When you think of mental health, what do you think of? You’d be forgiven if your mind were to instantly go to the thought of mental health problems. But this isn’t the only perspective. A helpful way to look at mental health is that we all have it, all of the time - it is not something that only crops up when we are at rock bottom. So in the same way that we can eat healthily and exercise regularly to keep our physical health in check, we can also do things to help improve our mental health.
The truth is that there are many things we can do to proactively enhance our mental wellbeing. It isn’t practical, or helpful to ignore it until we are at a last resort. There is never a bad time to give our wellbeing some TLC.
So what are our favourite tips on looking after our mental wellbeing?
Firstly, talk. Talking to someone we love about anything is bound to make us feel better. Whether we’re catching up on Line of Duty fan theories, or opening up about something personal to ourselves, talking to friends is one stellar way to make us feel better.
Next, get active. Now this doesn’t mean becoming a powerlifter overnight, it can simply be getting out for a walk on our lunch break. Physical exercise can have a monumental effect on our mental wellbeing, so get your trainers on and get a jog on!
Something that you also shouldn’t underestimate is the power of having a routine. This is something that will have affected many of us throughout lockdown having been on furlough and running after our kids for far too long. While getting up whenever our body feels right is good for a short time, having a routine is crucial. A routine provides structure and logic to our lives. Having a framework within our lives ensures we know what we are doing with our days and it will develop confidence and a sense of purpose.
Our mental wellbeing partners, Thrive, stress the importance of spending time in nature to contribute positively to mental wellbeing. They note that it has numerous physiological and psychological benefits, such as lower probabilities of cardiovascular disease and reduced stress levels. They suggest that getting out in a place with rich biodiversity is best for our wellbeing.
Although we are talking about implementing all these things in our lives, something we cannot ignore is the importance of getting a goodnight’s sleep. Ensuring we get enough sleep means that we will be less tired and more focused on what we have to do. Getting enough sleep also makes sure that we have a better defense around any mental obstacles and frustrations, helping us to feel less stressed and mentally drained.
Mental health awareness, and methods we can use to improve our mental health, are subjects that we could discuss all day and night. We are all different and have varying needs. Certain methods may be more useful to some than others. To ensure that we are nurturing our mental health to be the best it can be, it is best to dip into practices and find out what makes you feel good and improve your mental wellbeing. See below some resources that may be able to help you if you feel you need some extra assistance.
Guides, tools and activities - NHS (www.nhs.uk) – coping strategies
Get help from a mental health charity helpline - NHS (www.nhs.uk) – list of charity helplines
Visit your WorkLife portal to download the Thrive app.