Last week was NHS Self-Care week (Nov 13-19). We were encouraged to stop and take some time to think about our health and wellbeing. The NHS provided a bunch of great resources to help with things including losing weight, cutting down on alcohol, stopping smoking, and making most of your pharmacist. All these guides are very useful and each can go a long ways to helping giving your mind a positive well-being boost. But being the lovely people that we decided to offer some practical and proven mental self-care tips that you can start right away.
- Quiet Your Mind
Most of us are constantly moving,working, worrying, doing. Taking time each day day to do nothing except sit and be. I’ve been using a sitting meditation MP3 given to me by a friend to help me to tune out all the other stuff and check in on myself.
- Seek Help When You Need It
If you don’t feel right, mentally or physically, seek help right away and don’t ignore the feeling. This can be texting a pal or making an appointment to see your GP, just don’t put it off.
- Write a List of Good Things You’ve Done
I learned to do this a while back at CBT. For many I can feel quite uncomfortable but spending a little time each day to write down positive things you’ve done you can build a picture of the best you. Examples of things on my lists are giving a pound to a homeless person, complimenting a friend, tidying the flat, making a meal from scratch, or listening to a friend who needed a someone to talk to.
- Push Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone
Doing something outside of your comfort zone is often the last thing you want to do, but it can be the best thing to give yourself a mental boost. For me it can be asking the train conductor how their day is going. Being naturally quite shy such things can be incredibly hard to do, but with time I’ve learned that there is no worst thing that can come from simply being a curious and interested person.
Big things have small beginnings, as community correspondent Paula can testify.
- Say No
Say no to doing something you don’t feel happy doing. In contrast to the previous tip, sometimes it’s perfectly ok to not do something you don’t want to or aren’t ready for such as taking on an extra shift in work or going out for drinks with friends when you need time to chill alone.
Read more on the practice of “saying no” over on Psychology Today.
- Exercise for 15 Minutes
Even 15 minutes of exercise per day can help increase your body image and give your mood a lift. Doing this regularly will help it to become a good habit. Do something enjoyable to you such as a gardening project, dancing alone in the living room to favourite music or get your nature on and jog or walk along a local river. Extra bonus points for bringing bread and feeding the ducks.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists have a great guide on their website for how you can use physical activity to improve your mental health.
If you have any tips you’d like to see added to the list then we’d love to hear from you in the comments.