There is no question that mental health issues are on the rise around the world, but before you run off to Dr Google and self-diagnose, ask yourself “what IS mental health?”
Mental health is not just the absence of mental illness. Everyone has mental health; some people call mental health ‘emotional health’ or ‘well-being’ and it is just as important as good physical health.
Mental health is everyone’s business and next week is World Mental Health Day.
We all have times when we feel down, stressed or scared. Most of the time those feelings pass. But sometimes they develop into a more serious problem and that can happen to any one of us.
Your mental health doesn’t always stay the same. It can change as circumstances change and as you move through different stages of your life. Everyone is also very different. You may bounce back from a setback while someone else may feel weighed down for a long period of time.
There is also a stigma attached to mental health problems. This means that people feel uncomfortable and won’t talk about them much. But it is important for people to talk about their feelings and where their head space is at. It is ok to not be ok.
So, let’s start talking about our mental health! When someone asks you how you are, start speaking your truth. Acknowledge not only to others, but to yourself when you are having a ‘tough’ day, and when you are having a ‘great’ day!
Just like physical health, mental health is something that continuously needs to be worked on to stay in tip top shape.
Now this doesn’t mean you’re never going to have a bad day ever again…unfortunately life doesn’t work that way; but there are ways to help prevent mental ill-health impacting on your everyday life. Personal skills such as mindfulness and resilience can be practised to maintain a healthy state of mind.
Below are 10 practical ways to look after your mental health:
- Prioritise – Are you overwhelmed? Make a list of what is most important to you in life and make sure you are not sacrificing too much! Learn to say no in order to protect your wellbeing.
- Talk about your feelings – Are you being heard? Talking about your emotions is never easy, but it is important to express how you are feeling.
- Keep active – Movement is so important for our mental wellbeing, it increases dopamine and keeps us feeling good. If you need more reasons to keep active click here…
- Eat well – Nutrition plays an integral part in brain function, it is surprising how low nutrient foods and alcohol can negatively impact on our wellbeing. Here are some of our delicious healthy recipes for you…
- Rest – Sleep is critical in supporting brain function and mood. Taking regular lunch breaks and holidays brings you balance and prevents mental fatigue. Here’s our blog on more good reasons to rest…
- Self-care – Put your oxygen mask on first! It really is that important. You cannot help others if you don’t help yourself first. Make yourself a priority. Read more of our blogs about the benefits of self-care here…
- Keep in touch – Relationships can at times be challenging but also rewarding. Learn which relationships serve you and those that don’t. Communication and connection are what keeps us human.
- Do something that brings you joy – What makes your heart sing? Go out there and find what makes you happy! What excites you? Bring more of it into your life.
- Accept who you are – You are enough! Your quirks, style, shape, humour – it make’s you, you. Own who you are and become comfortable in your own skin.
- Ask for help – Know you are not alone. People innately want to help others, so don’t be afraid to just ask.
Do any of these resonate with you?
No one is perfect, nor should we aim to be. Mistakes make us grow and it takes time to strengthen a muscle, including your brain. Small steps can make such a difference, so ask yourself what action (even a small one) can you take to ensure you are looking after your mental health today?