Looking after your mental health
Good mental health is as important to your wellbeing as physical health, yet is rarely treated with the same urgency.
You’d never ignore a broken leg – yet many people hesitate to acknowledge and look after mental health problems in the same way.
Though not as visible as a physical injury, it’s much more common than you think – according to mental health charity mind, 1 in 6 people are dealing with a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or stress.
The good news is, there are plenty of small, simple things we can to to prioritise and look after our mental health. Here are a few to get you started.
Talk about your feelings
Keeping a stiff upper lip is a traditional British attitude, but it’s one that isn’t always helpful when it comes to our mental health. Talking about how you feel regularly with the people you love and trust is key to good mental health and helps us release stress and cope with our problems. Even the simple act of feeling listened to helps ease loneliness.
Share what’s on your mind – it doesn’t need to be a big or scary conversation. Sometimes it’s easiest to discuss things that are troubling you in a casual format while you’re doing another activity – for example while on a walk with a friend.
Many of us rely on alcohol to change our mood – a drink or two can tangibly lift the weight of difficult feelings like grief, anger, sadness, fear and regret in the very short term. The reality is though when the drink wears off the feelings return, and often worse than before because the alcohol has also affected your brain and body. Try to drink sensibly in general and when in periods of sadness or stress look for other ways to release tension without turning to alcohol to help.
Keep in touch
Feeling lonely or isolated can have a negative impact on our mental health. Keep the lines of communication open with family and friends. It’s not always possible to be face to face but we can still stay connected via email, telephone and post.
If you feel overwhelmed, down and take a break. A change of pace is good for your mental health and doesn’t necessarily mean you need to quit your job or stop with your hobbies. Taking a daily lunch break or a short walk to clear your head will help you manage life’s daily stresses, and slowing down and giving yourself space to rest and relax after a busy period will help ensure you’re able to cope with whatever life throws at you.
Ask for help
Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Everyone sometimes feels tired and overwhelmed in life. If you’re struggling, reaching out to a trusted family member or friend and if you feel like you can’t cope don’t be scared to ask for help. If it’s getting in the way of living your life, don’t be afraid to speak up to your GP.
How do you look after your mental health? What are your top tips?
Have you got a health question?
Silversurfers Health partner is AXA PPP healthcare. The AXA PPP healthcare's online service, "Ask the Expert", allows you to ask their team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives, counselors and pharmacists about any health topic.
Don't feel alone. You can ask anything about your health, any time for 24 hours a day; everyday. Please get in touch with us now.
ASK THE EXPERT
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor (see all)
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!