Mental health—we all have it, and we all need to look after it.
Often we might only start prioritizing our mental health when we’re not feeling great, but keeping our mental wellbeing in shape deserves our attention all the time.
There are lots of simple ways to take care of your mental health every day, and you may even know some of them already.
Have a read of our wellbeing tips below to find out how you can keep your mental health in check day to day. You don’t need to try them all at once—just pick out which points resonate with you the most.
1. Stay connected with others
When we’re very busy or not feeling our best, social events can get put on the backburner. But social connection, whether on the phone, face to face, or online, is very important for maintaining our mental wellbeing.
Our loved ones are along for the ride through life’s ups and downs. We talk about happy experiences together, look to them for emotional support, and offer help and support in return—all things that are important for cultivating good mental wellbeing and a sense of belonging.
2. Get enough good-quality sleep
Are you yawning more than usual? Around a third of us experience bad sleep, which could have costs for mental and physical health.
A poor night’s sleep here or there isn’t anything to worry about. But if you’re tossing and turning for several nights on the trot or regularly struggling to nod off, you may start to feel some mental and physical effects.
Often, poor sleeping habits contribute to sleepless nights. Committing to a calming routine each day before bed could help set you up for a high-quality slumber.
3. Keep active
We know physical activity is good for our bodies, but it offers benefits for our mind too, such as enhancing self-esteem and boosting our mood.
Being active doesn’t need to be complicated, lengthy, or boring. If you’re struggling to find the motivation to get moving, you could start small with something you enjoy such as a gentle stroll, or a short online workout—you could even try working up a sweat with some household chores.
4. Do things you love
Hobbies, interests, and relaxation can sometimes feel like a luxury when you have a lot on your plate. But making space for things you love doing, or simply carving out some sacred peace and quiet time for yourself is important for your wellbeing.
So, even though ticking off everyday jobs and chores may be important, make sure you put some enjoyable activities or relaxation time on the list too.
5. Learn a new skill
If you’re bored or lacking a sense of challenge in your life, learning a new skill could be a helpful pick-me-up, with many benefits for mental wellbeing.
Learning something new—maybe a new recipe or musical instrument—or getting stuck into some home renovation projects can help create a sense of purpose, provide an opportunity for social connection, and give your self-esteem a lift too.
6. Challenge unhelpful thoughts
Our thoughts can have a powerful influence on how we feel, and sometimes we may not even be aware of it. Noticing unhelpful thinking patterns or negative self-talk can be an effective way to enhance mental wellbeing.
The first step is to recognize the presence of unhelpful or negative thoughts. Once you start becoming aware of these, try to pause and examine them a little more closely if you can. Then see if you can challenge the thought, reframe it, or consider what advice you’d give to a loved one who was having the same thought.
Making someone else’s day could make yours too.
Giving to others and small acts of kindness can boost positive emotions and ignite a sense of self-worth and purpose. The gesture of giving also requires us to connect with others, which can benefit our mental wellbeing.
Giving to others needn’t be a grand affair—offering people your time and attention, or showing people gratitude are simple, everyday ways to show kindness.
8. Nourish your body
Yes, your body is a temple. And by nourishing your body you’re also nourishing your mind.
Eating a varied diet that is rich in nutrients offers mood-boosting benefits and can put you on the path to good mental and physical wellbeing. Nourishing your body also involves curbing your intake of foods or drinks, such as alcohol or caffeine, that can have a negative impact on your mood.
For an additional boost of mental wellbeing at mealtimes, you could try talking about your daily dining experience with others and gain a valuable sense of connection and ritual in the process.
9. Bring your awareness to the present
Mindfulness is the practice of actively bringing your attention to the present moment and is an effective way to boost mental wellbeing. Being more mindful day to day could help you gain insights about yourself and even enhance your enjoyment of life.
Bringing your awareness to what’s happening right now is something you can do in a way that suits you. You can choose to pay attention to an activity you're doing, your breathing, your thoughts or feelings, and/or your sensory experiences.
10. Ask for help if you need to
Sometimes, although we may be doing everything we can to keep our mental wellbeing in shape, we may need some help or support from someone else.
Asking for help when you need to is an important part of dealing with life’s challenges and looking after your mental wellbeing. If you’re struggling at the moment, and feel you’d benefit from some help, it’s important to reach out to someone—whether it’s a loved one, a colleague, your doctor, or mental health professional.
Nowadays, many people get therapy online, as they find it to be an affordable and highly convenient way to seek support. BetterHelp is one online therapy platform that makes it possible for you to connect with a therapist over the phone, video call, or via message anytime you need to talk. It can also match you with an accredited therapist to suit your needs and preferences.
Many of the ways you can enhance your mental wellbeing may not be surprising to you, and there could be additional things you do to keep yourself feeling good day to day.
But our lives can get busy and full, and sometimes we de-prioritize things we know are good for our mental wellbeing. Your mental health is important every day, so if things have slipped recently, try to start putting yourself on the list a bit more and devote some well-deserved time to your mental health.
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