10 ways to help your mental health
Every year one in four of us will have a mental health problem, according to mental health charity Mind.
One man shares his moving strategies for coping with depression and grief in this video for Benenden. If you feel that depression or anxiety may be taking hold, try these suggestions from The Mental Health Foundation:
1. Tell someone how you feel
Take charge of your wellbeing by sharing your concerns. Talking can help put a problem in perspective, making you feel supported and less isolated
2. Stay active
Regular exercise can help you concentrate, sleep better and boost self-confidence. Your brain and vital organs will benefit – and you’ll feel better mentally as well
3. Eat well
Ensuring you have a balanced, nutritious diet will benefit your mental health as well as improve your mental wellbeing
4. Drink sensibly
Some people drink to help deal with feelings of fear or isolation, but any change in mood is only temporary. Recent advice suggests there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, so choose a healthier way to cope with stress, such as trying a new hobby or activity
5. Keep in contact with friends
Staying in touch with friends – in person, on the phone or online – can help you remain grounded, active and supported
6. Ask for help
You don’t need to cope by yourself. Ask family, friends or local support services for help when you begin to feel overwhelmed
7. Do something you love
Taking part in an activity you enjoy can help boost self-esteem and ease stress
8. Take time out
A break from work, whether a holiday or a five-minute window, can be the difference between feeling stressed and coping with stress
9. Accept who you are
We are all different, so rather than trying to be like someone else, be proud of who you are. Focusing on your own strengths and abilities, and learning new skills, can help boost your confidence
10. Look outward
Caring for someone else will give you a different perspective. Nurturing your friendships, or volunteering to help others, can help you feel valued and build self-esteem
This article first appeared in Be Healthy magazine (Summer 2016).
You can learn more on our Mental Health Support info pages on mental health issues you may be facing, if you feel that you could be struggling. There, you can explore common symptoms and potential causes.
If you're a member of Benenden Health, you can call our Mental Health Helpline for support 24/7, from day one of your membership.