How to care for your mental health this World Mental Health Day

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Health Assured team

27 September 2021

World Mental Health Day is just around the corner. The event will take place on the 10th of October to raise awareness around mental health issues. This year’s slogan is—Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality.

When your mental health takes a knock, self-care can act as a tool to get you back up on your feet. It doesn’t cost anything, and it’s accessible to all. When you find a self-care tip that works for you, hold on to it. It can guide you through dark days and soften the pain of a mental health issue. This article will cover different ways you can care for your mental health this World Mental Health Day.

Find an outlet for your emotions

You can only take so much on. Excessive stress and overwhelming emotions can leave you feeling burnt out, drained and exhausted. Finding a way to release these emotions and diffuse the energy behind them can be liberating. Activities that involve your hands can often help to bring your attention into the now. It might take time to figure out what works for you. It could be gardening, painting, cooking or cleaning. Anything that helps you find breathing space from any pressing worries and thoughts. 

Limit screen time

It can be tempting to pass the time with endless online scrolling. After all, social media can connect people across the world and help friends keep in touch. But reduced screen time has been shown to increase wellbeing over time². Set limits on your scrolling and use the time to connect with the people and the world around you. You might find your mental health gets a boost in the process.

Mindfulness

Anxiety, worry and regret often arise due to rumination about the past or anticipation about the future. Mindfulness involves bringing your attention to the present moment. In the present, you can begin to relax and experience life. This helps to take energy away from intrusive thoughts and difficult emotions. All you have to do is bring your awareness to the sights, sounds, feelings and emotions you're experiencing. It helps release you from the grips of worry and allows you to handle the waves of changing emotions.

Physical health

The mind-body connection is real. Keeping active, eating well and getting enough sleep can all play a part in mental health too. When you feel healthy in the body, it translates to a happy mind. Setting and accomplishing physical health goals will also boost your self-esteem.

Reach out to a friend

Connecting with others lowers rates of anxiety and depression, boosts self-esteem, and increases life expectancy¹. It’s an antidote to lower emotional states and can aid mental health in times of need. Schedule time to keep in touch with the friends in your life. It can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. But connections with others are essential to a long and happy life.

References

¹ Seppala, E., 2014. Connectedness & Health: The Science of Social Connection - The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. [online] The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Available at: <http://ccare.stanford.edu/uncategorized/connectedness-health-the-science-of-social-connection-infographic/> [Accessed 22 September 2021].

²Bush, Kenzie M., "COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY USE AND WELL-BEING: DOES LESS SCREEN TIME LEAD TO GREATER HAPPINESS?" (2018). EWU Masters Thesis Collection. 537. Available at: <https://dc.ewu.edu/theses/537/?utm_source=dc.ewu.edu%2Ftheses%2F537&utm_medium=PDF&utm_campaign=PDFCoverPages> [Accessed 24 September 2021].

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