The last few years have certainly had their bumps in the road, starting off with the pandemic that forced us into shielding for the better part of a year. Then of course we started to get back to normal only to be faced with several other crises, the latest of which is the cost of living.
With all of these events, it’s no surprise that some people in the UK are struggling to cope, the ONS has reported a 22% increase in people with mental illness and nervous disorders between April and June 2022, compared to the same period in 2019.
With all of this negativity around us, it’s really important to take care of our mental well-being. There are plenty of different tactics we can use to keep our mental health in check and maintain this.
What tactics can we use to improve our mental health?
Make sure you get plenty of sleep
Good sleep is needed to make sure we’ve got enough energy to go about our day. When we’re asleep our brain processes our thoughts and memories. A lack of sleep can result in our brains being unable to process positive emotional content.
To help encourage a good night’s sleep, you could try a few of the following suggestions:
- • Take time to wind down in the evening
- • Have a relaxing bath
- • Drink a cup of camomile tea
- • Try not to use your phone or other tech in the hour before you go to bed
Eat a balanced diet
Eating well and giving our bodies the vitamins, minerals, and fibre, it needs to function optimally, should mean that we feel better both mentally and physically overall.
After eating a balanced meal, we should feel more alert, our energy and concentration levels should be increased, and we should be able to concentrate better.
Eating a poor diet can mean that we feel fatigued, we have slower reaction times, and our decision-making is impaired.
Exercise is great for improving your mental health, when you exercise your brain releases feel-good hormones like endorphins and serotonin.
When these natural chemicals are released, your self-esteem and sense of well-being will feel boosted. This then helps you to concentrate better, relieves stress and it also helps you to sleep better.
The NHS says that adults should do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week to stay healthy. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner or if you’re not used to exercising, even a 10-minute brisk walk can be excellent for helping with clearing your mind and relaxing. You can start small and build up.
Talk about your problems with someone you trust
It’s never good for us to bottle up our emotions especially when they’re negative. It’s much better to find someone we trust such as a friend or family member.
Of course, not everyone feels comfortable talking about their problems to someone they know, so alternatively you can speak to your doctor or a therapist.
Studies have shown that talking through our negative thoughts and problems can help to reduce stress and can be healing. When you talk with someone who is outside of a situation, they can offer suggestions and by talking it through you may find a solution to the problem at hand.
If you don’t find an immediate solution you will still have gained a different perspective and talking about how you feel can help you to get things straight in your mind.
Practicing meditation really helps with your emotional well-being and your emotional health. It can bring you a sense of peace and calm and helps with stress. Reducing stress promotes better sleep and helps us to feel less anxious.
Other benefits of meditating include that it helps us to focus, promotes productivity, and it helps to manage negative emotions.
Overall, taking 10-15 minutes out of your day to meditate has great benefits which can help us to feel mentally well.
How does looking after our mental health help us day to day?
Many of the tactics we can use to stay mentally well are things that promote productivity. Productivity is important as when we’re feeling more productive, we can get more done whether that be at work, around the home, or anywhere else. This will give us a sense of achievement and make us feel good about ourselves.
Our mental state affects our thought process, the way we view the world around us, and how we feel and behave. By keeping our mental health on track, we’re putting ourselves in the best stead to tackle our day. We know we’re in the best place to make positive decisions and we’ll be able to think decisions through logically.
Coping with stress
We usually come across stressful situations in life and these are completely normal. For example, you could have a stressful job, or you might find you have a lot of things to juggle in life such as childcare, work, and housework among other things, this can also be stressful.
To live a life free of stress would be nearly impossible, so we need to learn some techniques and tactics such as the ones mentioned previously. Then, when we do enter a stressful situation, we have the tools to deal with them.
When you’re in a good place with your mental health, your ability to cope with any stresses you might have in your life are much improved.
Give January to you and introduce new habits to boost your mental health!
Give January to you by joining our 31-day mindfulness challenge, Space to Breathe. It’s an excellent way of starting the year on a positive note whilst also devoting some much-needed time to yourself.
This challenge involves having access to a new online session each day exploring yoga, breath work, and meditation, delivered to you by The Wild Warrior Women. Although the challenge is already underway, it’s not too late to join. The videos will be available until the end of February so you still have time to complete the full 31 days.