Mental health is not trivial. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not important. Make your mental health a priority this World Mental Health Day.
What is mental health?
Mental health is important to everyone. We all have times where we feel a bit down or anxious. Often these feelings pass, but if they don’t, it may be time to take a look at your mental health.
Mental health issues are more common than you may think. 1 in 10 people suffer with anxiety and depression at any given time. If you experience trouble with your mental health, you are not alone. These troubles may take the form of unwanted thoughts or feelings of anxiety, panic or depression.
Make your mental health a priority
With the fast-paced lives we live nowadays, it’s easy to put your mental health on the back-burner. But if you had a broken arm, would you simply ignore it and hope that it heals by itself? Probably not. So why should your mind be any different?
Taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of the rest of your body. With good mental health, you will feel more able to fulfil your potential and lead a happy life.
Be mindful of your mind
If you’re struggling with your mental health, it’s time to tackle it head-on. Be kind to yourself this World Mental Health Day. Follow our top tips for improving your mental health.
1. Time to talk
There’s no shame in suffering with your mental health, so talk about it. Pick someone you trust to chat to. This may be a friend or family member, a GP, teacher or work colleague. Sometimes we can’t see the solutions to our problems when we’re so bogged down by stress and anxiety. If you’re already feeling anxious, your troubles may be snowballing inside your mind with no hope of slowing down. You may also feel ‘cloudy-headed’ and like your mind is fogging over. This may be because your brain is trying to protect you from difficult thoughts and decisions. Tell someone how you’re feeling and the chances are, your mind will begin to clear. You may also feel more capable of tackling your problems, with a bit of help.
2. Walk it out
Experts say that walking is the best exercise for your mind. It gives you chance to press pause on life, get some fresh air and get away from your thoughts. Still, any exercise you enjoy will be beneficial. Exercise helps to increase your serotonin levels. This is the chemical that helps to regulate your mood. Take some time out of your day to exercise, listen to music and take in the fresh air.
3. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is a strategy for tackling anxiety and panic. Being mindful means to pay attention to the present, and not worry about the future or past. When anxious thoughts are crowding your mind, mindfulness teaches you to acknowledge the thoughts for what they are. They are just thoughts. There are lots of powerful techniques to help you do this. Apps such as Calm and Headspace will offer a free introduction to mindfulness. These will help you build the techniques you need over time.
4. Make time for you
Make time for yourself now and reap the rewards later. Take just half an hour out of your day to have a relaxing bath, read a good book or cook the food you enjoy. Doing this could help you to unwind and release the tension of the day.
5. Seek the help of a doctor
There are lots of different treatments and therapies available through the NHS. They may take the form of medication, support groups, therapy or otherwise. Your GP can help you find a solution that’s right for you.
The importance of medication adherence in mental health
Just like our other top tips, taking your medication properly is another form of self-care. If you do take medication to help you with your mental health, taking it as prescribed is vital to feeling your best. Medications for mental health can often take a month or several months to take effect. It’s important that you give them their due course as agreed with your GP.
If you take a couple of different medications, PillTime is a free NHS service for people in England that can help you take your medication properly. Our medication solution helps you to stay on track and feel well. You can find more information about our service here.