With the theme of surviving to thriving during this years Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to share with you our top tips to nurture your own mental health, and why it is so important to use self-help strategies. Instead of just
Mental Health First Aid says: “Not all help can or should be provided by specialists in mental health care, or indeed by primary care staff. As well as having proven therapeutic effects, self-help strategies also help people to feel that they are regaining control of their lives and doing something positive for themselves. Often what people need is support to access a range of good-quality materials”.
Here are our top tips…
Good friendships play a significant role in promoting our overall health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Connecting with the people around you can play an important role in this as well. Heres some tips to make new connections this Mental Health Awareness Week:
- Talk to someone instead of sending an email. Or go the extra mile and write a letter, they are a lot more personal
- Speak to someone new, smile at everyone
- Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you
- Give a colleague a lift to work or share the journey home with them (better for them, for you and the environment, triple win!)
We often talk about the mind and body as though they are completely separate – but they aren’t. The mind can’t function unless your body is working properly – but it also works the other way. The state of your mind affects your body. Our physical health and mental health really do need equal importance.
Exercise effects chemicals in the brain, like dopamine and serotonin. Brain cells use these chemicals to communicate with each other, so by exercising you release these and they will positively affect your mood and thinking.
Tips on getting physical:
- Swap the lift for the stairs! < simple…but effective.
- During your lunch break take a walk, fresh air & exercise is perfect
- Get off the bus one stop earlier
- Meet up with friends to go to the park
- Yoga before bed
- Join a sports team
Being mindful of your surroundings can strengthen the mind and broaden awareness. Starting to practice mindfulness, 10 minutes per day, is known to have significantly positive health benefits. Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations.
- Clear away clutter
- Be conscious of the people around you, their emotions and the impact on yourself
- Visit a new coffee shop
- Leave 5 minutes earlier to walk and talk a longer walk, notice your surroundings
- Notice sounds, smells, overall feelings. Don’t think too much about them, just be aware.
The more we learn, the more we grow, and that in turn benefits not only ourselves but others around us. Continuing to learn throughout our lives boosts our self-esteem and encourages social interaction which overall promotes positive wellbeing.
Few ideas to get you started:
- Sign up for a class: a new language perhaps
- Teach yourself a new skill: pompom making, knitting or baking? (our favourite!)
- Join a life drawing class class
- Learn a new word every day
Volunteering to help others in the community will boost confidence, make a difference, you’ll connect with others and make new friends. You’ll become part of a new community, whilst learning a new skill and having fun.