As we get older and move less (come on we all know we do it!) we are constantly reminded to keep active, go for a walk, and hit 10,000 steps a day but we are reminded less about keeping our mental health in check. Just like our physical health, mental health is something we should be thinking about and investing in on a daily basis. Too often we don’t take appropriate care of our mental health until we are struggling, feeling low, anxious or stressed, by which time the feelings are overwhelming.
Staying on top of our mental wellbeing is not only good for us now but also helps us to deal with and manage difficult times. Each of us will go through something that can cause our mental health to take a hit in different ways. For instance, soldiers who have been in war can go through traumatic experiences that leave them with disorders such as PTSD. There is support that they can reach out to, for example, the Stone Rose Law aid here, however, not everyone will have this type of help, causing them to put their mental health aside which can build up over time resulting in more negative feelings that is hard for them to address.
How To Look After Your Mental Health Daily:
There are lots of things we can do to look after our mental health and wellbeing on a daily basis, the small things really do make the biggest difference. Here are 6 top tips to help you look after your mental health.
Eat And Drink Well: A well-balanced diet helps us to think clearer and to be more alert, as well as improve our concentration and attention span. The more of the good stuff we put into our bodies the better we start to feel, eating a rainbow coloured diet is key. Try to reduce your consumption of alcohol, refined sugars, caffeine and processed meats, instead opting for fresh fish, which is high in omega 3 which is shown to reduce depression, boost learning and memory, fresh fruit and vegetables and complex carbohydrates which provide the brain with glucose but over a slower period over time.
Sleep Well: Our mental health and sleep can be interlinked, poor mental health can affect how well we sleep, and poor sleep can have a negative impact on our mental health. Starting and maintaining a good sleep routine helps to prepare our minds and bodies for sleep. Sleep is vital for fighting illness, repairing and replenishing our bodies and minds, sleep also helps to boost memory and keeps us alert.
Keep Active: How exercise can influence mental health is really important. When we are feeling down, being active is the last thing on our minds however physical activity is proven to “make us feel good”. Exercise, even just walking, releases feel-good hormones into our bodies and mind, getting outside exposes us to sunlight and vitamin D and walking is something which you can do with friends. It doesn’t have to be hours and hours, just 15/30 minutes of light exercise every day. Keeping active is good for weight loss too.
Fill Your Own Cup: It’s easy for me to get really busy and consumed by all the many, many things I have to do on a daily basis from running my business and home, parenting, taxi driving and part time chef too, that I forget to take time for myself. But here are a few things I like to do at the weekend to calm my mind and nourish my soul;
- Arts and Crafts
- Puzzles or Lego building with the children
- Long Walks
- Binging crime dramas (OK so I don’t just save that for the weekend!)
- Beauty Regime, I’m quite low maintenance but I do love treating myself to a great but affordable lash serum, teeth whitening strips and a face mask, both for the chill-out factor as well as looking and feeling my best .
Mindful activities such as puzzles, colouring, arts and crafts that require repetition, aid in calming and quieting the mind acting like meditation for the brain by bringing our focus and awareness toward the present activity.
Ask For Help: Talking to people really helps, if you don’t have a network around you to guide and support you or need more then ask for help. The strongest thing you can do is admit that you can’t cope by yourself and seek people out who can help you. There are a plethora of mental health services available including fact to face, online or telephone counselling, something to suit everyone’s needs.
Taking care of your own wellbeing and mental health isn’t an afterthought it’s a necessity.
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