This is a guest post by Sarah from Clinpsychsarah.
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We all know mental wellbeing is important, right? If you’re stressed, anxious or low in mood, it’s hard to do the things you want to do and reach your goals. But how are we supposed to improve our wellbeing in a world that is so busy all the time? I’ve got a few tips.
Look after your body
It’s important to take care of your body – it’s the only true home you have, and it will be with you for the whole of your life! There are some simple things that you can do to look after it, both from the inside out (drink more water, eat plant-based foods, don’t eat too much sugary stuff) and from the outside in (make sure you use a good moisturiser with SPF, move your body as much as possible even if it’s just a short walk every day). If you try to keep your body in good condition, it can and will have a positive impact on your mental health.
Spend time with people you love
When you feel like your mental health is taking a battering, one thing you might want to do is stay away from the people who love you. But this is actually the worst thing you can do. Spending time with people you care about is really good for your mental wellbeing, and can make you feel much better. Maybe you should text a friend and ask them to meet up for coffee soon – you’ll be glad that you did.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but in the current 24/7 internet-connected, never-slowing-down world, it can be really difficult. Making sure that you prioritise your sleep is an important part of improving your mental wellbeing – things like anxiety and depression can often be worse if you haven’t slept enough, and it can be harder to think clearly and make good decisions if you’re tired. Make sure you have a wind-down routine before bed, and that you get up at the same time every day even if you’re still sleepy – this will set you up for good habits that you can build on to get a good night’s sleep.
Take up meditation
We’ve all heard that meditation (or guided relaxation, or mindfulness) can be helpful to manage our mental health, but most people jump headfirst into it and can’t maintain it over time. To avoid this, try just five minutes of deep breathing every day and see if you can build it up from there. There are loads of positive benefits to meditation, but only if you actually make it part of your routine and commit to doing it! Try one of the apps on the market, or type “relaxation” into YouTube and pick something you like the sound of.
Bio: Dr Sarah Blackshaw is a clinical psychologist in Manchester, UK. She works in the field of chronic pain. You can find her over at www.clinpsychsarah.com, or as @academiablues on Twitter.