Wednesday, 1 May 2013

We can do it! Wednesday: 10 Tips for Better Mental Health

This list is as much for me as for anyone else who's interested, because even though I know every single one of these things will do wonders for my overall wellbeing, some days that's hard to remember.
  1. Exercise - I don't know what it is about exercise, but you can have no desire to do it, maybe even when you're doing it you have no desire to be doing it and you would rather stop, but after you've done it you feel AMAZING. All the endorphins run around your body and you feel like you've achieved something and done something good for yourself. I think it's always better to choose some kind of exercise that you slightly enjoy so it won't feel like a complete chore. I've chosen to do running (which I wrote a post about here) because it gets me out of the house and builds up my confidence. I also do yoga, I don't usually go to classes, instead I prefer to do it alone in my bedroom with youtube as my friend. Yoga's especially good if you're feeling a bit anxious or stressed as it calms you down and centres you and energises you and whenever I've finished I want to keep going and do it forever.

  2. Eat healthily - This is a particularly tricky one for me, when I'm feeling down I'd rather eat a whole packet of bourbons than an apple, but even though it might make you feel good for about 5 minutes chances are an hour later you'll be regretting it and feeling even worse. I'm not saying never eat anything bad because cake tastes good and I get that, but just generally making some healthier choices will make you feel loads better, you are what you eat and all that.

  3. Make things - There's something nice about undertaking a project and seeing it through from beginning to end and having something to show for it when you finish. Whenever I'm feeling a bit stressed and angry I like to bake things. I turn up the radio, dance around the kitchen, and make lots of noise and mess, and then at the end I feel better and I have a cookie to eat, win win (maybe I shouldn't have posted this after the healthy eating point). I've also taken up knitting! One of my favourite things to do when I'm feeling nervous and have a million things on my mind is to watch reality shows and knit, it's one of the most relaxing and mind numbing activities you can do, try it.

  4. Leave the house everyday - Sometimes when you're feeling down it can be very tempting to stay in your bed and watch How I Met Your Mother all day, but just going outside and getting some fresh air can be extremely beneficial, even if you just go for a 10 minute walk or go to the shops it's good to get a bit of a change of scene.

  5. Be social - It's easy to get in to a rut of never going out past 6pm, never calling your friends, keeping all of your thoughts and feelings bottled up, but humans aren't designed to be on their own and sharing is caring so go and see someone even if you don't feel like it, you'll feel better trust me.

  6. Have a routine - If you're at school, university, work, etc then you will automtically have a routine and that's great, but if you're a drop out like me, in between jobs, self employed, on school holidays, etc, then it can be easy to get in to a 'wake up at 2pm and watch kardashians until bedtime' thing. You don't neccesarily have to do the same thing everyday, but it's good to have a vague routine. Maybe try to wake up at the same time everyday, or eat your meals at the same time, or always exercise in the morning, always work on projects in the afternoon, etc etc. Knowing what you have to do every single day when you wake up can do wonders for that little 'OH MY GOD I'M WASTING MY LIFE' feeling.

  7. Make lists - I'm an avid list maker, I make to-do lists, things I want to achieve lists, places I want to go lists, projects I want to attempt lists, food I want to cook lists, jobs I want to have lists, things I want to buy lists, books I want to read lists, films I want to watch lists, people who inspire me lists, places I want to live lists, etc etc. Lists are great and they're always good to sort out the chaos in your head and to read back when you're feeling a bit uninspired by life.

  8. Get dressed up - You don't have to put on a ball gown and full face of make up but just taking off your onesie, washing yourself and putting on outdoor appropriate clothes can make you feel like a whole new woman! Maybe get a haircut, paint your nails, get a spray tan if that's your bag. They always say dress for the job you want not the job you have, so you should probably also dress for the way you want to feel not the way you feel right now.

  9. Don't stare at screens all day - Computers, televisions and iphones are amazing inventions but at the same time they're also evil soul sucking devices, you think you're just checking your email or replying to a text and then suddenly it's 5 hours later and all you have to show for it is a new high score on angry birds. I wish I knew how to stop the evil mind control as I feel like I'm a fully fledged member of the brain washing Apple cult, but seriously people, just read a book instead.

  10. See a counsellor - I'm a pretty big advocate for counselling, I think if everybody saw a counsellor at least once a month the world would be a much happier place. If I was prime minister I would make that a legal requirement. But anyways, If you're having a bit of a tough time and you're not sure why and it's not getting better, just go see your GP and have a chat with them about it. Chances are they'll refer you to a counsellor, and chances are it will help, give it a go.
I hope this was helpful for at least one of you! If you have anything you'd like to add leave a comment, or if you want to talk about any of this stuff feel free to get in contact.

No comments:

Post a Comment