Looking after our mental health is important for all of us whether we are living with a mental illness or not. Just like with physical health, there are things we can all do to help us look after our mental wellbeing and face the challenges life throws at us. Here are 5 easy tips on how to do this.
Communication is important for our wellbeing, so try to reach out, and have a chat about how you're feeling on a regular basis. It can be something as simple as:
Talking to a friend, partner or colleague.
Sending a text or email or picking up the phone. Our social network can also be our support network: having people who are there for you no matter what – to laugh at your jokes, or share the load when things aren’t going so great - helps support our mental wellbeing.
Make Life better for others
Supporting other people is both a worthwhile activity, and one that can contribute to our own wellbeing. Helping someone else feels good, as it gives us a sense of purpose and self-worth. Even small acts of kindness can make a big difference.Try helping out a neighbour, getting in touch with a friend or relative who may need some support, or volunteering for a local cause.
Feed your creative side
Listening to your favourite music, picking up a paintbrush, or putting pen to paper – any activity that engages our creativity is an excellent way to support mental wellbeing. Creative activities can help manage stress, provide a way to relax, and be in the moment. Creative hobbies can also boost our confidence. If you’re trying out a new hobby, track your progress and you’ll likely feel a sense of achievement as this new skill flourishes.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
A varied diet can help both our physical and mental wellbeing. Eating regular meals can ward off dips in blood sugar that can leave us feeling irritable and tired, and drinking lots of water can improve concentration and help us think more clearly. Lifestyle choices can bring us enjoyment, but moderation is key when it comes to things such as smoking and drinking alcohol and caffeine. Be mindful that these can have a negative impact on your wellbeing.Take appropriate steps where necessary to moderate your intake, to help maintain your overall health.
Staying active can make a big difference to both our physical and mental wellbeing: brisk walks to clear your mind, yoga to calm your thoughts, or a boxing session to de-stress. Try and fit activities you enjoy into your routine, and if you need more motivation, plan an activity with a friend or colleague
Finally, paying more attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. This includes your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you.
Some people call this awareness "mindfulness". Mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.