As Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 is approaching, let’s talk about the importance of looking after our mental health. In 2013, depression was the second leading cause of years lived with a disability worldwide, and studies have found that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some type each year in England. Despite this, mental health problems or concerns are not always given the same priority as physical health issues. Mental Health Awareness Week is therefore the perfect time to speak up.
5 tips on how to help you look after your mental health:
- Talk about it- When you’re experiencing negative thoughts, talking to someone, and letting out your feelings can help lift some weight off your shoulders. Having a hard time isn’t a sign of weakness, it just shows that you’re human.
- Exercise your mind- Just like your body, your mind needs exercise too. Read a book, complete a crossword, do some sudoku. Regularly challenging yourself mentally has been shown to build up the brain’s ability to cope with disease, and can help take your mind off of any negative thoughts that you may be having.
- Food for thought- What we eat matters not only for our physical health but for our cognitive and mental health, affecting our risk of anxiety or depression. What you put into your body can affect the way you think, feel and behave.
- Take a break- Sometimes, when we’re feeling stressed, we might feel like we don’t have time to stop. In reality, taking a break will actually benefit you more. Watch some TV, go on a walk, meditate. Whatever you choose to do, step away and take a moment to breathe,
- Care for others- Keeping up your relationships with friends and family doesn’t only benefit you, but it shows them you love them and care for them. Caring for someone else can become a part of your daily routine, and can help be the reason you get out of bed in the morning.