According to Mind, a UK based mental health charity – your mental wellbeing “…describes your mental state – how you are feeling and how well you can cope with day-to-day life.”
As we often find, day-to-day life can get pretty hectic. We all have times when life gets on top of us – sometimes that’s work-related, like deadlines or travel.
What’s important is to recognise stress and understand the small things you can do to try and help you feel better, as well as improve your mental wellbeing overall.
A good place to start is to be mindful of what your body is telling you. For example, tension or anxiety can manifest themselves in a rapid heartbeat and shallow breathing. Taking steps to focus on your body and your breathing is, for a lot of people, an effective way of diffusing these feelings of tension.
Our resident Videographer, Deri says “I think it’s important to take a bit of time for yourself every day. Even if you are at work, try to take a moment to focus on yourself without any distractions. It can be at work, or at home afterwards – take the time to do nothing and clear your head.”
There is no one ‘fix all’ solution for feelings of stress, anxiety or poor mental wellbeing. However, there are generally recognised factors that can all work together to give you the best shot at improving and maintaining mental health.
Talk about your feelings:
Identifying someone supportive and talking your feelings through with them is part of taking charge of your wellbeing. It might be difficult, but you also may help to inspire others to do the same.
Though it can be hard to try and build exercise into a busy routine, 30 minutes at least 5 times a week is a great way to help boost your self esteem. With the release of serotonin and endorphins, this can improve your physical health as well as help you concentrate.
Exercise can improve brain function and protect memory and thinking skills.
To begin with, it increases your heart rate, which promotes the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain. It can also stimulate the production of hormones that can enhance the growth of brain cells.
So we all know that we can’t live on pizza and muffins, but with a very tempting office cookie jar and junk food so easily accessible, it can be difficult to preplan your lunches or stick to healthy options. But the food we eat can have a drastic effect on our mental wellbeing, the food we eat is quite literally fuelling our bodies – so the wider range of vitamins and minerals you get from your food, the better!
Alcohol is a well documented depressant and consuming too much of it on a regular basis can negatively impact your health physically, mentally as well as your ability to perform well at work.
Taking all of these factors into consideration is a good way to start your journey to improving and maintaining good mental wellbeing.
According to Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient, the best way to make good on these promises to yourself is to make sure you treat your personal needs as important as your work needs.
“I ink my personal commitments into my daily diary so that they are equally prioritized with my work commitments. I do not ever say to myself, ‘I wish I could do this if I could find the time.’ I make the time I need when I need it and manage to get it all done…my way.”
If you are affected by any of the issues discussed in this article, or know someone who is, Mind has an infoline at 0300 123 3393 or you can text 86463.