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5 Tips for Positive Mental Health to Try

10 October, 2021

Mental Health

Today, October 10th, is World Mental Health Day and to mark the day we wanted to share some healthy habits to help maintain a positive mental health.

The overall objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health. Studies have shown that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem each year. That could be a family member, a friend, a colleague, or it could be you. Mental health is everyone’s business. Our mental health is an essential resource for life which includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Here are our five healthy habits that you can try to maintain a positive mental health:

1. Connections

Try and find some time during your week to connect with friends, colleagues or family members.

Strong family ties and supportive friends can help you deal with the stresses of life. Friends and family can offer different views, help you keep active and keep you grounded. Keep the lines of communication open: it’s good for you!

Actions to take:

  • Try scheduling virtual visits, playing an online game together or simply checking in with friends and family members.
  • Support others by sharing and encouraging positivity – a simple message or funny video is a small yet effective way to lift someone’s mood.

2. Relaxation

A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health.

Give yourself some ‘me time’. It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Listen to your body. If you’re really tired, give yourself time to sleep. Without good sleep, our mental health suffers and our concentration goes downhill. Sometimes the world can wait.

Actions to take:

  • Ignore the past and future – focus on your current state of mind, your thoughts and feelings.
  • Take breaks from social media and news websites – everything that’s popping up on our screens can be overwhelming, so mute potential triggers and stay off your phone for a while (removing apps from your home screen can help squash the urge to open them!)
  • Practice breathing exercises – yoga and Pilates are known to be great ways to relieve stress and calm the body

3. Do Something You Enjoy

Engage in activities that provide you with a sense of value and that are important to you.

Enjoying yourself can help beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it, and achieving something boosts your self-esteem. Concentrating on a hobby, like gardening or doing crosswords, can help you forget your worries for a while and can change your mood. It can be good to have an interest where you’re not seen as someone’s mum or dad, partner or employee.

Actions to take:

  • Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time? Now’s the perfect time to actually do it! Whether it be a new hobby, learning to play an instrument or taking an online course, learning a new skill is a great way to keep you mentally engaged.
  • Find online forums and join with others who are learning the same skills – you’ll naturally build relationships and be able to share positive experiences.

4. Physical Activity

Where possible try and stay active. Exercise is a great tool for boosting mood and reducing stress and anxiety

Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and look and feel better. Exercising doesn’t just mean doing sport or going to the gym. Walks in the park, gardening or housework can also keep you active. Try to make physical activity that you enjoy a part of your day.

Actions to take:

  • If you’re a member of a gym and it’s still safe to work out, then get those good endorphins going with a workout. If your mind’s still drifting, switch up your usual routine and try using some different weights or machines.
  • If it’s a no to the gym, go for a run in an open area or do a home workout. There’s plenty of workout videos on YouTube – why not get the family involved too?

5. Eat Healthy

This doesn’t need to be a huge shift all in one go, but try one healthy alternative as a start, and see how far you can go.

What we eat may affect how we feel – for example, caffeine and sugar can have an immediate effect. But food can also have a long-lasting effect on your mental health. Your brain needs a mix of nutrients in order to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body. Three meals a day or five smaller snacks throughout the day, plus plenty of water, is ideal for maintaining good mental health. Try to limit how many high caffeine, sugary drinks or how much alcohol you have.

Actions to take:

  • Eating healthy foods and maintaining a well-balanced diet will improve your mood more than you think. It’s easy to reach for comfort food when you’re stressed or tired, but by staying hydrated, eating your greens and keeping your caffeine levels in check, you can end up thinking more clearly and feeling better on the inside.
  • Take a look at healthy recipes online and challenge yourself by cooking some new dishes.

Advant Medical

Here at Advant Medical we understand the importance of our team’s positive mental health. That’s why we run various activities such as free fruit in the canteens, coffee mornings and provision of free access to confidential counselling for our team members. To find out more about what it’s like to work at Advant click here.

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