5 ways we can all improve our mental health
I’ve been feeling a bit wrung out recently, and I know it’s the pressure of working, family and doing up this house. It happens from time to time, and by now I can spot the signs of fatigue. This is when I get my easy steps to repair my mental health manual out and try to patch myself up for the next round of whatever is to come next. It is vital that we look after our mental health, as individuals and especially as parents. Happy parents make happy kids. And that’s exactly what they deserve!
I would like to add here that if you’re feeling the same there is always someone around to listen. Please feel free to contact me if you feel you have nowhere else to turn. I’d like to add the website for the Samaritans here too, as they are just superstars.
Talk about it
Take five, grab a friend, a family member or someone close and open up. I find this one particularly difficult because I’m so scared of over sharing. But there is a very old saying, a problem shared is a problem halved. And you know what it’s so true! I’m so happy to get into conversations over on Twitter, because the community I feel I belong is very open about issues with mental health and how we deal with it personally. Catharsis, or letting it all out is one way of relieving stress and creating endorphins in the brain to make you feel human again.
The act of listening is also quite therapeutic. I find especially recently I’m better at the listening bit. Being trusted is a huge deal for me, and having someone share something with me helps me too to put my little anxiety ball into perspective.
It might feel really awkward to begin with but you’re strong, and you can do this!
Look after your health
I’m a great believer in everything holistic. If you’re ill it’s a symptom or sign that your body is under some sort of strain elsewhere. If you’re feeling run down then you will feel ill and start getting colds. Your mental health has so much more of an effect on your whole body than you think. Lethargy, concentration, aches pains and sniffles can all boil down to stress. So take a minute and look at everything. What are you fuelling your body with, are you treating it kindly?
If you don’t no one else will.
Changing my diet recently and cutting out refined sugar and some starchy carbohydrates has made me feel so much better. You can read more about it here.
Regular exercise is also a mahoosive plus. It releases those lovely happy drugs in your brain that makes you feel fantastic! I do yoga and walk regularly. Plus that gives me a break from the next one…
Cut down on your screen time
Does it feel like your life is constantly revolving around your sofa, TV, mobile phone and computer? Then do something radical. Sod them all! Grab a book and a milky coffee, your favourite blankie or throw and shut everything electronic down for a while. Plus your cat will love you for it! Don’t have a cat? Well that’s another way of making yourself feel better because stroking a cat is apparently one of the most therapeutic and relaxing things you can do. Not so much when said cat brings live mice into the house…but that story is for another blog…
Studies show that the more time we spend online the more reliant we become to it. Really important one for kids, as cyber bullying is on the increase daily, and your self worth is sometimes lost in the screen and the number of followers you have on your social networking sites. Yes I know personally trying to build each and every one of these sites can be soul destroying at times!
Take an interest in others
This is a weird one as I mentioned earlier that listening is so much more important to me now that telling my own story. Caring for and maintaining friendships and healthy links to the outside world gives us a bigger link to the community and a better sense of self. Your self-awareness and knowing who you are comes, in part from the interactions of those around you.
Look after people, you never know when you’re going to need a shoulder to cry on and make sure you’ve appreciated people enough that they can appreciate you.
I think this is the most important one of all. Take a look in the mirror, and remind yourself every day that you are just brilliant. You made your world and you are a ball of hopes, wants desires. Be kind to other people and support them. I’m most proud of the children I’m raising who are ultra special. List down on a piece of paper what you’re proud to have achieved. Make new plans that are realistic, and don’t judge yourself by other people’s standards. You are unique, and have a very special voice to impart on the world. Yours. No one is the same as you, therefore you’re super special!
No go, and make today awesome!