Highlighting different methods to help you be the best version of yourself.
Mental health is extremely important. It plays such a big role within our day to day lives, it determines our mood, our plans for the day and how motivated we are to do what is necessary. Due to the pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of people with mental health disorders. Latest numbers estimate that "1 in 6 adults experienced a ‘common mental disorder’ such as depression or anxiety in the past week and 1 in 6 children aged between 6 and 16 experienced a ‘common mental disorder’ in 2021" (Nuffield Trust 2022). Mental health disorders are now talked/shared about more than ever before, the stigma is progressively being broken. That is why within this article I will be giving you '5 Things That You Can Do To Help Improve Your Mental Wellbeing.'
Exercise & Healthy Eating
Exercise is a powerful medicine for many common health challenges, it improves our physical health, has benefits for productivity and also can improve our mental health too. Partaking in regular exercise gives an enormous sense of well-being. It causes you to be more energetic throughout the day and sleep better at night. Additionally, you'll have a much more positive outlook on life as well as have sharper memories. Studies show that exercise can have a positive impact on depression, anxiety, and ADHD, and can help treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication - with no side effects,
A recent study by Harvard found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%. A great benefit of maintaining your exercise schedule is that it can also prevent you from relapsing. Furthermore, exercise is a natural anti-anxiety treatment, as it relieves tension and stress, boosts physical and mental energy, and enhances well-being through the release of endorphins.
Overall, be mindful, focus on your body and how it feels as you exercise. This will improve your physical condition and possibly interrupt the flow of constant worries in your head. Additionally, you must focus on your diet. Healthy eating is also just as important when it comes to improving your mental health. By sticking to a healthy diet, you are less likely to experience mood fluctuations, have an improved outlook on life and improved ability to focus. These positive attributes relay to also help with anxiety and depression.
A second method to help improve your mental wellbeing is meditation. The main purpose of meditation is to give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health. Meditation also allows for better focus and concentration, improved self-awareness & esteem as well as lower stress and anxiety levels, Additionally, meditation has benefits for your physical health as it can improve your tolerance for pain and help fight substance addiction as well as make you more kind or loving.
If you are interested in beginning meditation to help improve your mental health, here is a link that may help: 30 Day Meditation Challenge
Socialising & Self Care
Your mental and physical health are interconnected. Social isolation has the consequences of sleeplessness, loneliness and reduced immune function, which can also become associated with high anxiety, depression, and suicide. Signs of being socially isolated include avoiding social interactions, including those that were once enjoyable, feeling lonely and depressed, feeling dread associated with social activities as well as cancelling plans frequently. Social isolation can also involve emotional isolation - the unwillingness to share one's feelings with others. Unhealthily isolating yourself can breed these negative attributes, socialising however can positively impact your mental wellbeing.
Firstly, socialising can lighten your mood and make you feel happier. In addition to this, it promotes a good sense of safety, belonging and security as well as boost confidence to confide in others and let them confide in you. Socialising can also lower your risk of dementia, this due to the fact that socialising is good for your brain health. Secondly, consistent social interaction keeps you mentally sharp and your brain engaged and overall reduces depression and anxiety. Along with socialising you can also focus on self-care.
Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, and increase happiness. etc. It can also help you adapt to changes and build strong relationships and recover from setbacks. A few examples of self-care include focusing on positivity, making sleep a priority, setting goals and priorities, and partaking in relaxing activities. It is also important to practice gratitude. Gratitude definitely leads to happiness, being grateful for the simple things is a good start, I'd recommend writing down 5 things your grateful for in a journal. This is ideal as for those who may not feel comfortable speaking out to others, but more comfortable writing their feelings down.
In conclusion, focus on taking care of yourself and spending time with others to help improve your well-being. To help here are some Instagram pages that provide self-care calendars for you to do throughout the month:
Interests & Hobbies
Spending time on an activity that you enjoy can improve your mental health and wellbeing. Hobbies bring a sense of fun and freedom to life that can help to minimize the impact of chronic stress. If you feel overwhelmed from your job, you can benefit from taking up a hobby as they provide an outlet for stress and something to look forward to after a hard week at a stressful job. In addition, research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood, and depression. Doing activities that get you out and about can make you feel happier and more relaxed. Here are a few examples of hobbies you could start doing: chess. playing a musical instrument, reading. writing, sketching, photography.
The recommended amount of sleep for an adult is around eight hours, but some people need more, while others can cope with less. We each need to work out what works for us and then get into a healthy sleep pattern, as getting it right helps us achieve a long, happy, and healthy life. Sleep is essential to every process in the body, affecting our physical and mental functioning the next day, our ability to fight disease and develop immunity, and our metabolism and chronic disease risk. It is one of the biggest factors within this list for bad mental health. Sleep deprivation has a negative effect on emotion and performance. The psychological effects of sleep deprivation can affect us massively and significantly impact our daily mood. To improve your wellbeing, you must make sure you're healthily getting enough sleep, creating a healthy sleep cycle can positively impact both your days and nights, keep you proactive and keep your brain less agitated and anxious. In addition to this, decreasing your caffeine intake can help your sleep cycle, try switching to decaf or cutting it out completely.
Research from the NHS says that one in three of us suffers from poor sleep in the UK, with stress, taking work home and the ‘always on’ culture often the blame. Societal pressures to always be on top of everything can get to us; we must remember to always take time out for ourselves and prioritise out mental health and peace.
If you are currently struggling with your mental wellbeing, take time throughout your week to try at least two of these methods and note down the difference it makes to your mental health. You can also try downloading the Heyr app - an app that lets you tap into message based, prevention therapy to build positive mental habits. You can also follow them on Instagram @heyr.app