Finding ways to look after your mental health may not be on your agenda. We devote a lot of thought to our physical health, yet neglect our mental health because it's not as obvious as our body is. Yet it's really important to care for our mind as well. Here are some ways to look after your mental health …
One of the best ways to look after your mental health is to be aware that you can't possibly do everything. It would be impossible to do a full-time job, study, care for elderly parents, and look after the home and the family. You'd be worn out and stressed before very long. Try to keep your workload within sensible limits, and avoid too many extra commitments.
Do your best to achieve some sort of balance in your life. It's not good to be working all the time, or spend your free time slouching in front of the TV or computer. Balance your responsibilities like work and family with something that you enjoy, whether it's a night out at the cinema or going for a run.
If you're finding it difficult to cope, talk to people; get help from your doctor if necessary. Sometimes just unloading your worries over a coffee with a friend can make all the difference. Also get people to help you at work or with personal responsibilities, rather than take too much on by yourself.
Good mental health depends on being comfortable with who you are. It can take a long time to learn to love yourself as you are, rather than wishing you were prettier/ smarter/ better at relationships. A lack of self-esteem won't do you any good, and can actually be harmful. So start accepting yourself as you are - our flaws are part of what makes us human!
Everybody needs one thing they really love in their life. I'm not talking about romance, as lovely as that is. But you should find at least one activity that you love doing, and get involved on a regular basis. It will boost your well being on so many levels, especially if you choose something you are good at.
'I don't have time!' is a popular excuse for not exercising or doing activities. But everyone needs time away from responsibilities and the boring necessities of life. So find time to paint, read, meet with friends, go for a walk in the country - anything that allows you to disconnect from your routine. We need this to recharge ourselves.
Are you aware just how much the mind and body are linked? You need to look after one for the other to be healthy. So take care to eat a healthy diet. No matter how busy you are, it doesn't take long to whip up a healthy salad or stir fry, for example. Also try to get some exercise - walk part of the way to work, or during your lunch break (and don't be tempted to work through your breaks!).
We can't always escape the things that harm our mental health, so we need to find ways to help it stay healthy. So don't neglect your mind, and the effects that stresses have upon it. What is your favorite way of relaxing?