Stepping into mental health awareness month this May makes us reflect on what we can do to better our mental health or how we can be a supportive system to those around us, especially during these uncertain times.
The topic on mental health has long been neglected until recently. The pandemic definitely brought this issue to light and opened up more discussions on ways to combat the problem.
It is important to take good care of yourself physically and mentally. Here are some useful tips on how to better your mental health.
1. TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS.
Talking about your feelings is part of taking charge of your well-being and doing what you can to stay healthy. It is not a sign of weakness. By talking about it and just being listened to can help you feel supported and less alone. It also works both ways - when you open up, it encourages others to do the same. These conversations can even develop naturally, for instance, when you are spending time together. It may feel uneasy at first, but give it time. Make talking about your feelings something that you do.
2. KEEP ACTIVE.
Studies have shown that regular exercise can help boost your self-esteem by releasing chemicals in your brain that makes you feel good. It also helps you concentrate and sleep better. Exercise keeps your brain and other vital organs healthy.
Exercise is not limited to just doing sports or going to the gym. It includes taking a nice stroll in the park, doing your house chores or even gardening. It is basically activities that keep you positively active. Experts recommend that people should exercise for at least 30 minutes a day for at least four to five days a week. Pick an activity that you enjoy as part of your day's exercise.
3. EAT WELL.
You are what you eat - that applies to both physically and mentally. Don't you agree?
What you consume can have a long-lasting effect on your mental health. 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.
4. KEEP IN TOUCH
Did you know staying connected with close family members and supportive friends can help you better deal with stress? Friends and family can make you feel included and cared for. They can offer different views from whatever that's going on inside your own head. They can also help keep you active, grounded and help you solve practical problems. There’s nothing better than catching up with someone face-to-face. But that’s not always possible. Give them a call, drop them a note or chat with them online instead. Keep the lines of communication open. It’s good for you!
It’s worth working at relationships that make you feel loved or valued. But if you think being around someone is damaging your mental health, it may be best to take a break from them or call it a day completely. It’s possible to end a relationship in a way that feels okay for both of you.
5. ASK FOR HELP.
We all get tired sometimes or overwhelmed by how we feel when things don't go as planned. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, don't be afraid to ask for help. Your family or friends may be able to offer a listening ear and help you with practical problems. It is normal to also seek for professional help if needed.
Having a safe space to talk about your feelings is essential to developing a healthy mental health. Today's technology has made many things including access to professional help or counsellors more convenient. Platforms like Safe Space, for instance, gives you access to a number of licensed and experienced psychologists and counsellors, which you can make an appointment with online.
6. TAKE A BREAK.
A change of scenery or a change of pace is good for your mental health.
It could be a five-minute pause to meditate with your favourite scented candle lid, a half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress and give yourself some ‘me time’.
These are some simple changes that you can apply to help shape a healthier lifestyle and happier mental health. Why not start now?
The source of this content is from Mental Health Foundation.