10 TIPS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
No matter your personal views on Lockdown 2.0 I think it’s really important we’re especially mindful of our mental health as it’s certainly being put to the test!
If you’re finding yourself regularly succumbing to negative thought patterns, it’s time to take the bull by the horns. I completely understand how challenging it is to wade through the murky waters of so much uncertainty, but that doesn’t mean we should throw in the towel.
If anxious thoughts are swirling around in your brain like a hurricane each night and preventing you from sleeping, and you’re noticing that you’re quick to anger and have lost your usual sparkle, then this blog is for YOU. You can’t control everything that is going on in the world, but there’s plenty that you can control.
Take charge of your health and happiness by putting your mental health at the top of the list. These 10 tips I’ve compiled are a great place to start. So, grab a cuppa, and let’s get started.
TIP 1 – A PROBLEM SHARED IS A PROBLEM HALVED
There is real truth in this well-known phrase. It really does help to talk. So, pick up the phone and have a good ole natter with your close friends and family. We are social creatures and it’s so important we connect regularly.
TIP 2 – ESTABLISH A ROUTINE THAT WORKS FOR YOU
Routines are really important ways of grounding and earthing ourselves each day especially when the world around us is changing so fast. There’s no hard and fast rules as to what this routine should look like other than it works for you. Some things you might include are breathe work, movement, meditation, fixed times to go to bed and get up at, reading, and so on.
TIP 3 – KEEP A JOURNAL
Keeping a journal is a great way to “brain dump” in the evening to get all those anxious thoughts off your chest, allowing you to have better quality sleep. Each night, write down anything that’s bothering you, problems you’re working on solutions to, or your to-do list. Then the next morning, read what you wrote and prioritise. If it’s important and critical that day, address it. If it isn’t, allow it to stay in your journal for the time being.
TIP 4 – MOVE YOUR BODY
Moving your body will improve your mood. Once again, choose something that works for YOU whether that’s dancing, going for a run or walk, yoga, or my 1-2-1 PT & NUTRITION COURSE (there’s currently 20% off!).
TIP 5 – GET OUTDOORS IN NATURE
Getting outdoors in nature lowers the stress hormone cortisol. The fresh air, light, and sense of space will help a lot not to mention getting some much-needed vitamin D. At this time of year in the UK sunshine is limited so please consider supplementing with VITAMIN D3.
TIP 6 – HAVE A DIGITAL DETOX
I cannot stress this tip enough! Time away from all electronic devices such as phones, social media and news is crucial and especially before bedtime.
TIP 7 – INTENTIONAL SOLITUDE
Intentional solitude allows you to connect with yourself, sit with your thoughts, and just ‘be’. Don’t distract yourself with anything in the outside world, instead allow yourself to really experience your feelings.
TIP 8 – DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP IF YOU FEEL DOWN
It’s ok to not feel ok. If you feel anxious, don’t be hard on yourself. Instead pause, take a deep breath, and write down how you feel and/or phone a friend. Whatever you do, don’t bottle it up!
TIP 9 – FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
Focusing on what you can control is very empowering and liberating vs feeling trapped. Despite the current world environment, you still get to choose what you do with your time, what food and drinks you consume, who you spend time with, how you move, your self-care routine, your thoughts, etc each and every one of these decisions affects your physical and mental state so choose wisely.
TIP 10 – SEEK HELP
It’s a well-known fact, that mental health disorders are on the rise. If you’re experiencing tell-tale signs of mental illness, such as dramatic changes in sleep or appetite, persistent mood changes, withdrawal, feelings of worthlessness, and decreased ability to cope, please seek out a mental health expert and talk to close friends and family.
All the above tips are suggestions. It’s not an exhaustive list. Pick the ones that feel relevant and achievable for YOU.
Remember all of life’s seasons are temporary. Your brightest moments are temporary, so enjoy them while the sun is shining. Your darkest moments are also temporary, so never give up when it’s raining. As the Sufi poet said, “this too shall pass”.
In the meantime, keep the chin up and stay strong. I’m here for you.
Love Gaynor x