Top Tips to Improve your Mental Health in 2021
Looking after our mental health is essential.
Until the mid 1900s, society valued our physical health much more than our mental health, and it wasn’t until 1959 that the first mental health act was passed. Since then, our understanding of the nuances of mental health and its effects have grown dramatically.
With the COVID pandemic sweeping the globe at the start of 2020, we became even more aware of how important it is to take care of our mental health. In fact, the Mental Health Foundation is leading a study specifically on how the pandemic has affected our mental health.
What do we mean by ‘mental health’?
Your mental health is very similar to your physical health. It relates to how we feel and react to the situations around us. If you’re struggling with your mental health, you may find it hard or almost impossible to cope with certain situations. Poor mental health can be as debilitating and painful as physical illnesses.
One in four people are affected by mental health issues in any one year.
Mental health problems can refer to relatively common issues such as anxiety and depression, as well as more complex issues like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
All mental health problems are valid.
We should try to ensure we’re prioritising our mental health in the same way we eat a healthy diet, keep fit, and seek professional help for any problems with our physical health.
Habits to help your mental health
We all know the phrase ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, but when it comes to our mental health, what’s the apple – and how many should we have a day?!
Here are 5 of our top tips for improving your mental health:
Exercise is just as good for your mental health as your physical health. Boost your mood by going for a short run or jog, or have a go at a dance class in your front room! Pick an exercise you’ll enjoy, and you’ll find it much easier to fit it into your daily routine.
- Take time for yourself.
In our previous blog we talked about self care. Whether that’s a soak in the bath with your favourite OQAY bath salts, a few hours curled up with a good book, or spending time in the kitchen cooking up a storm, do something that makes you happy!
- Focus on one thing at a time.
Eating lunch at your desk is not a good idea. If you’re taking a lunch break, spend time enjoying your food and stop replying to emails! Multitasking can make us stressed and less productive.
- Eat well.
The food we eat can affect our mood as well as our waistline! A healthy diet can help us to have more energy for the day, as well as a better mindset.
- Set boundaries
With working from home becoming even more common, it’s more important than ever to set boundaries between our working life, social life and down time. Setting boundaries can help us to feel more in control of our lives. When so much of the current situation is out of our control, small triumphs can be big achievements. Do something as simple as setting your phone to ‘Do not Disturb’, or turn your laptop off at the end of the working day.
As well as making sure we do things to improve our mental health, there are also several habits that we should try to avoid for the sake of our mental health. In our previous blog post, we discussed the negative impact smoking can have on our mental health, but you should also try to avoid overusing social media, slouching and bad sleeping habits.
None of our suggestions take a lot of effort, but it’s up to you to decide to give them a go!
If you’re really struggling with your mental health, or you’re worried about someone you know, please don’t suffer alone. The NHS have a list of suitable services available on their website.
Have you got any tips for taking care of your mental health? If you’ve got a particular way of coping if ever you feel stuck in a rut, drop us a comment below – we’d love to hear from you. At OQAY, we believe our mental wellbeing is as important as our physical health, and we would love to use our platform to share ideas and suggestions!
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