It is just as important to look after your mental health, as it is to look after your physical health. Mental health includes your emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act and can determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices.
Taking part in sport and physical activity can have a huge impact on your mental health and it is now well researched as to the enhancements it can make for each individual. Physical activity is actually used in the treatment for depression with strong evidence showing that adults who take participate in daily physical activity have a 20-30% reduction in mental illnesses. (According to The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine)
10 Tips for Looking After Your Mental Health
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep: Sleep is crucial for our physical and mental health. It re-energies us, helps our bodies heal and keeps our memories working properly. There are many ways to improve yourself from avoiding blue light (TV, phone screen), avoiding caffeine and implementing a daily bed time routine.
- Eat Well: Your brain needs a mixture of nutrients in order to stay healthy & function well. A nutrition plan that is good for your body is also good for your mind.
- Activity & Exercise: Regular physical activity will provide an endorphin boost and increase confidence. It will also help you concentrate, sleep, look and feel better.
- Get plenty of Sunlight: Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D and has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression. During winter months, take Vitamin D supplements.
- Connect With Others: The people around you offer a valuable pool of support so it's important to put time into strengthening those connections. Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled.
- Quieten Your Mind: Get off the grid. Leave your smartphone behind, meditate.
- Do Something You Enjoy: Allow yourself to be happy doing something you love to boost your self-worth. A change of scenery or a change of pace is always good for your mental health.
- Learn To Manage Stress: Stress is an inevitable part of life, but it is important to focus your energy on what you can control and change. Journaling is a great way to do this.
- Cut Down On Alcohol: Drinking is not a good way to manage difficult feelings and the alcohol itself can lower your mood. Keep alcohol intake to a minimum.
- Meditate: Mindfulness and meditation is about learning to focus your attention on the present moment. By spending a few minutes each day focusing on breathing and the thoughts in your head, can result in lowering the heart rate, decrease in stress levels and improvements in the immune system.
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