Tips for Self-Care and Protecting Your Mental Health

Posted September 25 2020 By Kirsty Leggate
 Mental health has been a particularly relevant topic since the Covid-19 pandemic. It has impacted our lives in ways we could have never imagined, with restrictions and guidelines causing anxiety and new working situations causing burnout and stress. Mental health is something we all have. When we enjoy good mental health, we have a sense of purpose and direction, the energy to do the things we want to do, and the ability to deal with the challenges that happen in our lives. However, our mental health doesn’t always stay the same, we can have times when we feel down or stressed. Most of the time these feelings pass but sometimes they can develop into mental health problems which can impact our daily lives. When we think about our physical health, there's a place for keeping ourselves fit, and a place for getting appropriate help as early as possible so we can get better. Mental health is just the same. We can all take steps to improve our own mental health, and build our resilience. Self-care is a skill that needs to be practised. It isn’t easy, especially if we feel anxious, depressed or low in self-esteem. I wanted to outline a few things we can all do to help our mental health:
  1. Talk to someone, talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s about taking charge of your wellbeing so talk to a colleague, manager, friend whomever you feel comfortable with
  2. Keep active, this doesn’t just mean play a sport or go to the gym, just going out a walk at lunchtime can boost your self esteem, help you concentrate and make you feel better
  3. Eat well, a diet that is good for your physical health is also good for your mental health
  4. Drink sensibly, if you are feeling anxious drinking too much alcohol can increase these feelings
  5. Keep in touch, experts say loneliness could be as bad for our health as smoking and obesity. Try to maintain your relationships inside and outside of work, a work-life balance is important
  6. Ask for help, we all get tired and overwhelmed sometimes so if you find this happening make sure you ask someone for help
  7. Take a break, a change of scene or pace is good for your mental health, so make sure you step away from your desk, go for a walk, read a book, give yourself some ‘me time’ and make sure you get plenty of sleep
  8. Do something you’re good at, concentrating on a hobby that you are passionate about can help boost self-esteem”
However you choose to practice self care, we hope you are all keeping safe and well. If you are struggling and need support, charities such as See Me Scotland, Breathing Space and the Samaritans have great online resources and can still be reached via phone call.
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