I’m sure you all know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It has been absolutely incredible to see the amount of support and advice that has been shared on social media over the last few weeks, and so I thought I’d take the time to share a few mental health tips of my own.
Why is our Mental Health Important?
Taking care of our mental health is extremely important and is not just something for those suffering from disorders such as anxiety and depression: It is for EVERYONE. Our mind and body are deeply connected and so a healthy mind can help support a healthy body.
How Can I Look After Mine?
Here are some of my tops ways to keep a healthy and balanced mindset:
Get Plenty of Sleep
It’s no secret that being tired can lead to irritability and a low mood. As we sleep our bodies are able to recharge and our hormones become more balanced. Without a good night’s sleep, your brain and body won’t be able to function properly so make sure you get a good 7-9 hours every night and try to stick to a routine, going to bed and getting up at a similar time every day.
If you struggle to fall asleep at night, I’d recommended an app called Insight Timer which is great for sleep, anxiety and stress. Remember to avoid caffeine too near to your bedtime and stay away from screens before you go to sleep too!
Eat For Your Mind!
Remember how I said that our minds and body are connected? Well, this means that what you eat can affect your mind too! Make sure you are eating a balanced diet full of vital nutrients. Iron, for example, is essential to keep our energy levels up, so try eating foods like leafy greens, soy products, raisins and prunes. Omega-3 is another key nutrient as it helps healthy brain function, so make sure you’re getting enough nuts and seeds in your diet.
Mindfulness is a great way to reconnect with ourselves and bring more balance to our lives. Spending even just a few moments each day being mindful can be really beneficial to our mental health. If you’ve never tried mindfulness before and would like to give it a go, here are some tips on how to get started. Previously mentioned Insight Timer also has some amazing and quick guided affirmations to start your day with the perfect attitude and mindset.
Write It Down
Whether you’re feeling stressed, anxious, confused or just need to vent, writing down your thoughts in a journal is such a great way to put your emotions into words and really understand the way you’re feeling.
A Laugh a Day
We’ve all heard that “laughter is the best medicine”, and it’s true! Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, our body’s “feel good” chemical, and helps to relax us and even boost our immune system. So why not organise a dinner party for all your friends one weekend for an evening full of fun or even just watch your favourite comedy show to get your happy chemicals boosted?
Talk It Out
Our social relationships are SO important, so make sure you check in with your loved ones as much as possible. Even just speaking to a friend or family member on the phone is so beneficial to our mental health as it can help us to feel more connected, create a sense of belonging and allow us to talk through our emotions with someone we trust.
Stop Scrolling on Social Media
While social media can be a great way to connect with others, find inspiration and promote a business it can also be a toxic pool of overachievers and highly edited selfies. As people tend to post only their best photos and accomplishments online it can be difficult not to compare ourselves to others and end up feeling like we are inadequate, underachieving or missing out on something, as well as feeling
disconnected from reality.
It’s important to remember that social media doesn’t show the full reality of somebody’s life and that anyone could be going through something that you don’t know about. Try to limit your social media use by turning off your notifications and only checking your accounts at set times in the day. There are also apps you can use to set limits on how much time you spend on each platform daily. Finally, make sure you’re not checking your phone first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Writing down a few things each day that we are thankful for can really help us to realise how many things we are blessed with, the importance of our loved ones and the role they play in our lives, and the way that we see the world. The more thankful we are the more we start to notice all the beautiful things around us, however small.
Getting out into the fresh air every day is vital. Sitting inside surrounded by the same four walls all day isn’t going to do your mental health any favours, so make sure you get outside for a brisk walk every day or even just have your morning coffee in the garden. Getting outside, particularly in an area surrounded by nature, has even been proven to help mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
As well as getting outside, getting your body moving in any way possible is so important, not only to keep up our physical health and fitness but to boost our endorphins and improve our mental health too. So even on days when you’re rushed for time, make sure to fit in some stretching in the morning or some jumping jacks in between online meetings.
Make time for yourself
Finally, make sure that as you’re scheduling out your week you block out some time to do some things that you enjoy. In our busy lifestyles, we often find ourselves juggling work, kids and all sorts of other things and forget to actually time some time off to recharge. So take that bubble bath, spend an hour being creative or even take yourself out for a coffee.
I hope these tips helped you! Please comment below if you have any other tips you’d like to share, I’d love to know: And don’t forget to share this with a friend that would enjoy it too.
Hope you’ve all had a great May and are taking care of yourselves!