This week (May 8-14) is Mental Health Awareness week, designed to get people talking and end the stigma surrounding mental health.
According to mental health charity Mind, around 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.
Here are seven simple ways to boost your mood and improve your mental wellbeing…
1. Eat healthily
When you’re feeling low, it’s tempting to reach for the comfort food, but taking the time to cook a simple, healthy meal will not only fuel your body, but help to boost your mind too.
It is also important to eat three balanced meals a day (rather than snacking) and drink lots of water to avoid sudden drops in blood sugar level and dehydration, which are linked to tiredness and low mood.
2. Get moving
This doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym.
A brisk walk in the fresh air or a relaxing swim not only act as a good distraction, but just 30 minutes of physical activity can also help to release endorphins in the brain responsible for lifting mood and improving energy levels.
3. Take some time for self-care
Even with a hectic schedule, it’s important to take some time for yourself.
This can be as simple as taking a relaxing bath, spending an evening pampering yourself, or allowing yourself to get lost in your favourite book with a cup of tea.
Whatever you choose, the important thing is allowing yourself to switch off without feeling guilty.
It is vital to remember that feeling down is nothing to be ashamed of, so taking time to be kind to yourself is key.
4. Have a screen break
Although a great way to keep in contact with loved ones, the pressures of social media can cause us to compare ourselves to what we see online, which can contribute to a low mood.
Make a conscious effort to log off an hour before bed – this will not only help you to sleep better, but also clear your mind of digital distractions.
5. Try a new hobby
Trying a new activity and learning a new skill will boost your confidence and help break up your daily routine with something you enjoy.
Try joining a club or society to meet new, like-minded people.
6. Talk to someone
Opening up to a close friend or family member may seem daunting, but sharing your feelings will help you to connect to those around you and enable them to offer their support.
By starting conversations about mental health and opening up about your own experiences, you may in turn be able to help them too.
7. Speak to a professional
Although it is extremely common to have down days every now and then, if your mood is consistently low, and you find yourself disinterested in things you usually enjoy, consider talking to a doctor or councillor.
They will be able to offer advice and talk through the different options available to you.
Do you any tips for boosting your mental health? Tell us in the comments box below.