10 ways to look after your mental health

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World Mental Health Day is a globally recognised day to raise awareness about mental health and to further education about mental health in general. It was celebrated for the first time in 1992 and organised by the World Federation for Mental Health.

In some countries World Mental Health Day is part of a larger initiative known as Mental Illness Awareness Week. But whether it’s for a day or a week, these events are very important for raising awareness towards mental health. With today being World Mental Health Day, we’re going to take a look at 10 of the best ways to look after your own mental health and wellbeing.

Talk About Your Feelings

Talking about how you feel can really help your mental health, it seems strange that something so simplistic can help, but rest assured it really can. Bottling up your feelings will do you no good in the long run, so if you’re ever feeling troubled then talk to a friend or family member.

Keep Active

Many experts believe that regular exercise can release chemicals in your brain that actually make you feel happier. An active life style and regular exercise can also boost your self-esteem and keep your brain and body healthy.

Take Time to Relax

Many of us lead hectic lives with work commitments, family commitments and all those other things that crop up, so it can be very hard to find time for ourselves. But it’s essential for your mental health that you find time for yourself to relax: read a book, start a new series on Netflix or simply take time to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Get Some Sleep

A good night’s sleep is crucial to our continued physical and mental health. While we all have different tolerances for how much sleep we need to function at our best. You should try to avoid too many late nights and get into a regular sleeping pattern.

Be Social

Whether it’s talking to a friend or family member on the phone once a night or taking the time to meet up with friends, everyone should try to make time to have a good talk and catch up. Facebook and Twitter are great for keeping up with friends and family on the go but a face to face conversation or a chat over the phone is even better.

Focus On the Present

Worrying too much about past problems or even future problems can be very detrimental to your physical and mental health. While it may not be easy to simply switch off, focusing more on the present can help you avoid anxiety and depression. As the old saying goes “live for the present” so do your best to focus your attention on the here and now.

A Balanced Diet  

A healthy balanced diet is integral for your mental health, try to make sure you have your five a day fruit and vegetables and do your best to avoid skipping meals. A good healthy diet is just as important for your mental health as it is for your physical health.

Learn New Skills

Learning a new skill gives us a real sense of accomplishment and boosts self-esteem and confidence. It’s never too late either, have you always wanted to learn how to play an instrument? Or wanted to go rock climbing? Well why not give it a try, learning new skills likes these are a great way to improve your mental wellbeing.

Help Others    

One of the best ways of improving your own mental wellbeing is to think positive and be kind and helpful to others. This can be as simple as saying a few kind words to friends or family, to things like volunteering at your local community centre or animal shelter.

Ask For Help

There may be times when things simply become too much for you. At times like this when things just look hopeless, you should seek help. Talk to your doctor to find out about counselling or a community health service. Some people find it hard to open up about mental health problems but overcoming this is the first step towards recovery. 

David Clarke