Mental Health

mental health signs- don't give up, you are not alone and you matter signs on a fence.

Everybody has ‘mental health’. Sometimes, you feel good and like you can tackle life’s tests and tribulations. Sometime, life gets particularly tough… and it is okay if you are struggling, feel stressed, anxious or down.

Having ‘good’ mental health means that you are able to manage the tasks and responsibilities of life and cope with day-to-day stress. When you have good mental health, you feel connected to other people and you live your life in a way that is meaningful and satisfying to you.

Everyone feels sad, angry, anxious, stressed or frustrated from time to time. But, if these feelings are dominating your life and making it difficult to do things you would normally enjoy, it might mean you need a little bit of support.

So how can you support yourself? There are a few things we can all do to keep our health and wellbeing in check, both physically and mentally.

SLEEP!

First and foremost, become good mates with that warm, snugly place we call bed! But have some rules and boundaries. Having a regular sleep routine and pattern can make a huge difference to both your mental and physical health.

Simple things to get into the habitat of doing:

  • Have a regular bed/wake time
  • Avoid screens and electronics for at least half an hour before bed
  • Limit caffeine after 2pm
  • Develop a bed time routine (your body will learn that it bed time if you do the same thing each night). Read a book, have a shower, brush your teeth.
  • Limit the time you spend in your bedroom throughout the day

EXERCISE

No, that doesn’t mean you need to go and do a high intensity workout… unless that’s your jam! Moving your body has one of the strongest evidence bases for improving both physical and mental wellbeing.

Find a way to move your body that you enjoy and then do it… as often as you can… daily, if possible!

What does this look like for you? It could be a casual walk with your dog, or friends… it could be yoga, swimming, boxing or a high intensity gym workout!…

Why not go for a good mental health double whammy and join a team sport! Sport has the benefits of both physical activity and social connection, two of the most significant and important things to ensure you #liveyourbestlife and take care of your wellbeing.

Just move, move often and in ways that make you feel good!

FOOD

‘An apple a day, keeps the doctor away!’… this old adage has merit. Eat fruit and vegetable, as much as you can, as often as you can! Eat regularly, drink water and eat green things.

You don’t expect your car to drive well on the wrong fuel (ask your mum and dad what happens when you put petrol in the diesel car!!)…. And you certainly don’t expect it to drive if you don’t fill it up at all. Your mind and body are no different.

SELF CARE

Do things that make you feel good. Do them often.

Try different things and figure what works for you, what feels good.

Here are some ideas of some feel good activities to nourish your mind, body and soul.

TALK

Humans, we are social creatures. We are built to live together, to support each other, to nourish each other.

Your social circle, your connections. You may have a few, or you may have lots. The amount doesn’t matter. What matters is that you have people you trust, that you can talk to… and you do talk to them.

Talk about the good things in life, talk about what you are grateful for. Talk about hard decisions you need to make. Talk to them about your struggles, when things are rough. Express your thoughts, your feelings. Find a safe space with someone… and talk. You may be surprised what a difference a chat, a vent, a debrief can make.

WHAT ELSE?

Sometimes, no matter how good our habits are, how much self-care and talk we do with our mates we engage in… we need a little more help. That is okay and totally normal.

Follow this link to find out a little more about the warning signs that you or someone you know may be struggling with a mental illness and where you can turn to for some extra support.