One in five of us deal with some form of mental health issue in our lifetime. Whether you are aware of it or not, you probably know someone who is dealing with their own mental health issues right now. Mental health problems aren’t always as obvious, or easy to spot as physical conditions, and can often creep up on us when we least expect it. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to take care of your mental health. Here are some of the best.
Keep Your Mind Active
Keeping your mind active and alert is a great way to fight off mental health conditions, from depression, to personality disorders. When we are young, we are always learning, reading, writing, processing new information. Then we get older and this stops. We use the information we know, but that’s it. It’s incredibly easy to keep your mind active. Some of the best ways are:
- Writing a journal
- Learning new skills
- Learning a new language
These small activities could even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and similar conditions.
Exercise, especially a challenging cardio workout, can help reduce stress and depression. Some people find running while listening to music helps them clear their mind and find new focus. Others prefer to listen to the sound of their feet striking the ground, feeling the stress leaving their bodies. If you don’t fancy running, swimming, or going for a relaxing walk, can also do you good.
Talking is one of the best ways to help your mental health. Talking to friends and family, laughing and enjoying their company, or confiding in them and asking advice can be great for stress. Alternately, speaking to a counsellor or therapist helps many people deal with their problems.
Sleep helps your body, and mind, recover from the day and recharge. Make sure you get a good eight hours as often as possible. If you struggle to sleep, try avoiding caffeine in the evenings, and turning off all electronic devices for an hour before bed.
Eat and Drink Well
Eating a healthy and balanced diet, full of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, is great for your body and mind. Try to also drink eight glasses of water a day, and drink alcohol in moderation.
Most of us lead increasingly busy lives. Being busy all the time can leave you feeling stressed out and on edge, and has a huge effect on our mental health. Remember to relax occasionally. Take some time off, a holiday if you can, and allow yourself to rest and recover from the stresses of everyday life.
Often big life changes can affect our mental health. For example, many veterans struggle upon return to normal life. Fortunately, there are people to help, in this case those with social work degrees and qualifications are helping veterans adjust to life, deal with any housing issues, find jobs and fit back in to society. New mothers are another group who often face mental health problems.
There is always help available. So, do what you can for yourself, but never be afraid to seek help if you need it.