I talk a lot on my blog about the importance of having a good mental as well as physical health. For me, training and keeping my body healthy has really helped improve my mental wellbeing. There are a few other things I have been trying recently to try and help improve my mental health and I thought I would share some with you guys.
- Talk more openly. Keeping my feelings bottled up has been really unhealthy for me. I find a lot of the time, when I let my thoughts fester inside my head without talking to anyone about them, they can become extremely irrational and unhealthy. Sharing your thoughts with someone can really help you to rationalise your feelings as well as take a huge weight off your shoulders. I am quite an open person and so have not found this too difficult but if you’re struggling to talk to someone else you could always write them a letter about how you are feeling.
- Learn to say no. If you have read my second year reflections post, you will know that this is a massive thing for me. It is important to sometimes be a little selfish and think about you. If doing something is going to make you unhappy or you know you’re not going to enjoy it, there is no shame in saying no. I have learnt this year that it is okay to not be a people pleaser and to actually consider yourself and what you want to do. Saying no can be quite an empowering thing and has really enabled me to find time for myself.
- Write more. Writing things down has been really good for me. This hasn’t always been anything deep or particularly meaningful, simply finding time each day to write a blog post has really helped me focus and feel accomplished. Although not helpful for everyone, I am a list maker and have found loads of really cute books at the minute full of lists and activities. I find these, not only super cute, but a great way to prioritise and work out my direction.
- Get more sleep. It is really surprising what a good nights sleep can do for you. I am really trying to make an active effort at the moment to go to bed at reasonable times and get enough sleep. Getting enough sleep can be hard, particularly if you have a busy unpredictable schedule, but it is really important. Since I have started getting into more of a routine with my sleeping habits, I have found myself feeling a lot less anxious and irritable throughout the day and have been way more productive.
- Try meditation/mindfulness. These are hard, I’ll be honest, but for people that have sussed it out they are really beneficial. There are loads of great apps out there that can help you with stuff like this, just give it a google. Alternatively, you can arrange an appointment with your doctor or a counsellor and they can give you advice on different things you could try.
There is absolutely no shame in seeking help, whether that’s helping yourself with an early night or deciding to go and see a doctor.
If you are really struggling and want urgent advice, there are lots of 24/7 numbers you can ring. The Good Samaritans (116 123 UK) can be contacted whenever and are happy to talk, however big or small the issue.