Taking care of our mental health and wellbeing shouldn’t just be in response to feeling stressed, anxious or reaching a crisis point. It should be something we’re aware of every day, and it’s just as important as maintaining our physical health. Keeping on top of our mental wellbeing improves self-awareness and helps us achieve a better day-to-day balance too.
Here’s how you can look after your mental health and wellbeing…
A vital basis for everything else we do, getting enough good quality sleep is vital to mental wellbeing. Sleep contributes to healthy brain function and physical wellbeing, while lack of sleep affects every aspect of our thought processes and actions. The optimum amount of sleep is seven to eight hours a night. To ensure the best quality of sleep, try to stick to a regular pattern of when you go to bed and when you get up, and sleep in a dark, quiet environment to prevent being disturbed.
Getting the right nutrition is important for your overall health, which includes your mental health. Sugary foods may give you a short term lift, but they also cause wide fluctuations in your blood sugar levels, which can cause you to feel lethargic too. Build a rainbow of fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet, as well as slow release energy foods such as beans and grains. These help with mental clarity and keeping your mood and energy levels more consistent throughout the day. Cut down on alcohol too to prevent sluggishness and to improve sleep.
Having people you can talk to comfortably is important for maintaining your mental health. You don’t just need friends to talk about your feelings – spending time with people who make you happy is a brilliant boost in itself. Recognise the most important go-to people in your life and make sure you spend time with them regularly. Some people prefer to talk to those who aren’t involved in their day-to-day lives, such as therapists or life coaches, so give this a go as an alternative if this feels like a better option for you.
Physical activity is proven to boost mental health and self-esteem, so make sure you build regular exercise into your routine. Even if you don’t think you’re the ‘keep fit’ type, you might be surprised how much fun you have at a group exercise class. Alternatively, take a brisk walk in the fresh air every once in a while to boost both body and mind.
Trying new things can be invigorating, but doing things you know you enjoy is a great way to de-stress. Doing an activity you’re good at is an excellent way to give your self-esteem a boost too. So don’t get waylaid by work and chores and build time into your week to do something you’re guaranteed to like doing.
When we have so much to juggle in life, it means we’re always doing something. It’s important to set aside some time where you don’t have to think. Take a bath, practice mindfulness or book a massage. Our new Calm and Relax experience has been designed to mark World Mental Health Day in October. It includes an ESPA Mindful Massage, full use of our spa facilities, foodie treats on arrival and a complimentary therapy balm. Perfect for that all important ‘you’ time.