10 Things… You Can Do For Your Mental Health
One in four of us will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime but thankfully we can make simple changes that can have a significant impact in our wellbeing.
Our mental health really is something we should protect in the same we look after our physical health.
Here are 10 practical things you can do for your mental health.
1. Accept and value yourself
Never be afraid to accept yourself for who you are - everyone's unique and nobody's perfect. We all have our off-days, our good and bad points. Our different backgrounds and personalities make us who are. You're entitled to feel valued and respected.
2. Keep fit and active
A brisk 30 minute walk outside can do wonders and can really make all the difference for your overall mentality. Try to incorporate regular exercise into your routine.
3. Eat well
A healthy and varied diet will not only be good for your body but will also improve your mental wellbeing. Sugary snacks can spike your blood-glucose level and making you feel more jittery - eat regularly, and maintain a balanced diet.
4. Drink sensibly
Sometimes we drink to alter and change our mood. Binge drinking to deal with problems will only make things worse, and overdoing it can damage not only your physical but your mental health too.
5. Quiet your mind
Find a quiet spot and try meditating to calm the mind. Keeping a peaceful mind with simple breathing exercises can improve your general outlook on life.
6. Don't hide away
It may seem intimidating at first but try to get out and meet new people and become involved in new activities. Join a club or take up a new sport or hobby.
7. Set realistic goals
Goal setting is important for motivating yourself but it's also important to set challenges that are achievable. Tackling goals if you're lacking in motivation or feeling a bit down can seem impossible, so it's essential to take things step-by-step.
8. Keep in touch with friends and family
Remember, we don't always have to cope on our own. These days we all lead very busy lives and sometimes forget to keep in touch with friends and family but good friends will always be there for you.
9. Take time out for yourself
If you're too busy, you're bound to become stressed and irritable - don't forget to take some time to relax and enjoy the simple things. Fit something special into your day that will help you de-stress and unwind, be it watching your favourite TV show or filling up the tub Sometimes even de-cluttering can be therapeutic!
10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Don't think that you'd be wasting someone's time, it's always okay to accept that you're not always able to cope. We all need help and support from time to time.
Aware – Helping to Defeat Depression (www.aware.ie)
Helpline: 1890 303 302, E-mail Support: email@example.com
Console – Living with Suicide (www.console.ie)
Helpline: 1800 201890
Pieta House – Centre for the Prevention of Suicide or Self-Harm (www.pieta.ie)
Phone: 01 601 0000
Helpline: 116 123 (Free Phone Number), Email Support Service: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shine – Supporting People affected by Mental Ill Health (Schizophrenia Ireland) (www.shineonline.ie)
Helpline: 1890 621 631