How to look after your mental health in 10 simple steps from the Mental Health Foundation
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.
Find out more about the Mental Health Foundation’s Tea & Talk events
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.
Exercising doesn’t just mean doing sport or going to the gym. Walks in the park, gardening or housework can also keep you active. You should do about 30 mins at least 5 days a week.
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Your brain needs a mix of nutrients to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body. A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.
A healthy balanced diet includes:
Lots of different types of fruit and vegetables Wholegrain cereals or bread Nuts and seeds Dairy products Oily fish Plenty of water
100s of healthy recipes
Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary. When the drink wears off, you feel worse because of the way alcohol withdrawal symptoms affect your brain and the rest of your body.
Occasional, light drinking is perfectly healthy and enjoyable for most people.
3-4 units a day for men 2-3 units a day for women
How many units in your favourite alcoholic drink
Strong family ties and supportive friends can help you deal with the stresses of life. 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.
If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help.
For example, you could:
Join a support group like Weight Watchers or Alcoholics Anonymous to help you make changes to your life Find a counsellor to help you deal with your feelings or make a fresh start Call the council about noise nuisance Visit a Citizens Advice Bureau if you want advice on debt
Take a deep breath – and relax. Try yoga or meditation, or just putting your feet up. Listen to your body. If you’re really tired, give yourself time to sleep. Without good sleep, our mental health suffers and our concentration goes downhill. Sometimes the world can wait.
How to get a good night’s sleep
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.
Some of us make people laugh, some are good at maths, others cook fantastic meals. It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else. Recognise and accept what you are not good at, but focus on what you can do well.
Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you.
Why not share your skills more widely by volunteering for a local charity? Helping out can make us feel needed and valued and that boosts our self-esteem.
Hold your own Tea & Talk event
Visit the Mental Health Foundation‘s website