It’s Mental Health Awareness Week from the 10th to the 16th of May – a timely reminder that everyone’s mental health matters and those who are struggling with mental illness deserve understanding and support.
It’s also a chance to reflect on our own mental health. Try some of these top tips to boost your wellbeing and feel happier day to day.
Staying active provides a great workout for our brains too, releasing endorphins that keep us calm and happy. Working out in nature is particularly good for a relaxing mental health boost.
- Learn something new
Learning new skills can improve self-esteem and self-confidence, give you a sense of purpose and help you connect with others. Even if you feel like you don’t have much time, you can enjoy learning new things in lots of different ways:
- Learn to cook something new.
- Take on a new responsibility at work, like mentoring someone or giving a presentation.
- Work on a DIY project. There are lots of free video tutorials online.
- Sign up for a course at a local college.
- Try a new hobby like writing a blog, taking up a sport or learning to paint.
You don’t have to sit exams or get qualifications. This is about enjoying life..
- Have a good night’s sleep
Sleep is closely related to mental health, and it goes both ways–mental health problems can impact your sleep, and poor sleep can impact your mental health.
- Connect with people
Even if you’re an introvert, having healthy relationships with friends, family and community is important for your wellbeing. Building social connections that are right for you can boost your self-worth, give you a sense of purpose, and make you feel happier and more secure.
- Do something you enjoy
Studies show people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from low mood, depression and stress. Hobbies that get you out and about are particularly good for boosting your mood and reducing stress. Try making a list of things you might enjoy doing.
- Talk to someone
Talking about your feelings is important: a problem shared is a problem halved. Everyone needs to feel heard, and hearing someone else’s perspective can often provide solutions we haven’t thought of.
- Take a break
Regular breaks are important to avoid overwhelm and burnout–and studies show they actually make you more productive. Make time to have time!
- Drink responsibly
Drowning your sorrows in drink can easily lead to addiction, so try to drink responsibly. Avoid drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week.
- Ask for help
Asking for help can be challenging, but it’s often the first step to positive change. You don’t have to cope with mental illness on your own–it’s ok to reach out and seek support.
- Practise mindfulness
Mindfulness is a great mental health tonic, enabling you to shift from stressful thoughts to therapeutic activities like nature observation or breathing exercises. Developing a regular mindfulness practice will noticeably boost your mental health.