May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it was established in 1949 to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and to celebrate recovery from mental illness.
1 in 4 people suffer with mental health and I feel that it is important to acknowledge this, it’s so hard to fight a mental battle and it takes a lot of strength. Mental health is an essential part of overall health and sometimes it is a little overlooked, remember that a healthy mind will create a healthy life.
For those of you suffering with mental health or know people who do, here are some things that can help improve mental health:
1) Go outside
A quick stroll can make a huge difference to your mood! You may sometimes feel a little cooped up at home, especially in these times where some people are still working from home etc, so going out for some fresh air can have huge benefits. Try and get out everyday even if its for just 10-15 minutes. We underestimate the power of fresh air!
2) Eat well
I know this may sometimes feel hard but the food we eat has a massive effect on mood and energy levels! Make sure your diet is balanced!
I know that it may not be for everyone however exercise has proven time and time again that it lifts your mood! It’s a known fact that it releases the ‘Happy Hormone’ which are called endorphins. This doesn’t have to be lifting weights and going big in the gym, if that’s not for you, you can try some yoga or even dancing! Just moving your body will have big effects on your energy levels and it will increase your mood, plus it will also help you shake off tension you may be feeling!
4) Stay connected
It is so important to stay connected to your loved ones, don’t underestimate the power of a phone call or meet up because it’s the people around us that will help lift us up in our low times. It’s so important to stay connected, I know it’s difficult in these times but there are so many alternatives! You can have a phone call, watch a film together over the phone or by text! You can have Netflix party (Visit netflixparty.com in your Google Chrome browser and follow the steps to watch with a friend!) Have a zoom party, a picnic in the park. Whatever it is you choose, make sure you stay connected!
5) Ask for help
I know that sometimes it’s not easy to ask for help, but that is the first step. There are people around you that will listen, even if you feel that this is not the case. You may feel that there is no-one, but there is, for example:
You can self refer yourself to therapy. If you’re not feeling up to doing this alone, ask a friend. (http://www.lets-talk-iapt.nhs.uk/self-referral/)
Call the Samaritans helpline to talk about anything that is upsetting you, you can contact them 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. (Call 116 123 free from any phone).
SANEline. If you’re experiencing a mental health problem or supporting someone else. (Call SANEline on 0300 304 7000 4.30pm–10.30pm every day).
Visit www.mind.org.uk/ for more helplines.
Remember that you are human and it’s ok to not feel ok, and it’s ok to ask for help.
Some poor mental health signs to look out for regarding the people around you:
Lack of care to personal appearance.
Long-lasting sadness or irritability.
Excessive fear, worry, or anxiety.
Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits.
PLEASE REMEMBER that these signs are not ALL signs, some people do not ‘seem’ to have mental health issues but they do, so it is SO IMPORTANT to ask how others are doing, and really mean it, ask your friends, family, children, coworkers, how they are, is there anything they want to talk about. Make sure to always ask how others are feeling!! This is so important!
We need to come together, not just in the month of May but everyday, all year round! Prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can recover from mental disorders and live full and productive lives.
Your mind matters.
You are not alone.
I am always here for anyone struggling with their mental health.
You can email me at email@example.com
Or DM on Instagram: www.instagram.com/evesolo_/
thank you for reading, catch you on the next blog.