This Mental health awareness week, we’re highlighting the importance of looking after your mental health here at The Baytree. We all know that life can feel a bit much sometimes and keeping positive can seem like the hardest thing, but it’s so important to remember to put yourself first. So we’ve put together a list of our top 5 ways to help you along with any mental health struggles, and for those days when you’re not quite feeling like your best self.
Using art to express your creative side can have a lot of benefits to your mental health. Even if you don’t think of yourself to be that artistic- it can be very therapeutic and really help you to wind down and relax. Psychologist, Carl Jung suggested colouring in mandalas as a way to relax and help with mental health. He noticed that it has a calming effect whilst also helping to process your emotions. So grab yourself some colouring pens and put some time aside one evening to have a go, and see what a difference it can make.
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to combat stress and it has been linked to combating symptoms of depression and anxiety. Putting your body through physical stress can help with the relief of mental stress immensely and those who exercise regularly are less likely to induce stress as it lowers the bodies stress hormones in the long run, such as cortisol. When exercising, your body releases endorphins, which is what will help to uplift your mood. Stress and anxiety can have a big negative impact on the quality of your sleep so exercise will also play a huge part in the improvement of your sleep quality. (And who here doesn’t love their sleep?)
Taking on regular ways to exercise can also tend to have a positive impact on your confidence, mentally and physically. Even something as simple as getting in a brisk walk during your lunch hour will end up being hugely beneficial. And with summer just round the corner, now’s a better time to start than any!
Spending time in nature has been found to help with problems in mental health such as anxiety and depression. Research into ecotherapy (a type of formal treatment which involves doing activities outside in nature) has shown it can help with mild to moderate depression. This might be due to combining regular physical activity and social contact with being outside in nature and getting a source of vitamin D. Being outside in natural light can also be helpful if you suffer with symptoms brought on with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a type of depression that affects people during certain times of the year.
Talk to someone
One of the most important things to remember when caring for your mental health is to recognise when you’re not feeling yourself and to know when to ask for help. There is no shame in admitting your feelings and the sooner you admit it to yourself, the sooner you can confide in someone for support if you’re feeling low or stressed (we all get like it). It’s important to know in yourself that you have a support system for when you go through the rough patches that everyone does or if you feel like you’re facing bigger problems mentally and need to go to a GP for expert advice and get the professional help that you need.
Aromatherapy isn’t just about nice smells that help you sleep better or boost your mood, aromatherapy uses essential oils as an aid for a range of physical, emotional, and mental health purposes. They’re made from various plant parts, such as roots, seeds, leaves and blossoms. For example, ylang ylang, chamomile and clary slange might help you battle anxiety and insomnia. Whilst rosemary and geranium might be useful when your mood needs a bit of an uplift. Inhalation is probably the most well-known method when it comes to using aromatherapy for mental and emotional health but using essential oils in a bubble bath for a pamper evening or using them during a massage session that you’ve roped your partner into will work too.
Product descriptions from image:
Wilko Cotton Grip Pattern Garden Glove (£1.50)
WHSmith Nature Mandalas (£8.19)
Holland & Barrett: Miaroma Essential Oil (£10, currently buy one get one free)
Sports Direct NIKEAir Zoom SuperRep 2 Women’s Trainers (Currently on offer for £60)