Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, this year for Mental Health Awareness Week, the focus is on stress. Research has shown that two thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes, and stress is a key factor in this.
Tips from the Mental Health Foundation on managing stress
1. Talk about your feelings–
talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy. Also, if you open up, it might encourage others to do the same.
2. Keep active-
regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, look and feel better. Exercise doesn’t just mean doing sport or going to the gym. Walks in the part, gardening or housework can also keep you active. Experts say that most people should do about 30 minutes of exercise at least five days per week.
3. Eat well–
what we eat can affect how we feel. Food can have a long-lasting effect on your mental health. Your brain needs a mix of nutrients in order to stay healthy and function well. Try to limit how many high sugar, caffeinated or alcoholic drinks you consume.
4. Drink sensibly–
alcohol can often make us feel worse when we’re struggling with difficult feelings. The effects are short lived and the more you use the more you crave.
5. Keep in touch–
strong family ties and supportive friends can help us deal with the stresses of life.
6. Ask for help-
we all sometimes feel overwhelmed and if things are getting too much then it’s important to ask for help.
7. Take a break– a change of scene or change of pace is good for your mental health. Giving yourself some ‘me time’ is important, whether that’s exploring somewhere new, trying meditation or just listening to your body and getting a little extra sleep.
8. Do something you’re good at–
enjoying yourself can help beat stress and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.
9. Accept who you are–
be proud of who you are, recognise and accept the things you may not be good at but also focus on what you can do well.
10. Care for others–
helping others can make us feel needed and valued, and that boosts our self-esteem. It also helps us see the world from another angle. This can help to put our own problems into perspective.