What is good mental health?

Good mental health is characterised by a person’s ability to fulfil a number of key  activities, including; the ability to learn, the ability to feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions, the ability to form and maintain good relationships with others, the ability to cope with and manage change and uncertainty

For more information about good mental health and wellbeing visit the Mental Health Foundation website.

What is self care?

Self care is looking after yourself, physically, emotionally and mentally.

Its going to bed early when you’re tired, eating healthy (but then sneaking some chocolate). It’s not always easy, but it’s necessary. Small things we take for granted like writing in your journal, drawing or sketching and gaming are all part of self care.

To try and create a more positive outlook there are simple tasks you can do to feel better:

  • Name 3 things that went well today, especially on a bad day, you’d be surprised how one bad thing can take over when really the day was pretty good!
  • Name something you want to do that week, and do it!
  • Treat yourself to that CD, DVD or new bike that you’ve wanted for ages!

Self care tips for good mental health

Many of these tips will seem simple, and will often take a while to start to truly feel the benefits:

  • Eat a good healthy diet. This means getting your 5-a-day, and staying away from energy drinks, too many sweets and drinking more water.
  • Be physically active
  • Sleep. Create a night time routine to help you unwind and let your body know its time to sleep.
  • Meditation. This will help quiet your mind, and be present in the moment.
  • Drink sensibly. Alcohol is a depressant and can drastically effect your mood. Drinking less alcohol can make you feel more positive and sleep better. Stay hydrated with water.
  • Do something you enjoy! Get out your pencils to draw, run a bath and have a soak, dance around your house like no ones watching and feel better as you do something fun!
  • Do nothing at all. Sometimes you need to switch off, lye down and watch Netflix and that’s ok. Recharge and try again tomorrow.

A great resource for ideas for self care and depression is Blurt It Out.

5 Ways to Wellness

1. Connect with other people. Talk to your family and friends in your home, connect online with like-minded people on chats, discord and discussion forums, have a specified tea time with your family.

2. Being active. It is not only great for your physical health and fitness. Evidence also shows it can also improve your mental wellbeing

3. Learn a new skill. Research shows that learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem, helping you to build a sense of purpose and helping you to connect with others. This could be learning to cook a new recipe, trying a new hobby like bike maintenance or enrolling on a college course.

4. Give to others. It could be small acts of kindness towards other people, or larger ones like volunteering in your local community. This could be as simple as asking someone how they’re doing and really listening to them, saying thank you to someone, helping with a project or make something.

5. Pay attention to the present moment. Paying more attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. This includes your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you.

Visit the NHS website for more information.