LOOKING AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
It’s important to take care of yourself and get the most from life. Below are some practical ways to look after your mental health. Mental health is about the way you think and feel and your ability to deal with ups and downs. Some people call mental health ‘emotional health’ or ‘wellbeing’.
Making simple changes to how you live doesn’t need to cost a fortune or take up loads of time. Anyone can follow this advice. Why not start today?
TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS
Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy. Talking can be a way to cope with a problem you’ve been carrying around in your head for a while. Just being listened to can help you feel supported and less alone.
See full ‘wellbeing tips’ self help guide (opens in new window)
How to look after your mental health using exercise
There are many reasons why physical activity is good for your body – having a healthy heart and improving your joints and bones are just two, but did you know that physical activity is also beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing?
See full ‘exercise’ self help guide (opens in a new window)
How to sleep better
Good sleep doesn’t just mean lots of sleep: it means the right kind of sleep. Sleep affects our ability to use language, sustain attention, understand what we are reading, and summarise what we are hearing; if we compromise on our sleep, we compromise on our performance, our mood, and our interpersonal relationships
See full ‘sleep’ self help guide (opens in a new window)
How to overcome fear and anxiety
Fear is one of the most powerful emotions. It has a very strong effect on your mind and body. Fear can create strong signals of response when we’re in emergencies – for instance, if we are caught in a fire or are being attacked. It can also take effect when you’re faced with non-dangerous events, like exams, public speaking, a new job, a date, or even a party. It’s a natural response to a threat that can be either perceived or real.
Anxiety is a word we use for some types of fear that are usually to do with the thought of a threat or something going wrong in the future, rather than right now.
Fear and anxiety can last for a short time and then pass, but they can also last much longer and you can get stuck with them. In some cases they can take over your life, affecting your ability to eat, sleep, concentrate, travel, enjoy life, or even leave the house or go to work or school.
Some people become overwhelmed by fear and want to avoid situations that might make them frightened or anxious. It can be hard to break this cycle, but there are lots of ways to do it. You can learn to feel less fearful and to cope with fear so that it doesn’t stop you from living.
See full ‘anxiety and fear’ self help guide (opens in a new window)
How to look after your mental health using mindfulness
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga. It helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that, instead of being overwhelmed by them, we’re better able to manage them.
Visit the Mindfulness page for more information.
How to look after your mental health in later life
One in 5 older people living in the community and 2 in 5 people living in care homes experience depression or poor mental health. Research shows that there are five key issues that can have an impact on the mental wellbeing of older people: discrimination, participation in meaningful activities, relationships, physical health and poverty.
See full ‘later life’ self help guide (opens in a new window)