Simple steps to look after your mental wellbeing
Sunday is World Mental Health Day and the NHS has launched its Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign to support it.
Its focus this year is ‘what works for me’, discussing the little things we can all do to improve our mental health. Here are some of the little things that may improve your wellbeing.
An important note
Before we look at the little things we can do to improve our wellbeing, it’s important to note that if you’re struggling with your mental health and it’s affecting your everyday life that help is available. You deserve to live a good life, and you’re worthy of the help you need to achieve that. Recovery is possible.
Make an appointment to see your GP to discuss treatment options ASAP.
If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts and feel that you can’t keep yourself safe seek immediate help from A&E/999. The NHS website gives a lot of good advice about what to do in a mental health crisis here.
The little things we can do to improve our wellbeing
If you’re struggling with your mental health, reaching out to others can really help. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to tell everyone all about your struggles if you don’t want to, but even a short chat with a friend can boost your mood.
If you are struggling with low mood, for example, you might be surprised at how common it is and what a source of comfort other people can be if you open up.
Find a hobby
There’s nothing worse than wallowing in your thoughts during your downtime. A great way of getting out of your head is to find a hobby you really enjoy. Think about what you like doing. Is there something you’ve always wanted to try doing?
If you’ve always fancied knitting yourself a scarf, now’s the time to learn how to do it. Always enjoyed drawing? Buy yourself a cheap sketchbook and pencils and let your creativity flourish. Love a bit of air guitar? Get the real thing and teach yourself some chords.
Research has shown that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from low mood, depression or anxiety.
Although it might be tempting to become one with the sofa, you’ll feel much better if you get active. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous, a short walk or even a bit of a stretch will help.
Team sports are also a brilliant way of boosting your wellbeing as getting out of the house and socialising in a group are both excellent for our mental health. Not to toot our own horn too much, but MAN v FAT Football is the perfect thing for this, providing a fun activity in a supportive environment.
If you just need a little bit of support to help you manage your mental health, there are a lot of resources out there. If you’re interested in reading, Reading Well have a brilliant list of ‘books on prescription’. They range from personal experiences to self-help books, and all of them have been recommended by health professionals. You should be able to find all of the titles at your local library too. Find the list here.
If you’re a MAN v FAT Football or MAN v FAT Challenge member, remember that you have access to digital mental health platform Silvercloud as part of your membership too. You’ll find brilliant online courses tailored to different concerns that are grounded in proven psychological techniques, all of which you can do at your own pace. Ask your MAN v FAT coach for details of how to access it.
Your Mind Plan
The NHS’ Better Health campaign has created the ‘Your Mind Plan’ to give you personalised advice based on your answers to a short quiz. Check it out below, or view it on the NHS website here.