To support wellbeing week we thought we would give you 10 steps to improve your mental well-being. Having good mental health is crucial in ensuring that we feel more positive and have a better outlook on life. Looking after our wellbeing is something we should be actively investing time into regularly and not just when we're stressed, down or struggling. Sometimes a few small, manageable steps in the right direction can have an enormous impact on your wellbeing. Over time, it can also reduce our risk of physical health problems. So, here are our top 10 tips to improve mental health.
1. Diet & Drinking Water
It may seem obvious but having a balanced, nutritional diet can work wonders for you, it has endless benefits to your physical health but also having a healthy lifestyle is a great way to improve your mental wellbeing. PUT DOWN THE JUNK FOOD! A poor diet will leave you feeling tired, irritated and lacking concentration, after the initial high from bad foods wears off, you’ll feel worse off. Healthy foods are full of energy and nutrition that will keep you feel energised and positive. Oh, and make sure you are drinking enough water, stay hydrated.
2. Make a plan
We are all guilty of having unproductive and lazy days, it is impossible to be productive all the time but you can stay focused by writing a daily plan of the things you need to achieve can help. Listing tasks you need to complete gives your day structure and ensures you keep on top of your priorities, consequently making you feel more motivated to complete them. The tasks can be daily routines, reminders to check in on friends or goals that you need to achieve either at work or in your personal life. By completing these small tasks you can feel more accomplished and this will positively impact your mood.
3. Rest & Sleep
It is no secret that lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on not only our physical health but also our mental state, getting 8 hours of sleep a night is a MUST. Another significant thing to improve our wellbeing is knowing when to stop and take a break, overworking yourself can have a significant impact on your wellbeing and cause you to burn out. Whether you need to take some annual leave or just a few minutes to breathe, this can make you have a clearer mind and cope with stress more productively. If a problem becomes too intense, switch off from it and come back to it at a later time. By coming back to it with a fresh headspace it can make it seem more manageable and less overwhelming.
Yes, exercise can be a great way to get into shape however it also helps develop positive qualities like dedication, motivation and determination to stimulate the mind. Exercise and physical activities can often feel highly rewarding and release endorphins in our bodies which helps lift our mood. There are so many benefits to regular exercise like raising your self-esteem, helping to build focus and determination, helping you to set goals, improving mood and concentration and even getting a night of more quality sleep.
Take some time for yourself! Maybe you haven't set aside as much time recently to participate in activities and luxuries that give you pleasure. Doing things you enjoy can help you stay connected to the positive aspects of life. Whether it's running a bath, listening to your favourite song, trying something new or detoxing from social media, make sure you rewind and are kind to yourself. And never feel guilty for saying "no" and dedicate time to self-care while escaping momentarily from the stresses of life.
6. Avoid negative triggers
This should go without saying but avoid things that negatively impact your mental health. These include drinking excessive alcohol, smoking, toxic friendships and even spending too much time getting caught up on social media. If it doesn’t positively impact your wellbeing, try to avoid it. Simply restricting your screen time in the evening or choosing a book over Netflix is a starting point. Listen to your body and see how certain activities affect your mood. Alcohol causes depressive feelings and heightened anxiety, amongst other negative and unpleasant feelings, and if you do drink do it sensibly to reduce mood changes. Choose a healthier way to cope with stress and mental health problems, such as trying a new hobby or activity, as activities that normally give you instant pleasure tend to have long-lasting side effects.
7. Support network
Confide in a friend, family member or loved one you trust when you need support, reach out for help. You might be pleasantly surprised at how much better you feel after getting things off your chest and speaking to somebody close to you. You could even look into houseshares or co-living spaces to surround yourself with people who have similar interests. This way feelings of isolation are alleviated and your housemates can support you, remember there is always somebody willing to help. If you need help but you feel as though you cannot turn to anyone use online resources, books, and support information.
8. Learn something new
Research has shown that learning a new skill can be empowering and improve your mental wellbeing in many ways, it can help you build confidence and give yourself a sense of purpose whilst also raising your self-esteem and boosting your brainpower. Whether you choose to learn a new recipe or start a DIY project, maybe try a new hobby like writing blogs or sports, or even signing up to a course to learn a skill or language anything no matter how big or small, set yourself a goal and help increase your mental wellbeing.
9. Positive mindset
Yes, it sounds simple but we all know how easy it can be to get caught up in negative thinking habits and procrastinate over stressful things. Instead, try to reconstruct those negative thoughts into beneficial ones and try to develop a more constructive outlook on situations, practicing positive thinking can do wonders for your confidence too. If you search for them there are so many things to be grateful for, shift your attention onto opportunities rather than unconstructive thoughts. Most negatives have a silver lining whether it teaches you something or maybe something better happened will come as a result. Invest time into doing things you love and pay attention to the present moment, consider your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
10. Help someone else
Some believe the secret to happiness is helping others, whether it is a small gesture like nurturing a friend or family member, giving change to a homeless person or dedicating time to volunteering or raising money for charity. Helping others can help us to feel good in return. The act of giving whether it be kindness, time or gifts produces serotonin in our bodies and helps us feel in control, happy and strengthen our connections with people. Not only can helping someone else make you feel valued and boost your self-esteem, but it also gives your life a sense of purpose and makes the world a happier place.
We recently also wrote a blog titled, Is Co-living The Future Of Renting?