With World Mental Health Day being last weekend, we thought it was only right that we shared our top ten tips for dealing with and improving your mental health. Seeing so many people in the online world speak so openly about their mental health, give advice and support to others was so lovely and whether the people posting had large or small followings, each post about mental health was equally important and should be celebrated.
Before we start, we just want to make it clear we are not trained counselors or mental health experts, we are just trying to help with things that from personal experience of multiple mental health struggles, have benefited us. If you do find yourself struggling with mental health please speak to your doctor or a mental health service, some of which will be highlighted in this post.
We’ve all heard the expression ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ and this couldn’t be more true. By simply talking to someone, we can feel the weight of our problems being lifted and can get really useful insight and advice to these problems through the eyes of other people. Talking to people is so important, but when we’re struggling with mental health, it is even more vital. When we talk it allows our loved ones to understand our struggles which will help them to help you. Knowing that the people around you are aware of what you’re dealing with can allow you to be more open, get better help and feel happier within yourself and your surroundings as you don’t constantly have to wear ‘the happy mask’ and they will be conscious to the fact you may need some time and space; and when you need that little bit more support.
Use Phone and Texting Services
Talking to those you love can sometimes be tricky and we completely understand that, but there is always someone to talk to when you’re struggling with your mental health, and the people working and volunteering on phone and texting services really know what they’re talking about and know how to help no matter what your situation. Sometimes these services are known as ‘crisis services’ however that doesn’t mean you can’t use them when you’re feeling down or just need someone to vent to. We have used these services both at times of crisis and times when we’ve needed a friendly conversation to lift our mood and these are the ones we would recommend. We have a collection of services for everyone no matter who you are, and specific services for different needs.
- Samaritans available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year: call 116 123 (for anyone to use)
- SANEline available 4:30pm- 10:30pm daily: call 0300 304 7000 (for anyone to use)
- The Mix available Sunday- Friday 2pm-11pm: call 0808 808 4994 (for under 25s only)
- Papyrus available weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends and bank holidays 2pm-10pm: call 0800 068 4141 or text 07786 209 697 (for under 35s who are struggling with suicidal thoughts, or are concerned about someone who is)
- Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) available 5pm-midnight every day: call 0800 58 58 58 (for people who identify as male)
- Switchboard available 10am-10pm every day: call 0300 330 0630 (for people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender)
- Shout available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year: text (for free) 85258 (for anyone to use
*UK services only, other services are available
Get Out Of Bed
Getting out of bed can be really difficult, especially on those days where are thoughts are consuming us and stopping us from doing anything. But, staying in bed all day does just make us feel worse, of course we all need a duvet day from time to time (especially after a few drinks) but these days when your mental health is low can be really bad for you. Even if you’re just getting out of bed (and making it) to go to the sofa and watch Netflix all day at least you’re up which is a big achievement. Having a shower and brushing your teeth will make you feel so much happier as then you’ll feel better within yourself which will have a more positive effect on your mental health than what would happen if you were in bed all day.
Do One Thing You Love Everyday
Nothing makes us happier than the things we love so why don’t we spend a little bit of time each day doing these things? It doesn’t have to be the bigger, more expensive things like going out for a nice meal or going on holiday. Sometimes the smallest things can be the best like reading a chapter of your book, lighting a candle and watching a film, taking a bath or simply having a cup of tea with a biscuit and just taking some time for yourself. If you do one of these things daily, not only does it give you something to look forward to if you’re stressed but it is time for yourself to show yourself that you love you and you deserve happiness every day.
Staying in the same environment every day can have negative effects on your mental health, if you’re going from your house to school or work and then straight back home every day, you’re not giving yourself time to breath and enjoy nature. Even a quick 10-minute walk around the block can boost your mood and make you feel a sense of accomplishment for getting some exercise done.
Keep Busy But Take Time For Yourself
When you’re feeling low the last thing you want to do is keep busy as you just want to be alone with your thoughts, which is all the more reason to keep busy! Try to not have too much alone time or if you are alone, try to fill that time so you don’t get into a spiral of negative thoughts. Although keeping busy is important in times when you’re struggling with your mental health, taking time by yourself to reflect on your thoughts and feelings and to enjoy your own company helps you to love yourself.
As we have mentioned before, meditation is so important it can allow for 5 minutes of calm in your stressful life first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, before bed or all three! Guided mediations are available for specific things you may need help with such as anxiety or practicing self-love. The benefits to meditation are endless and really should become a part of your daily routine whether you’re struggling with your mental health or are having good mental health.
Delete Those Calorie Counting Apps
One of the most toxic relationships of the 21st century: us and calorie counting apps! Nothing, literally nothing can come from tracking every last piece of food you have and feeling guilty for having a treat. These apps have contributed to eating disorder culture, hindered eating disorder recovery and made people think that eating 1,200 calories is too much (spoiler: it isn’t its actually wayyyy to little, even if you’re trying to lose weight). So please, delete the apps, you don’t need them whether you’re wanting to lose weight or trying to be healthier, you can do these things without these apps and start to create a healthier relationship with food.
Try To Stay Healthy (But Give Yourself Treats)
When we eat and drink badly, our bodies feel bad, which therefore makes us feel bad- of course we need treats: takeaways, crisps, chocolate and cakes are some of the joys of life but having too much of them is really bad for our bodies and our minds. The healthier the things we put into our bodies, the healthier our minds will feel. If we are fueled by healthy food and drinks, we have more energy to do the things we love and work on making our minds happy.
Journal Your Thoughts
Getting your thoughts out is so important to creating a healthier relationship with your mind, it allows for you to understand what is going on in your head when you see your thoughts written down on a page, which helps identify any patterns of what is getting you down, similar negative thoughts or what subconsciously makes you happy. It can also help you to come up with amazing new ideas that can bring you joy and make you feel fulfilled.
Another one of our posts that you might find useful if you are struggling with your mental health is ’10 Steps To Practice Self Love’ https://thementalhealthmakeover.com/2020/07/03/10-everyday-steps-to-practice-self-love/ Please check it out and let us know what you think.
We hope you enjoyed this post and have found it useful, please feel free to leave your tips for dealing with mental health in the comments to help others. As always, please feel free to contact us with any suggestions, questions or even just a friendly chat, we’re always here.
Love, The Mental Health Makeover team x