TIPS FOR MENTAL HEALTH WEEK 2019
Sunday 6 October is the start of Mental Health Week. This year’s theme is “mental health starts where we live, learn, work and play”.
We have put together our top tips for staying mentally healthy in the places that we live, learn, work and play.
Home – How to be mentally healthy at home
- Declutter – Organising your space is a great way to reduce your stress and improve efficiency. Spend a few minutes decluttering your home environment, personal space or even a digital space such as emails or photos.
- Embrace a hobby – Think back to things you used to love doing, before life got in the way. Can you reclaim a hobby that brought you joy or helped you feel connected to your community? Or search for a new activity to try.
- Enjoy some quiet time – Peace and quiet can be hard to come by at home. When you find a quiet moment, perhaps before bed, or during your morning coffee, close your eyes, put your thoughts aside and focus on taking deep breaths. This mini-mindfulness exercise can do wonders to help relieve stress and anxiety.
School – How to be mentally healthy at school
- Try not to compare yourself to others – The only person you should be comparing yourself to, is yourself! Try to aim for a better result than your previous result, rather than focusing on what others have achieved. This will help relieve the pressure you place on yourself which in turn can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
- A healthy body fuels a healthy mind – Make sure you are looking after your body, especially during times of stress such as exams. Eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and exercising several times a week, will all help brain function and reduce stress.
- Don’t forget to have fun – Make sure you take regular breaks and schedule in some fun time such as playing sport, seeing friends or watching a favourite program. These breaks will help boost your mood and allow your mind to take a well-earned break.
Work – How to be mentally healthy at work
- Set SMART goals – Setting goals and challenging yourself are great ways to strengthen your mental health. Apply this to your work setting and make sure your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, result focused and timely.
- Move your body – Sitting all day can be detrimental to our health, even small amounts of physical activity can improve your mood. Go for a walk during your lunch break or take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Show gratitude – It’s easy to focus on the negatives when work or life gets stressful. Write down something you’re grateful for each day, even if it’s something small like the weather or feedback from a colleague. This will help you to stay motivated and mindful when the going gets tough.
Friends – How to have healthy friendships
- Let go of toxic friendships – If a friendship is not positively impacting your life, it may be time to distance yourself from that person. Toxic friendships can have a negative impact on your mental health and on other parts of your life. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, not drag you down.
- Be the friend that you would like to have – Friendship is a two-way street. Make sure you treat friends the way you want to be treated.
- Forgive and apologise – Life is too short to lose good friends simply because we can’t forgive someone for their actions or apologise for our own. Try to swallow your pride and learn to forgive and apologise.
Family – How to have healthy family relationships
- Set boundaries – Think about what you can tolerate and accept from other people and what makes you feel uncomfortable and stressed. Then put in place some physical, mental or emotional boundaries to ensure a healthy balance.
- Lead by example – Set a standard in your family about how you talk and interact with each other. People will take notice and hopefully follow suit.
- Find an outlet for your frustrations – Relationships with family members can be frustrating. Find an outlet for your frustration whether it’s talking to a professional or taking a boxing class. Direct your frustrated energy elsewhere so it doesn’t impact your relationship with family.
You – How to have a healthy relationship with yourself
- Talk to someone about your worries – A problem shared is a problem halved. Whether it’s a friend, family member or professional, talking through a personal problem, issue or worry can help you process your feeling and brainstorm practical solutions.
- Focus on your strengths – Sit down once a week and write 3 personal strengths and 3 things you were happy or proud of in the past week. It’s important to remind yourself how strong you are and the things you have overcome.
- Find your purpose – What gets you out of bed in the morning? Think about your purpose, no matter how small, and use that to motivate and inspire yourself.
Online – How to stay mentally healthy online
- Set time limits – Spending too much time online, whether its scrolling through Instagram or playing video games, can have a negative impact on your mental health. Set a realistic time limit before you go online to ensure that you are spending enough time doing things that are good for your mental health such as exercising, catching up with friends and getting outdoors.
- Unfollow negativity – If there is an account or individual on your social media that makes you feel insecure, unfollow it! Fill your newsfeed with inspiring accounts and people that make you feel good about yourself and the world around you.
- Stay secure – There are privacy and security options on most online platforms. Do your research and select a privacy setting that you are comfortable with. Then think about what you share online and with whom, because once its online it’s there permanently.