Is your mental health important to you? It really should be. The way you value yourself, what you think about yourself and how happy you are as a person have a knock-on effect on all the aspects of your life.
Here are some tips that you can bring into your everyday life that can help improve your mental health and self-esteem.
Most of us are not getting enough sleep, we need about seven to eight hours of sleep a night, but most of us get about five to six. If you can go to bed an hour earlier, those extra minutes can help improve your mental health.
You do not need to be in the gym daily to have a healthy mind, but moderate exercise can do wonders for your mental health and self-esteem. If you are feeling low, put your shoes on, turn on your music and go for a 20 minute walk. It’s been proven that 20 minutes of walking can change your mood. If you are feeling up to it turn that walk into a jog, sweat those feelings away.
Eating healthy does not mean binning the pringles for salad, it’s about getting the balance right. There are certain foods that do help improve your mood. These are:
Chocolate – Yes I did say chocolate! There is some science behind the theory that chocolate makes us happy; eating dark chocolate (40 grams to be exact) every day for two weeks reduced stress hormones, including cortisol. This study was done in Nestle Research centre with people who were highly stressed. They believed it could be to do with the antioxidants in chocolate. But when indulging, be aware of the 235 calories that each 40 grams of chocolate has, or you may get stressed to see extra pounds creeping on. But including regular exercise this will help keep those extra pounds at bay.
Fish – Eating oily fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, rainbow trout) and mussels will give you omega 3s, which are a key mood boosting nutrient and one our bodies don’t produce. Omega 3s alter brain chemicals linked with mood. Low levels of serotonin are linked with depression, aggression and suicidal tendencies.
Coconut – When you are stressed, the scent of coconut may dull your natural flight or fight response, slowing your heart rate. The pleasant scent enhances alertness while soothing our responses to stress.
This is the most important one. The biggest thing you can do to improve your mental health is talk to someone about how you are feeling. A friend, family member or counsellor. You don’t have to face anything alone and there are lots of people who will listen. So do your mind a favour and talk.
If you are a separated parent and are struggling to cope with the situation you find yourself in, then please call us on 01233 680150 or register online at support.dadsunltd.org.uk