Mental health is now very much on the agenda in the UK. There has been an increase in campaigning and because of high-profile people, such as Stephen Fry, being open about their struggles with mental health. The positive outcome has been that people are now much more willing to discuss this topic than previously. Here we look at how to look after your mental health, prior to or in conjunction with medication and counselling.
Positive mental health is about much more than being able to function on a day-to-day basis. It is also about feeling a general sense of well-being and purpose. There are several strategies you can keep in mind to help you look after your mental health and achieve this.
How to look after your mental health:
Talk about it
Everyone needs to get better at sharing their thoughts and feelings. Especially in the UK, there is a tendency to bottle things up. You do not necessarily need to pour your heart out to all who will listen. However, talking to close friends and family can be very useful in helping you to move forward. Not only does this mean you are less likely to feel isolated, but it also will create opportunities for discussing any other more challenging feelings you might be experiencing.
Look after yourself
This statement may seem obvious, but you can tend to drift towards unhealthy habits, and these mean that you don’t look after your mental health. These habits could include eating poorly and using alcohol or other substances to unwind. You may also find you neglect yourself through lack of sleep or not enough exercise. All of these behaviours can lead to deterioration of overall mental health. So, it is important that you are mindful of how you treat yourself and try your best to stay healthy.
Try something new
It is all too easy to stick with your familiar routine, but this can actually also be detrimental to your mental health. You can become too bogged down in your own issues and responsibilities that you stop seeing the bigger picture. By trying something new, whether that be a hobby or achieving a specific goal such as learning how to cook, this can greatly bolster your self-esteem and make you more aware of the world around you, which in turn leads to better mental health.
Oxbridge Home Learning offers a Mental Health Awareness Level 2 QCF distance learning course. This course teaches you how to better understand mental health and mental illnesses, like depression and bipolar disorder. The course will also teach strategies for identifying mental health symptoms, which may help you with your mental health and also those around you.
Did you know?
Mental illness affects more people every year than cancer or heart disease – one in four of us in the UK will be affected by a mental health problem in any given year. Mental ill health is also the single biggest cause of lost days at work in the UK, and a significant factor in the majority of suicides.
This fully recognised QCF qualification is designed for a broad spectrum of health care workers who would benefit from a greater understanding of Mental Health Awareness issues. This course covers topics such as understanding mental health, stress, phobias, anxiety, eating disorders, post-natal depression and schizophrenia among others all conditions labelled under the topic mental health. If you would you like to build upon achievements in a way which is appropriate and meaningful? This course allows you to gain a fully recognised qualification in this subject. QCF qualifications are nationally recognised qualifications which are based on the national framework of qualifications at all levels. Like NVQs they cover the functions of managing activities, people, resources, information, energy and quality.
Take a look at our student, Sophie’s case study. Sophie has been suffering from Depression, and some days feels unable to get out of bed or leave the house. Just under a year ago she approached us regarding enrolling on an animal care course, it has served her much more than she could ever imagine and has since enrolled on another course building upon the skills she had already learnt.
If you do think you may require some help or support, take a look at the Samaritans website, Samaritans offers a safe and confidential place to talk.