Getting enough sleep, eating healthily, exercising regularly, and avoiding alcohol and other drugs can help you keep your mental health on track, and improve your overall wellbeing.
Exercise is one of the most important things we can do for our health and wellbeing, but sometimes even with the best of intentions, exercise can slip to the bottom of the list.
Exercise has not only been shown to be effective in treating mild-to-moderate anxiety and depression, but it is also a proven method for combating stress. Exercise is not just going to the gym or going for a run. There are many ways to become more active; alone, with others, with a trainer, in classes, or with sports groups.
It is important to take time out for yourself to do something you enjoy. It may just be putting away electronic devices for a set amount of time to get away from the outside world and any pressures or demands, or spending time with family or friends.
Think about the positive things that help you to relax. It may be useful to make a list of what works for you so you have it on hand when you need it.
Improve your sleep:
• Stick to a regular sleep pattern, even on the weekend
• Cut out naps, which can interfere with your quality of sleep
• Exercise, particularly early in the day
• Ensure bedroom temperature is not too warm, cool conditions help you get to and stay asleep
• Reduce or eliminate caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
• No phones, TVs or laptops in the bedroom
• Try to relax and slow down at least 30 minutes before going to bed
Your social relationships
Healthy relationships support good mental health while social isolation and poor relationships can be risk factors for mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
Part of building strong relationships is having good, open, and regular communication. This can be done by sharing your thoughts and feelings with family and friends.
Some people find sharing personal information a natural and easy thing to do while others might need support from a health professional or community group to feel more comfortable opening up.
The quality of your relationships is just as important as the number of people in your social network. Good mental health is linked to having a supportive network that you relax and have fun with and call on in difficult times. You can sometimes be so busy that you lose touch with others, but trying to stay in touch can have huge benefits.
Improve your wellbeing:
• Go for a walk or a bike ride
• Go swimming
• Do yoga, tai chi or go to the gym
• Get good quality sleep
• Have a bubble bath
• Lie on a beach
• Get a massage
• Listen to music or the radio
• Read a book or magazine
• Write a letter or email
• Do a crossword or sudoku
• Go to the movies
• Visit a museum, art gallery or library