Your mental wellbeing is about your thoughts and feelings and how you cope with the ups and downs of everyday life.
It’s not the same thing as mental health, although the two can influence each other. Long periods of low mental wellbeing can lead to the development of diagnosable mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression. If you’re living with a mental health condition, you may experience low mental wellbeing more often, but there will also be long periods where you’re able to maintain good mental wellbeing.
We all know that to keep a car going, we have to fill it with petrol, check the oil and water regularly and give the tires some air. To see a bank balance grow, we need to make steady deposits. But how often do we take the time to reflect on whether we are giving ourselves what we need to flourish and live well?
It can be so easy for us to take our mental health for granted; to prioritise other things; to put it off until next week. It can also seem too big and too hard. But it’s not. There are some things everyone can do. The following are some tips to get you started
- Get enough sleep and rest. Sleep affects our physical and mental health, but can be the first thing we trade in when we get busy or stressed
- Take time out for things you enjoy. Balance in life is important, so taking time out for things you enjoy can make a difference to how you think and feel
- Be active and eat well. Our physical and mental health is closely linked, so adding exercise and nutritious food every day can make us feel better
- Nurture relationships and connect with others. Our connection to others is what builds us up and keeps us strong
- Learn to manage stress. If you have trouble winding down or managing thoughts you may find relaxation, yoga or writing your feelings down helpful
- Get involved and join in. Being part of a group with common interests provides a sense of belonging so find out about sporting, music, volunteer or community groups locally
- Build your confidence. Learning improves your mental fitness and taking on a new challenge can build confidence and give you a sense of achievement
- Be comfortable in your own skin. Everyone is unique and should be celebrated. Know who you are and what makes you happy.
- Set realistic goals and deal with tasks one at a time. It is good to be specific when you set a goal to help keep you on track
- Reach out for help when you need it. Everyone needs support from time to time. Talking to a family member, a friend, your doctor or one of the many services available can make all the difference.