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Mental Health Tips

02 June 2022

Particularly in the wake of the global pandemic, there is an ever-growing need to look after our mental health. Just as with our physical health, our mental wellbeing requires us to check in every now and again and make sure everything is in working order.

Maintaining good habits and practising the art of self care are the best ways to ensure that your mental health remains in good order throughout your life. Like all habits, these won’t necessarily come naturally to everyone - but that can be developed.

Here are 8 tips you can begin practising today to make sure you’re looking after your mental health.

1. Make plenty of time for face-to-face interaction

In our current digital age, we are blessed with almost infinite options when it comes to communication. Whether it be through messaging, video calling, or even online gaming - the rise of the internet has created a world in which human connection lies only the push of a button away. Yet as amazing as this is, and as life-saving as it became during the social isolation of the global pandemic, there is still much to be said for the benefits of face-to-face communication. It has the power to engage us and boost our mood in a way that digital communication cannot quite achieve. Boost your mental health by making it a priority to stay in regular face-to-face contact with the ones you love.

2. Talk about your feelings

Thankfully, the stigma surrounding mental health struggles is finally fading from much of society, yet still some people feel the need to bury their feelings. Repressing your feelings only makes them more difficult to resolve, and can lead to a build up of pent-up emotions that becomes something of a ticking time bomb. Regularly opening up about your feelings helps you to process them in a way that ensures they don’t all stack up and end up crashing down on you.

3. Keep track of your feelings

One of the best things you can do for your mental health is to keep track of it over time. Whether this be with the help of a therapist, or simply through the act of keeping a journal, keeping track of your mental health allows you to see where particular patterns in your thoughts and feelings lie. By keeping track of them over time, you can recognise negative patterns before they grow out of control, and address them at their root cause.

4. Get plenty of exercise

Your mind and body are, at the end of the day, two aspects of the same machine. Regularly exercising and keeping your body in good condition is shown to boost your self esteem and regulate sleep and metabolism to help you stay well rested and energised throughout the day. Joining a sport also gives you a great opportunity to meet other people and raises your mental health by making you feel part of a community. Even if team sports aren’t your thing, simply running a few times or going on regular walks can make a huge difference to how you feel throughout the day.

5. Set realistic goals and expectations

The reason that many people suffer from negative mental health is the fact that they have set completely unrealistic goals and expectations for themselves. If you feel you are a constant disappointment to yourself and others, it’s most likely because you have set yourself unrealistically high expectations. Be kind to yourself, and set yourself achievable goals and expectations to avoid the mental health stress that comes with this brand of perfectionism.

6. Limit alcohol and other substances

Fun though they may be in the moment, alcohol and other intoxicants tend to have more negative long term impacts than they are worth. Alcohol in particular works as a depressant, meaning that once the giddiness wears off, you’re likely to find yourself feeling tired and battling a severe lack of serotonin. Save yourself the depressing effects of a hangover by limiting your alcohol intake and making sure to drink responsibly and in moderation.

7. Get a good night’s sleep

Sleep is one of the most critical factors that will impact the state of your mental health. It truly is impossible to overstate the effect that your quality of sleep will have on how you feel throughout the day. The best way to develop good sleep hygiene is to make sure you’re getting to bed at a reasonable hour and at a regular time every day. Limit screen time for at least two hours before you plan to go to sleep to allow your brain to properly shut down and rest. In the morning, avoid sleeping in, as this is likely to leave you feeling groggy and unproductive throughout the day to come.

8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Perhaps the most important thing you can do for your mental health is learn the value of asking for help. All too many people will keep their struggles to themselves for fear of what others might think of them. In reality, this only serves to create more harm than good. The people around you will be more than happy to help you through difficult times, and in moments of true crisis there are always professionals there who are trained to lend you the hand you need.

Your mental health is not something that should be left to chance. Make these tips part of your day to life to ensure you’re giving yourself the care you deserve.