What is health?
If someone said to you are you healthy I bet your mind jumps immediately to physical health – diet and exercise. Am I right? Yes, physical health is very important but so is your mental health and it’s often forgotten about. If you’re not feeling good mentally it can be a struggle to keep up your physical health.
Your mental health and wellbeing is how you cope with day-to-day life. A lot of us may have a bad day and decide we’re no longer ‘in the mood’ to go to the gym or go for that run we planned. Or you might go home and comfort eat, picking at snacks – chocolate, sweets and cakes – and eat foods that you hadn’t plan to eat. That’s not to say all of us do but I bet some of you nodded and smirked as you read that.
So, how do you take care of your mental health and wellbeing?
It’s simple; you make time for yourself, try to stay positive and get active. But is it doing that actually that simple?
In the world we live in today sometimes it can be hard to switch off, to make time for yourself and to not feel a little negative, and that’s ok – it’s not something that comes naturally to everyone. Looking after your mental wellbeing is very much like your physical wellbeing, it takes practice. If you do practice, that practice will soon become a habit and you’ll feel less stressed and better in yourself a lot of the time.
Here are some things you can start to incorporate into your everyday life to start taking care of your mental health:
- Take a long relaxing bath – or longer than you usually would and for you busy mums, try and do it without the children as much as that may seem near impossible.
- Meditate – this isn’t for everyone and again it takes a lot of practice to be able to quiet the mind but it’s worth it
- Exercise – in whatever form you like, running, the gym, swimming, taking the dog for a walk. Exercise releases endorphins which reduces stress and it gives your mind something else to think about. It takes you out of your head.
- Get a good night’s sleep – try and wind down before you go to bed if you’re not one to fall asleep quickly and avoid using phones, iPads and laptops an hour before bed.
- Do something you like, make time for it and do it often (depending what it is of course). It could be that you like to go to dinner with your friends, that you like to take your dog for a long walk in the morning, that you like to spend Sunday’s without having your phone glued to your hand. Whatever it is, make time for it. Start small if you have to.
- Think about three things you’re grateful for, you can do this before you go to bed or when you wake up in the morning.They can be anything, no matter how big or small – that you didn’t get woken up by a fox, that you managed to take 10 minutes for yourself or that you landed that promotion you’ve been working so hard for.
There are lots of things you can do to make sure you look after your mental health but it is key to a healthy, happy life so next time you feel your emotions bubbling up, take a step back and take some time for yourself.