Protecting your mental health is easier than you think. There are things you can do every day including simple activities that will help you feel OK. We all know what happens when we feel OK, we’re better able to cope with life.
The following tips will help you look after your mental health and they’re all backed up with evidence from research.
- Get close to nature: Being close to nature can have a calming effect. According to research in the UK, going for a walk was the favorite way of coping with stress during the pandemic. “Forest bathing” is something they practice in Japan to improve their mental health.
- Learn to better understand and manage your feelings: If you’re feeling upset, it can interfere with your life, make it hard to work or think clearly, study, sleep, relax, or deal with other people. Learn to give your feelings attention without being judgemental or telling yourself that you’re weak or stupid to feel that way.
- Talk to someone you trust for support: We quickly learn to bottle things up and ignore painful feelings. However, talking things through with someone you trust can help and may change the way you feel about your situation.
- Try to make the most of your money and get help with debt: Money problems are often unavoidable and fears about bills, paying debts, and buying essentials can make you feel very stressed. You’re never alone with money problems and sharing your fears with another person may help you see a new way forward.
- Recognize you might be using drugs or alcohol to cope with difficult feelings: Drugs and alcohol are often used to block out difficult feelings, but they only offer temporary relief. They won’t stop the feelings from returning and could make things worse. Recognizing this is what you’re doing is the first step. The next step could be to talk with someone you trust.
- Get more from your sleep: Sleep is often the first thing that suffers when a person struggles with their mental health. Think about making a few simple changes such as developing a relaxing bedtime routine. It might include some hair and beauty treatments at the end of the day. 61% of people say this helps improve their mental health.
- Keep active: Exercise releases the “feel good” hormones that reduce feelings of anger and stress. In addition, it helps you feel better about your body.
- Eat healthy food: A balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and fruit is vital for good mental and physical health.
- Be open to new experiences: Life becomes more lively, rewarding, and interesting when you’re more open to trying new experiences.
- Plan things to look forward to: Having something to look forward to can help you cope with difficult situations.