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Ways to look after your mental health

Do you want to know how to look after your mental health?

People often take their mental health for granted until they begin to struggle. They often only take action themselves or see a friend or family member struggling. An important part of keeping healthy is to take care of your mental health:

Get plenty of sleep: Sleep plays a vital role in good health. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect you mental/physical health and quality of life. During sleep your body is working to support healthy brain function. Sleep is important for managing our emotions and moods.

Eat Well: Certain mineral deficiencies, such as iron and B12 deficiencies can impact our mood.  Limiting or cutting out caffeine can help us feel less jittery and anxious. Try to eat a balanced diet.

Avoid alcohol, smoking and drugs: When we drink, we can often feel more depressed and anxious the next day. Between cigarettes your body and brain go into withdrawal which can make you irritable and more anxious. Drugs will often leave you in withdrawal and can often cause very low moods and anxiety. More severe effects of drugs can include paranoia and delusions.

Get plenty of Sunlight: Sunlight is a great source of Vitamin D. Vitamin is really important in that it helps our brains release chemicals which improve our mood.

Activity and Exercise: Activity and Exercise are essential for maintaining good mental health. Exercise boosts chemicals in your brain that help put you in a good mood. Exercise can help you manage low mood, anxiety and stress. It can also give you a sense of acheivement.

Manage your Stress: Stress is a part of life and we need a certain amount of it to help us function at an optimal level. Knowing what triggers your stress and knowing how to cope is key to maintaining good mental health. Try to tackle those things that are causing you stress. Try not to avoid those things causing you stress, meet them head on. Don’t be afraid to ask the advice of others on they ‘healthy’ ways they manage their stress. You can also write your stresses down and allot time to thinking about the things that are stressing you. Seek professional help if you feel your stress is negatively impacting your mental health

Connect with others: Having people to connect with and talk to can be important for self-esteem. You can also ask your connections for support when you are not feeling great.

Do something you enjoy: Try to make time to do things you enjoy. We can become irritable and unhappy if we don’t spend any time doing things we enjoy. Heading out into nature, painting, watching your favourite movie can help lift your mood. Set time aside to enjoy yourself

Ask for help: There is no shame in asking for support when you are feeling low or stressed. Everyone goes through patches where they don’t feel as good as they would like. Don’t deny that you are not feeling ok. One of the most important ways to keep yourself mentally healthy is to recognise when you are not feeling good.

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