I’ve shared many times that anxiety issues have been a bigger part of my life in recent years. Looking after my mental well being has become a daily consideration now.
My Mental Health Struggles
It wasn’t always the case – and I just didn’t really ‘get’ it when people talked about anxiety.
I mean, I’d undergone times of stress and certainly times when my mental health was affected. In fact, since I was about 18 years old, when I do go through stressful times, my hair falls out.
It affects my mental and emotional health so much when it happens – well, inside and out. I feel under-confident, paranoid and scared that my body and brain isn’t working properly.
I’ve consulted so many medical professionals, including alternative medicine professionals, over the past few years – asking them how can I improve my wellbeing. They’ve shared their advice with me and some things do help.
I suppose I have a “go-to” list now – when I’m feeling mentally and emotionally drained or tested, I do these things.
It’s about happiness too – when I’m feeling down or sad or angry even, I want to push those negative emotions aside. It isn’t easy though – you can’t just “cheer up”, can you?
Sometimes, it’s really small things that get me down – the kind of things that a few years ago I wouldn’t have wasted a second of negative emotion on.
But now I’m quite sensitive – overly-sensitive in many ways.
I’ll feel like I’m picking up things in the tone of someone’s voice or email. I have a paranoia that people don’t like me – even though the rational ‘me’ knows not to give a shit about people who don’t like me. Because I have plenty of lovely people in my life who do make me feel good about myself.
Or I’ll compare what I’m doing to what someone else is and feel inferior. Or I’ll feel like I’m not doing the best I can be – as a mum, at work or with my weight loss struggles. (I just put 3kgs on, I’m feeling like crap).
But I have these tried and tested ways how to improve mental health that have worked for me and continue to. As you know, I’m not a medical professional and this is just what’s working for me. I do recommend you speak to your GP to discuss your own mental health x
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6 Things That Help My Mental and Emotional Health
1. I Blog
Writing is my outlet – my therapy. Even writing this post helps – by getting the confusing or negative thoughts out of my head and on to ‘paper’.
Writing or journaling is a really popular way to boost positive mental health and well being – have you tried it?
Apart from the benefits of Vitamin D, I just find sunshine really cheers me up. Do you?
When it’s sunny, my mood lifts, we can do more outside and get fresh air. But working from home means that for hours at a time, I’m stuck in my dark office. I can’t even have the blind open much because the light shines on my screen.
Getting out more helps me break up the day and the sunshine improves my emotional health and wellbeing in every way.
3. Talking to friends
And by talking, I mean actually talking – not just messaging or texting. Having a great chat with one of my besties cheers me up no end. Laughing, chatting, sharing what we’ve been up to – it lifts my mood so much.
Again, working from home means I can go hours without seeing anyone else – it’s a bit of a downside to it.
4. The Calm App/Meditating
The Calm app is my current favourite app for meditating and I listen to it before bed.
I’ve had issues with insomnia for as long as I can remember and find it really difficult to relax and wind down at bedtime. My mind won’t stop and I know that getting more sleep is one of the best ways to improve mental health.
5. Drinking more water
I don’t know why – I probably should look into it! – but if I’m even a bit dehydrated, I just don’t feel good.
Since I got a SodaStream Power I’ve been making my own sparkling water from tap water and try to drink 2-4 litres per day. It’s HARD though isn’t it, to drink that much. But I know when I do, I feel much better physically and my head feels less foggy so I can concentrate more.
Urgh, exercise. And I don’t want to feel urgh about it – I want to be one of those people who LOVES to go to the gym or go for a run. But I’m not. Not yet anyway.
I know that exercise can improve well being and is so good to take care of your mental health. I just struggle to do enough of it – but I’m slowly working on it.
Exercise is going to be essential for good well being for me because I need to lose some weight and get more active.
I want to feel stronger and when I go to the gym, I feel so great afterward. I mean, physically, I feel knackered! But emotionally, I’m so proud of myself for going and working hard – and it really boosts my mood.
So clearly, I know I need to do it more. It’s just getting there!
Do you have any tips to improve mental health or to lift your mood?
Yuo can find out more about mental health here.
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