Friday 10th October
Mental Health Day is recognised around the world on 10 October. This year the theme is "Make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority." Mental health problems exist and can impact our individuals, families, communities and workplaces. We all need to look after our mental well-being just as we look after our physical health. National and local governments can offer support for people in need, but how can we help ourselves? What can we do to ensure we are mentally well just as we look to keep physically well?
We spoke to our team of Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners who have all offered up their own tips on how to improve and maintain your mental health.
Vicci Rowlands - Step 2 Clinical Supervisor
My two top tips for maintaining mental well-being would have to be to ensure that you get enough sleep and make time to exercise.
Life can be full on juggling work and childcare (and all the clubs, school commitments etc). Making sure that I get enough sleep makes a big difference to me and I definitely notice a detrimental effect on my mental health and my confidence in my ability to cope when I don’t get enough! For me, that is at least 7 hours of sleep a night but not everyone is the same and some people will need more, others less.
Exercise makes a big difference too, not only does it release endorphins (hello exercise high!) but it is also my “me” time. I would say that it is important to find a form of exercise that you enjoy, it doesn’t have to be high intensity and move in a way that feels good for you.
Mary Davis - Senior Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner
I recommend drinking plenty of water. We tend to reach for drinks full of sugar, caffeine, alcohol or a combination of those. Added sugar in drinks can slowly increase weight and decrease energy levels in the long run. Caffeine can help us to feel energised but can also cause nutrient depletion which can lead to feeling sluggish. Alcohol is a diuretic so causes fluids are removed from your blood quickly which can cause dehydration. Dehydration can cause headaches, lack of clarity, sleep issues and fatigue. A human brain is about 80% water, so keep it hydrated to help your body and your mental health!
Another tip is to reduce your screen time. Whether it be a smartphone, television or laptop the background blue light suppresses the production of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates our sleep pattern so increased exposure to blue light can be disrupting sleep.
Sophie Turner - Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner
My top tip for mental well-being is to stay connected with others. Spending quality time with friends and family or just picking up the phone for a quick ten-minute chat can all be really helpful in building a sense of belonging and a sense of worth. It also gives us the chance to talk to someone about how we are feeling or equally helps others who are struggling, both of which can combat feelings of loneliness.
Yahya Delair - Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner
Be kind to yourself and give yourself a break. Have or do something nice just for you. We are most deserving of this and can underestimate the importance of this at times. Think of what things you would do for a loved one or a friend and implement that act of kindness and love for yourself. Doing regular exercise is my second most important tip. The evidence is overwhelming on how exercise has an impact on our mental health. Try to find a form of exercise that is enjoyable will make it easier to remain consistent.
Rosemarie Fasoel - Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner
Take time for self-care, this helps manage both anxiety and low mood. Schedule and plan self-care and pleasurable activities in your week.
Use the 5-minute rule when you feel unmotivated. Go with your plan instead of how you are feeling or thinking for at least 5 minutes. Break your goals down into small steps which make them easier to achieve. A ten-minute walk can help reduce anxiety and improve your mood.
If you suffer from insomnia avoid napping during the day as this reduces sleep pressure and can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
If you would like more information, please visit https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/public-engagement/world-mental-health-day« Back to News & Blog
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