Keeping in physical good shape has been accepted practice for many years but ensuring your mental health and wellbeing is provided for, is even more important. We know about healthy eating and exercise but how can you boost your mental health? Fortunately, there are many practical ways in which to do this, so let’s look at the top nine tips.
1. Don’t bottle things up
Talk to someone about how you are feeling especially when times are getting tough or if you find that you’re are feeling alone, unsupported or generally worried about the impact the current COVID-19 pandemic is having on you and your loved ones. It may be difficult to talk to family and friends, as you feel you may be letting them down or burdening them, but you can always seek professional help.
2. Eat a healthy diet
It is very easy when feeling down to not go out to shop for a healthy balanced diet but rely on fast food or takeaways. You may feel worried about going out and rely on a delivery service or family members, but eating fresh fruit and vegetables with a balance of protein and carbs, is just as important to keep your brain healthy as it is your body.
3. Exercise regularly
Even if it is just taking a walk in the fresh air, keeping active helps your sleep patterns, keeps the body and vital organs including the brain, fit and healthy and makes you feel good.
4. Cut back on alcohol
It is very easy to use alcohol as a way of making ourselves feel good or to forget the worries that we have. However, apart from the damage that excessive drinking does to our brain and our bodies, once the effect of the drink wears off, you can be left feeling worse than ever. Stick to the recommended units for men and women and up your intake of water, which is a necessity for a healthy body and mind.
5. Do something you enjoy
Boosting your self confidence and self-esteem will boost your mental wellbeing. If you enjoy a hobby or activity and you are good at it, this helps you beat the stress that impacts on mental health. It does not have to be a sport but even reading a good book, learning a new language or playing an instrument, means you are concentrating on something just for yourself. Think about what you enjoyed doing in the past which could be something creative that really takes you out of yourself. Gardening is a great way to combine physical exercise and fresh air along with creating a beautiful space for you and your friends and family to enjoy away from the hustle and bustle of modern living.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It is not a sign of weakness to seek professional help, we all get overwhelmed at one time or another and feel that we cannot cope. Your loved ones may not be able to understand how you are feeling and while they will always be there and be supportive, there are times when you need to refer to a professional service. Your local doctor can be a source of referral and support as well as other clinicians. If you have problems with your physical health you speak to the medical experts and it is no different when it comes to boosting your mental health.
7. Do something for someone else
Caring for other people is a great way of putting our own worries into perspective as well as sharing your skills and building positive relationships. You can help by volunteering for a local charity or just support an elderly neighbour who needs some practical help during these difficult times. If you have got a pet you need to care for, this is a fantastic way of bringing some sense of structure to your day and focusing on another’s needs. Helping out at the local school or youth club or op shop might be one way to boost your self-esteem and confidence as you can see yourself as a “useful” individual.
8. Have a break or short getaway
This can be as simple as getting up from your desk at lunchtime and going outside for a sandwich and walk around, to a weekend away somewhere new. You need some time to focus on “you” as a person and not just the “husband, wife, partner, mother, father, boss” that everyone takes for granted.
9. Be kind to yourself
Accept who you are and don’t waste your life worrying and wishing you were someone or something else. Recognise your skills and strengths (make a list if it helps to see this in black and white) and enjoy living in the moment.
All of these things you can achieve, and Coolaroo Clinic is always here to help whenever you need us. As a clinic that consists of general practitioners, medical specialists and ancillary allied health practitioners, we provide our patients with a full range of services, conveniently in one location. Our doctors have many years of experience and come from a diverse range of skills in General Practice. Contact the friendly team at Coolaroo Clinic for further support today