World Mental Health Day is coming up on October 10th, with the goal of raising awareness of mental health and highlighting various supports. Our world has changed unimaginably in the last year leading to different challenges when it comes to looking after our psychological wellbeing.
We have outlined the top tips for maintaining your mental health and wellbeing below:
Connecting with Others
Connection with others, whether it’s with friends, family or colleagues is essential to our mental wellbeing. In the current climate, the parameters for connecting to others have changed. A simple coffee date is not so simple anymore. We have had to find new ways to have human connection in our lives. Video calling through Zoom, Skype and other communication applications give us options for human connection in a changed world.
Another safe option for connecting with others is meeting outside in the fresh air. Picnics, BBQs and takeaway coffees can all be enjoyed outdoors. Even with the winter coming up, sometimes there is nothing better than wrapping up and meeting a friend in the park. It is vitally important to try and keep up the social aspect of our lives. Our emotional state depends on it.
We normally talk about exercise with regards to its physical benefits. Exercise is important for maintaining a healthy weight and keeping fit. However, most people who exercise do it for the mental health gains. Regular exercise is a key element to maintaining mental wellbeing. Exercise has been shown to help relieve stress, improve sleep and enhance mood. Physical activity just 3 times per week for up to 30 minutes has been proven to improve self- esteem, cognitive functionality and mood.
Research has shown that continuous learning and skill enhancement is significantly beneficial to a person’s mental wellbeing. Learning something new brings an element of excitement into life and a renewed hope for future possibilities. As you grow older, education becomes less formal and can take many shapes.
You can choose topics of interest to you and it does not have to be something challenging. It can be something fun, like learning a new recipe from your favourite cookbook or starting a crafting project. Another way to keep learning is to take on different roles or responsibilities in work. This helps to keep your mind active while also keeping your skillset up to date. Continued efforts towards learning and knowledge help with overall self-esteem, life purpose and wellbeing.
Studies suggest that acts of kindness and giving are linked with positive mental health and wellbeing. Volunteering to help others has been shown to have a healthy impact on a person’s life and mindset. Acts of kindness come in many forms from picking up the shopping for an elderly neighbour to volunteering within your local community. Wearing a face mask while doing your shopping shows caring and kindness for the health of your community.
Mindfulness can be defined as bringing yourself into the present moment and focusing your consciousness on what is happening in the now. It can help you to enjoy the world around you to the fullest and not dwell on worn out thought patterns about the past or the future. Daily mindfulness practices could include taking notice of your surroundings, choosing to be aware of the world rather than simply existing within it and paying attention to your thoughts. Research has shown that practicing mindfulness can have positive effects on an individual’s mental wellbeing and psychological health.
While there are many ways to maintain mental health and wellbeing , one of the most important aspects of it is awareness. Once you are aware of your own mental wellbeing , you can take steps to maintain it on a daily basis. It’s also important for companies and organisations to show awareness of mental health in the context of their employees. Employees should be openly encouraged to discuss and maintain their mental wellbeing.