Today is the start of Mental Health Awareness Week so all week we'll be sharing some tips around managing your mental health. One thing to remember is that we are all responsible for our own mental and physical health - it's time to grasp that responsibility with both hands and be the driver of our own health & wellbeing.
To do this we need to reflect on where we are in terms of mental health and wellbeing and be aware of what our needs are and then take action to get those needs met; this may be communicating with others to help them understand our needs so that they can support us, it may be devising a plan of how we are going to ensure we meet our individual needs – remember no one is going to do this for you, so action, action, action is what will get you to the goal of thriving.
We all have mental health and generally fluctuate between thriving, surviving and being ill and potentially off work. On occasion we may feel unwell mentally and worry that we are not coping with life, work, or relationships. What we always need to remember is that often this is very normal, to be struggling when we are reacting to our environment and what is going on within it. When we are facing some challenges in our life it means we have a reduced coping capacity in other areas of our lives and in general, so its good to remember we are in the reactionary/struggling stage and then identify how we can help ourselves and who can help us achieve our identified strategy to get back to thriving.
The main areas we can control are:
Sleep – ensure you prioritise this as this will improve your coping capacity
Hydration – this will help your brain health and therefore mental health, hydrate in the day to ensure you sleep well
Nutrition – this will ensure body & brain strength, try to reduce refined sugars as these have no nutritional value and can lead to health problems, increase wholegrain foods and vegetables as this will give you energy and clarity of mind
Exercise & Activity – we sit far too much, start moving more, use the stairs, go for a walk etc; all those positive endorphins are released when we exercise that help us feel good and reduce any stress & anxiety