Mental Health Awareness Week: Practice Self Care
12 May 2017
Whether your mental health is good, bad or somewhere in between, we should all practice self-care. Here are eight examples of things that you can do to take care of your mind and body, even if you’re struggling with your day-to-day.
Diet can have a massive impact on our mood. Fatty or sugary foods can not only impact your physical health, but they can be really damaging to your mental health – producing short lived ‘highs’ and emotional crashes.
Going for a long walk through a peaceful surrounding such as a park is a perfect way to encourage your body to release endorphins – a natural mood booster. You might not feel like knocking your pan in doing some exercise, but a gentle attempt at keeping active is a great idea.
Alcohol is a depressant, and is definitely not the solution to any problems you might be facing. Being dehydrated can also impact on your mood so take a water bottle to work or sip on non-caffeinated products such as green and herbal teas.
Keep in touch
You might feel incredibly anti-social and like you want to be a hermit, but family and friends will no doubt be worried about you. You don’t have to indulge in lengthy conversations, but letting those closest to you know that you’re okay (even if you just check in via text) is important. Otherwise, they’ll probably turn up at your door.
It’s been proven that social media is bad for us. Seeing certain types of posts or pictures can unleash a whole wave of feelings that you don’t need to be dealing with. Switch your phone off. Besides, you can’t get a good sleep if you’re at the mercy of your phone every time it pings.
Get to bed
And, on that note, set yourself a bed time. Yes, you’re a fully grown adult and you can go to bed whenever you please, but you’ll be amazed at the difference a bed time routine can make. This can include reading, colouring in, knitting or whatever you like to do to help get yourself to sleep. Avoid TV viewing though as screen time is not conducive to a proper kip.
You may have noticed the trend for pictures where people show off their super-organised wardrobes or DVD collection. Believe it or not, this is also good for you. The satisfaction of a job well done – such as sorting items in to a specific order – also releases endorphins that are akin to those you get from exercising. It also avoids potential stress if you know where things are.
Helping others has been proven as an excellent way to help yourself. By focusing on a cause, such as a foodbank or a charity DIY day, your mind has a purpose. It’s essentially a good way of distracting yourself and providing you with something to aim for.
If you would like further advice on tackling mental health issues, See Me Scotland have an excellent website full of helpful resources. They can also be reached via phone.
Written By Mary Palmer