a sense of achievement to boost your mood.
Accept who you are
We are all different and it is much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else. Feeling good about yourself boosts your confidence so learn new skills, visit new places and make new friends. Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn.
Ask for help
None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan. One of the most important ways to keep yourself mentally healthy is to recognise when you are not feeling good, and to know when to ask for help.
There is no shame in asking someone for support if you are feeling low or stressed. You can try speaking to your friends or family, or if you think your mental health is getting on top of you then you can speak to your GP.
We hope these 10 tips help however there is lots of additional advice and support on The Mental Health Foundation website at https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/.