On the 10th to the 16th of May it is Mental Health Awareness Week and comes as a timely reminder that mental health is a part of everyone’s life and those that are suffering with their mental health are worthy of care, understanding and compassion. It also gives us a chance to reflect on how we feel.
Our Mental Health and Wellbeing Coaches have put together 10 mental health top tips to encourage you to live well day to day. It is important that we are using our time well and ensure we are taking a proactive stance in our wellbeing and mental health.
Keeping active can be great for our mental health. Doing any sort of exercise can release endorphins in our brain, which make us feel calm and happy. Exercising in nature can be really good for us mentally as it can make us feel a lot calmer. So why not try going for a walk around your Local Park or countryside to help you feel calmer and boost your mood.
2. Learning something new
Learning new skills can boost self-confidence and raise your self-esteem. It gives you a sense of purpose and helps you to connect with others. You may feel like you do not have enough time, or do not feel you need to learn new things, however there are lots of ways to bring learning into your life.
- Try learning to cook something new.
- Try taking on a new responsibility at work, such as mentoring a junior staff member or improving your presentation skills.
- Work on a DIY project, such as fixing a broken bike, garden gate or something bigger. There are lots of free video tutorials online.
- Consider signing up for a course at a local college. You could try learning a new language or a practical skill such as plumbing.
- Try new hobbies that challenge you, such as writing a blog, taking up a new sport or learning to paint.
- Do not feel you have to learn new qualifications or sit exams if this does not interest you. It’s best to find activities you enjoy and make them a part of your life.
3. Have a good night’s sleep
There is a close relationship between mental health and sleep, if you suffer with a mental health problem it can affect how well you sleep and the quality of the sleep. A poor sleep pattern can result in a negative impact on one’s mental health and quality of life.
4. Connect with people
Connecting with people and forming healthy relationships, either with family, friends or in a community, is important for mental wellbeing. Building social connections can increase your feelings of happiness and self-worth. Having the social connections that are right for us can help us feel more secure, and can give us a greater sense of purpose.
5. Do something you enjoy
Research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood, and depression. Activities that get you out and about can make you feel happier and more relaxed. You could write down a list of things you enjoy and mean something to you. Give it a go and see what you think.
6. Talk to someone
It’s important to talk about your feelings, as a problem shared can be a problem halved. Sometimes it’s nice to reach out to other people and feel heard. Our family and friends often have different perspectives to us and may be able to offer us a different way of looking at things, a solution to our issues or shoulder to cry on.
7. Take a break
It is important that you take small and regular breaks to prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed. Breaks allow you to process information in a productive way, this helps to reduce stress as our day is more manageable. Research has found that taking breaks allows us to maintain and improve our performance. Make time to have time!
8. Drink responsibly
When we are feeling low in mood we may find we drink more alcohol, however it is a depressant and can be habit forming which could lead to addiction. Try to drink responsibly. Men and women are advised not to drink than 14 units of alcohol in one week, or why not try a safer option by switching to none alcoholic drinks or cocktails made from fruit juice. Think before you drink.
9. Ask for support
Asking for help might seem scary, but it’s often the first step towards changing your life for the better. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, remember you don’t have to try and handle mental health issues on your own – it’s always ok to ask for help.
Mindfulness positively affects one’s mental health as it shifts thoughts. It allows someone to transition from focusing on a stress stimulators e.g. poor physical health, to doing therapeutic activities such as nature observation or breathing exercises. Practicing mindfulness will significantly boost your mental health.
These are just 10 tips that may be useful for you – some may work and some may not and it’s ok if they don’t. If you still feel like you are struggling and need support, why don’t you contact our mental health and wellbeing coaches today. There are a few ways you could get in touch.
Call: 0800 9177752