[Mental health awareness week] 4 things you can do to improve your mental health

Mental Health Awareness Week

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week [14th-20th May 2018], and it would be wrong of me to not post something on the blog.

I go on about a lot of stuff in my blogs that help with my mental health since losing Adam, so I thought I’d share some of these in a quick list to show 4 things you can do this week to improve your own mental health…

I am no expert, and a lot is common knowledge, but here goes:

1. Good mood food

I’m a strong believer in eating well to not only help fitness and weight, but also to improve mental health. We have all heard of ‘you are what you eat’ but I do think this resonates with me in terms of mood. If I am eating crap, I feel tired, sluggish and moody.

I love bad food as much as anyone else, but having a balanced diet will help you feel better in a lot of ways.

Food high in Omega 3 has been scientifically proven to help reduce symptoms of depression. I sometimes take the multi vitamins with cod liver oil to get this in my diet.

Today, Kim K has come under fire for promoting a weight loss lollipop that suppresses your appetite. When thinking of dieting and losing weight, think of your mental health too. Don’t just diet to look good in a bikini or whatever… take in to account what your body wants and needs to feel good as well as looking good.

Cut out something bad from your diet this week and replace with something good and see how you feel?

2. RUNNING / regular exercise…

OK so we all know I run a lot and that helps to keep my mood uplifted and feeling good (most of the time)… But not everyone likes running, I get that! It isn’t for everyone – especially if you are prone to knee/hip injuries.

Walking and getting outside is as equally important. Don’t underestimate the power of a quick walk around the block in the fresh air.

Yes I am one of those FitBit users that tries to get 10k steps per day. I have a desk based job so I try to get out every lunch time for a quick walk. Also, because parking is rubbish where I work, we are forced to park 10mins away from the office and walk in and back at the end of the day. And now…I don’t really hate it.

After Adam died, I saw a counsellor who spoke to me about the importance of getting natural light, and how the light gets in your eyes and affects your brain…something like this…I don’t really know what I am talking about but it made sense at the time, and now it has stuck with me.

This week, the UK has blessed us with some nice weather so why not find the time to go out for a walk or even…a run?

3. Put your phone down and do something you love

I discussed social media and the impact on mental health briefly in a previous blog…

I try and put my phone down and don’t look at it just before bed. Hard to do when you have people to respond to and don’t want to look rude. But when a good night’s sleep is also a contributing factor to good mental health, I am sure people wouldn’t mind waiting until the morning.

A timely article was posted today about this…

I am not saying to put your phone down and go and cook great food and go for a run etc. because that would start to get irritating…

This week, I put my phone to one side and binge watched ‘Safe’ on Netflix (which was great btw) – because this is what I enjoy doing and wanted to focus on. How can you focus on doing something you enjoy when you have the constant scroll going on that is overpowering your mind?

Whatever you chose to do for an hour or so, leave your phone somewhere else and focus your mind purely on that.

4. Talk to people

With mental health being discussed more and more, we will have all seen encouraging posts telling us it is OK to talk, and to talk about your problems and speak out.

This is amazing, but I sometimes struggle with it because this is all that Adam did. He spoke to anyone who would listen about his problems. If and when someone does speak out..how do we react? How can we help?

Sometimes talking to your friends isn’t just about going to them with a mental health problem. It is about discussing the day to day things in life that can build up and become overwhelming.

I am constantly being that person who is like: “what do you think of this…”, “guys, this has just happened and now I’m…”, “what do I do about this..” etc etc. This is easy for me as I wear my heart on my sleeve and will often get advice from anyone who will listen.

This can also spark conversations with others who then empathise and share their own experiences.

Talking to each other doesn’t have to be about opening up about serious problems. Why not ask someone close to you advice about something that is bothering you and spark a conversation?


So there are my quick (if fairly obvious) tips that you can try this mental health week and beyond…

This week I am doing a lot of points 1 and 2 of the above list, getting ready for the Liverpool Rock n Roll half marathon this weekend! Eek. Jemma is doing this with me for her FIRST EVER half marathon. If you would like to sponsor us, please follow this link: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/EmmaBramwell2

 

Mental health awareness week is happening all week. Watch the animated video created by Mental Health Foundation Here >>

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