|A scrapbook page I made about some of my favourite things 🙂
It is nearly five years now since I retired from teaching on ill-health grounds because of anxiety and depression. Since that time I have received help from various places and managed to claw my way back to being able to function normally, but it hasn’t always been easy. The public view of mental health is still not all that enlightened so I decided that my ’10 on the 10th’ would be 10 ways to improve your mental health. They may seem simple to you, but believe me from the point of view of someone with depression, they may seem really difficult to achieve and the person might also feel unworthy of help.
The Mental Health Foundation has designated today for’ Tea and Talk’ and tea parties will be going on all over the country. Even if it’s coffee you love, sitting, chatting and interacting with others is a good way to boost your mood! If you are able to organise a tea party this week, then visit the tea and talk page or if not, donate here.
Anyone can make simple changes that have a huge impact on their mental health and wellbeing. We’ve come up with ten practical ways to take care of yourself and get the most from life.
Mental health is about the way you think and feel and your ability to deal with ups and downs. Making simple changes to how you live doesn’t need to cost a fortune or take up loads of time. Anyone can follow our advice.
1.Talk About Your Feelings
Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy.
2. Eat Well
There are strong links between what we eat and how we feel – for example, caffeine and sugar can have an immediate effect. But food can also have a long-lasting effect on your mental health.
3. Keep in Touch
Friends and family can make you feel included and cared for. They can offer different views from whatever’s going on inside your own head. They can help keep you active, keep you grounded and help you solve practical problems.
4. Take a Break
A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you.
5. Accept Who You Are
Some of us make people laugh, some are good at maths, others cook fantastic meals. Some of us share our lifestyle with the people who live close to us, others live very differently. We’re all different.
6. Keep Active
Experts believe exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate, sleep, look and feel better. Exercise also keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy.
7. Drink Sensibly
We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary.
8. Ask for Help
None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things go wrong. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help.
9. Do Something You’re Good At
What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself helps beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.
10. Care for Others
Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together.
You can download a printable version of these hints and there is extra help at The Mental Health Foundation website.