Taking Positive Steps
Sometimes it is the simplest things that can help strengthen our mental health. Listed below are some positive steps that can help.
Talk about your feelings
Most of us feel isolated and overwhelmed by problems sometimes – it can help to share your feelings. Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness – its part of taking control of your own wellbeing. Try to talk to people you trust, your friends and family. If you feel there is no one to talk to, you could call a helpline
Taking regular exercise can really help your mood and give your mental health a boost. Research shows that regular exercise can boost your self esteem and help you concentrate, sleep, look and feel better. Find something you enjoy – a sport, walking, cycling and just do it.
Eat regular healthy meals (at least 3 each day) and drink a lot of water. Cut down on caffeine and sugary foods and remember to eat your 5 portions of fruit and veg a day. Having a balanced diet will not only help the way you feel, but will also help the way you think.
Try to make ‘ Me Time’ – time for yourself. Fit things into your day that help you unwind – listening to music, reading, watch a film. Find something you enjoy and that works for you. Even 10 minuets of down time can make a difference to the way you deal with stress, so make sure you take a break.
We are all different, all unique, but none of us perfect. Many different things come together to make us what we are – family, religion, race, gender, sexuality. Feeling good about yourself helps boost your self esteem and feelings of self worth – so its important to acknowledge who you are, accept who you are not and focus on what you do well. Everyone is entitled to respect including you.
Meeting people and getting involved with new things can make a difference to how we feel. Joining a club or offering your services as a volunteer or learning a new skill can be rewarding and help you feel less alone.
Do something you are good at
Think about what you enjoy doing – What did you enjoy doing in the past? Enjoying yourself helps protect you against stress. If you do an activity you enjoy – it usually means you are good at it and achieving something helps boost your self esteem. Be creative.
Keep in contact
Friends and family are important, especially in difficult times. Sometimes a friend can offer a different point of view or way of looking at a problem. Sometimes it’s helpful if they just listen or you listen to them. Caring for others builds your relationship and helps with confidence and a feeling of being valued. Caring for a pet can improve our wellbeing. Laughter also is known to boost your mental health.
Drink sensibly / take care with drugs
Drinking alcohol to deal with problems is a negative approach – it can cause you to be vulnerable, make decisions you might not otherwise make, lead to dependence and ultimately the original problems will still exist. Alcohol is a depressant and overdoing it can increase anxiety and lead to depression. It is best to drink in a safe way, in moderation and avoid binge drinking.
In the same way – using drugs will only cause more problems for you.
Ask for help
Everyone needs help from time to time. If you were physically sick you might call on the doctor -don’t be embarrassed when it is your mental health you need help and advise with. Asking for help is a sign of personal strength.