So as you may or may not know, today is World Mental Health Day. This day is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a day dedicated to starting conversations, raising awareness and bringing about change in mental health. Each year there is a theme for WMHD, this year’s being ‘workplace wellbeing‘.
As someone whose teenage years have been riddled with a variety of mental health issues, I thought I would use this day to share my tips and advice for mental wellbeing!
This advice is relevant to everyone, not just those suffering with mental health conditions! I hope you find this helpful and feel free to share with anyone in your life who may need this 🙂
I’ve put a big exclamation mark after this point because it is so important! As Ted famously says on HIMYM, ‘nothing good happens after 2am.’ I know many people struggle with insomnia and inability to asleep, so I’m not forcing you to be sleeping, but getting enough rest will help you to feel more awake the next day, reduce the likeliness of binge eating (sugar to counteract fatigue) and will help to stabilise emotions (am I the only one who gets hysterically emotional when they are tired…?) I recommend being in bed by 10pm, which means even if you are up at 5/6am you will still have had 7 or 8 hours rest. Obviously everyone’s body works differently so you may need significantly more sleep than this to feel your best, but consistently getting less than 7 hours sleep a night will harm your health, both physical and mental, in the long run.
Eating a well balanced diet, based in whole foods, that meets your nutritional requirements is one of the most important things you can do for your mental health. Our diet is so closely linked to our emotions, so eating foods that make you feel good is an obvious way to improve your mental wellbeing. However, this doesn’t mean mcdonalds everyday as it makes you happy! A diet based around whole foods (vegetables and grains) is an excellent place to start, with protein and fats to meet your needs. I firmly believe that a good diet is all about balance and moderation, so make sure you treat yourself as well. For me, veganism has done wonders for my mental health, however I am not advocating this as a one size fits all cure, particularly if you struggle with restricted or disordered eating.
Routine is definitely my number one golden rule for preservation of my sanity. Without a routine my days begin to blur into one another; before I know it I haven’t washed in a week, I’m going to sleep at 4am and cereal is the only meal I know. Again, everyone is different, but for me the absolute basics of routine include waking up before 9:30am, getting dressed, eating three meals a day, brushing my teeth twice a day, reading a book before I sleep and making sure I leave the house everyday. These ‘rules’ help to give my day’s structure, especially during holidays or when I have nothing on. Obviously a lot of the time my daily to do list is a lot more lengthy, but in terms of mental health this is what I need everyday! I also try to add in some self care everyday, such as watching Netflix or taking a relaxing bath.
Humans are sociable creatures- we need other people to exist. Reaching out to others, whether it’s just some messages over social media or a girls weekend, is so beneficial to your mental health! Forming connections with others gives you a support system when you need it, through being able to share any problems you may be having or just knowing that you are safe and supported. In some situations, the people you may reach out to may be a helpline of some sort, such as Samaritans. This can be a brilliant way to get stuff off your mind and sort your thoughts out; remember you don’t have to be suicidal to call a helpline, they are there for anyone who needs to talk! If you are struggling with loneliness, then my recommendations would be to visit a park mid-morning and talk to the dogs and owners, join a club or class that you are interested in or start volunteering! These are all great ways to meet new people.
I’m sorry this post has been so long but I hope these tips will help some of you and that this post has made you aware of World Mental Health Day! Also, this post is done slightly different to my other ones so let me know what you think. Do you have any tips for keeping your mental health in shape?