October is national mental health awareness month, a time of the year where you are encouraged to take some time each day to focus on your own mental wellbeing, as this can have a huge positive impact on your life.
Here's some top tips on how to manage your mental wellbeing.
1. Get enough Sleep
Your brain needs time to unwind at the end of each day. In order to wind down and prepare for sleep, try practicing relaxation techniques before bed, take a warm bath or listen to soothing music. Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool and quiet.
If anxiety or chronic worrying keeps you up at night try the following steps:
- Create a ‘worry period’ during the day. Choose a set time and place for worrying. It should be the same time each day and early enough that it won’t make you anxious before bed.
- Write down your worries so that when an anxious thought or worry comes into your head you can remember that you can think about it at the set time during the day.
- Go through your ‘worry list’ during your worry period . You will often find it easier to develop a balanced perspective if you set aside time to think about the things that are making you anxious or worry. If your worries don’t seem important anymore, simply cut your worry period short and enjoy the rest of the day.
2. Make face to face social connection
Most people need the company of others to feel and function at their best. Phone calls and social networks are great ways to connect with your friends and family but nothing can beat a face to face catch up.
3. Eat a healthy mind diet
Everyone responds differently to certain food so experiment with how the food you include in, or cut out, from your diet affects your mood .
A list of foods that may negatively affect your mood:
- Fried food
A list of foods that may boost your mood:
- Fatty fish rich in Omega 3’s
- Fresh fruit
4. Keep physically active
Physical activity releases powerful chemicals called endorphins, that lift your mood and boost your energy. Aim for 30 minutes of activity each day and try to mix the exercise up to engage your whole body such as walking, swimming, weight training, Pilates, yoga etc.
5. Manage your stress
Everyone manages their stress in different ways so you will need to find what works for you. It is important to be able to recognise when you are stressed so that you don’t let it build up until it is too hard to manage.
- Some ways to manage your stress could include:
- Make leisure time a priority and enjoy some of your favourite activities
- Practice relaxation techniques
- Talk to a friend about what is causing your stress and discover ways you could try to manage it
- Identify what triggers stress and identify how you can prevent it from happening
- Establish a routine that suits you
- Find support in your local area and from people you trust
If you or someone you know may be suffering from a mental health condition, your local Blooms The Chemist Pharmacist can offer professional support and advice, free.