Tips for improving your mental health and well-being

Mental health awareness week happens this month, and whilst the last few months have definitely been testing for everyone’s mental wellbeing, there are some things you can do to help improve your mental health and wellbeing.

Spend time with loved ones

Spending time with the ones you love can help you build a sense of belonging and self-worth.

When you’re with people share positive experiences and try not to fixate on the negative.

Switch off the TV and put phones away when you talk or play a game. This is about being connected and staying present, and not being distracted.

It can be all too easy to rely on technology or social media to help build relationships. Instead of texting, or emailing, call or FaceTime.

Get physical

Being physical isn’t only great for your physical health and fitness, it can also help improve your mental wellbeing.

Getting physical has been shown to raise your self- esteem, as well as cause chemical changes in your brain which can help have a positive change on your mood, and general outlook on life.

Being physical doesn’t mean running a marathon, it can be parking in the furthest spot in the supermarket or taking the stairs instead of the lift.

Setting yourself goals or challenges can give you focus. If you currently only walk 5,000 steps a day, try and walk 6,000, or have a route that you run/ walk and aim to improve your time each month.

You’re more likely to stick to an activity if you love it – so, if the thought of spending hours at the gym fills you with dread, find something else!

Head outside

Nature has been shown to have a remarkable positive impact on our mental health and well-being. And taking a dip in the sea – thalassotherapy – might just be the best thing you can do! Studies suggest that those who live closest to the coast are less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.

And it makes sense, our bodies are mostly made of water, and the salts found in the sea can have a hugely restorative impact on us – and who doesn’t love being sun-kissed with salty hair.

And with over 200km of coastline – the Vendee has no shortage of stunning seascapes.

Meditate

Spending just 10 minutes a day meditating can help reduce blood pressure, slow your heart rate, and quiet racing minds.

Meditating can be done anytime you can switch off and focus on your breathing.

If you’re unsure where to start, there are some great apps that offer guided meditations.

Think you can’t meditate? Have you ever driven home and had no recollection of the journey? Your brain was operating on a theta frequency – the same state as meditation.

Sleep

Sleep can have a profound impact on our health and well-being. If you suffer with poor sleep, start your bedtime ritual two hours before you head to bed.
Switch off your phone and avoid caffeine in the afternoon. Camomile tea and soporiphic foods like bananas are great about an hour before bed.

Take a bath or a shower before bed to help relax and unwind.

Ideally your bedroom should be around 15 – 22 degrees, too hot or too cold and it will affect your sleep. If possible open a window slightly to allow fresh air in.

If you wake in the middle of the night, resist looking at the time. If you’re unable to fall asleep naturally, and start getting restless, go to another room in the house, and carry out a task like writing a shopping list.

When you feel sleepy head back to bed.

Just like babies and children need a bedtime routine, so too to adults!