10 PRACTICAL WAYS TO LOOK AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
One simple step a time
TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS
Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy.
It’s not always easy to describe how you’re feeling. If you can’t think of one word, use lots. What does it feel like inside your head? What does it make you feel like doing?
Experts say most people should do about 30 minutes’ exercise at least five days a week.
Exercise keeps the brain and your other vital
organs healthy, can boost your self-esteem,
help you to concentrate, sleep, and look and feel
Exercising doesn’t just mean doing sport or going to the gym. Walks in the park, gardening or housework can also keep you active.
Your brain needs a mix of nutrients to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body.
There are strong links between what we eat and how we feel, for example, caffeine and sugar can have an immediate effect.
Stay within the recommended weekly alcohol limits:
14 units a week for both men and women
We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary.
When the drink wears off, you feel worse because of the way alcohol withdrawal symptoms affect your brain and the rest of your body. The more you use, the more you crave.
KEEP IN TOUCH
Strong family ties and supportive friends can help you deal with the stresses of life. Friends and family can make you feel included and cared for.
It’s worth working at relationships that make you feel loved or valued. But if you think being around someone is damaging your mental health, it may be best to take a break from them or call it a day completely.
ASK FOR HELP
None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things go wrong. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help.
Your family or friends may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear. Local services are there to help you.
TAKE A BREAK
A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you.
Give yourself some ‘me time’.
Take a deep breath… and relax. Try yoga or meditation, or just putting your feet up.
Listen to your body. If you’re really tired, give yourself time to sleep. Without good sleep, our mental health suffers and our concentration goes downhill. Sometimes the world can wait.
DO SOMETHING YOU’RE GOOD AT
What do you love doing?
Enjoying yourself helps beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.
Concentrating on a hobby like gardening or the crossword can help you forget your worries for a while and change your mood.
ACCEPT WHO YOU ARE
We’re all different. It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else.
Be proud of who you are. Recognise and accept what you are not good at, but focus on what you can do well.
Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn.
CARE FOR OTHERS
Caring for others is often an important part of
keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together.
Caring for a pet can improve your wellbeing too.