1) Keep Active
Exercise releases chemicals in the brain that energize us and lift our mood, as well as strengthening our heart and lungs. Regular exercise can boost self-esteem, help us concentrate, relieve stress and improve sleep, as well as look and feel better. It also keeps the brain and other vital organs healthy.
2) Eat Well
It is proven that what we eat and drink has an impact on our health, and that a healthy balanced diet is important for maintaining good physical and mental health.
Tips for a healthy diet to support good health include:
3) Get Enough Sleep
How we feel can have an effect on our sleeping patterns and in turn, problems with sleep can affect how we feel physically and mentally during our waking hours. When we sleep, our muscles relax and our breathing slows, which contributes positively to our emotional health. Sleep disruption or insomnia affects levels of stress hormones and neurological functions in our brain, which can impair thinking, emotional regulation, cause irritability and daytime fatigue.
Learn some tips to improve your sleep (Tools for mental wellbeing)
4) Manage Stress
Stress is common in daily life, but exposure to persistent stress can start to affect our health. Whatever the causes of stress, we can learn to minimize the occurrence of stressful situations and learn ways to
manage stress well, including at work (Managing Stress).This could be a five-minute break from our usual routine, sharing lunch with colleagues at work or a weekend activity doing something new. Even a few minutes can be enough to de-stress the mind.
5) Avoid Stimulants
Stimulants including caffeine, energy drinks and tobacco as well as some other drugs can have a negative effect on our overall health and can contribute to long-term mental health issues. It is best to avoid them completely or alternatively reduce the amount and frequency of use gradually.
6) Self-Acceptance and Positive Thinking
Learning to accept that we are all different and have different skills, abilities and qualities can be the vital step in improving wellbeing. Embracing and valuing these differences both in ourselves and in others can help build positive relationships. Try to recognize negative thoughts, replace it with a positive one and spend more time doing activities that are enjoyable and can occupy our mind positively.
'Mindfulness' involves being more aware of the present moment, including feelings, thoughts, our body and the world around us. Learning mindfulness in addition to relaxation techniques (Tools for mental wellbeing) can positively change the way people feel about life on a day-to-day basis and how they approach challenges.
8) Socialize, Care and Communicate with Others
Keeping in contact with friends and family can make us feel connected and cared for. People close to us can offer different views from what is going on inside our own minds, help to solve practical problems and keep us active and grounded. Talking to people we trust about our feelings and sharing our thoughts can provide relief and support, especially when we feel troubled or stressed. It is part of taking charge of our wellbeing and supporting those around us to stay healthy.
9) Have Fun, Learn New Skills and Do Things We are Good At
Having fun can help us beat stress, so making time to do things we love can be a great boost for our emotional health. Learning new skills gives us confidence and creates a sense of achievement. It could be signing up for a course, learning to play a musical instrument, sport or language or any other interest or hobby that is an enjoyable challenge. Doing something we are good at which gives us a feeling of success or satisfaction can improve our confidence and self-esteem.
10) Faith and Spirituality
People express their faith or spirituality in many different ways. This may involve a commitment to beliefs, practices and values that give meaning or purpose to life, which allow a person to feel connected to something greater than themselves. This can provide a way of coping, help people make sense of what they are experiencing and feel gratitude for what they have in life. This is in addition to an individuals' own mental resilience and self-belief.
11) Ask for help
None of us are superhuman and at times we can all feel tired or overwhelmed by the challenges in life. If things are getting too much and we are struggling to cope, it is important to ask for help either from a person we trust or by seeking
help and support from a health professional
(Adapted from '10 Ways to Look After Your Mental Health' developed by the Mental Health Foundation UK)
Strong relationships, social connections and a caring community improve everyone’s sense of overall wellbeing