While today is world mental health day, looking after your mental health isn’t just for today, it’s for every day. 970 million people are affected by mental health worldwide. As we navigate the demands of work, family, and other obligations, it's easy to overlook our mental well-being. Taking time to prioritise mental health is essential. Short-term practices like going for a walk, hitting the gym, practicing yoga, or meditating can help alleviate the daily stress and release those vital endorphins. Even a simple coffee and chat with a close friend can be a meaningful way to offload and take some weight of your shoulders. In this blog, we explore steps to maintain a healthy mindset, emphasising the importance of consistent self-care beyond just World Mental Health Day.
Exercise for a Healthy Mind
Regular exercise can boost your concentration, enhance your appearance, and leave you feeling better overall. Opting for activities you truly enjoy turns exercise into a daily ritual, making it something to look forward to rather than perceiving it as a chore. Don't underestimate the impact of lower-intensity activities either; a simple walk in the fresh air can work wonders for both your physical and mental health.
Nourish Your Mind and Body
Maintaining a good diet is key for a healthy mindset, particularly when feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or caught up in a hectic schedule. To establish a healthy routine, consider planning mealtimes and preparing food in advance, allowing for more time in your day and making it easier to stay on track. Even during a busy workday, taking a break away from your desk to eat can provide a much-needed pause, contributing to your overall well-being.
Find Supportive Networks at Work
Building a supportive network at work is crucial for a healthy work life and mindset. Having a chat with a work colleague can be a helpful way to share any worries you have and alleviate stress. At MCS, we've got 3 mental health first aiders ready to lend a supportive ear and chat for those who need it. Plus, our colleagues have access to professional support through our health insurance plan. If you're curious about what support your workplace provides, chatting with your HR department is a great way to find out more.
Take a break
When life gets busy, it's easy to forget about your mental health but taking breaks is crucial. Whether it's diving into a good book, zoning out with a podcast, or exploring a new spot over the weekend, these breaks are your chance to recharge, reset and ultimately maintain a healthy mindset.
Improve your Sleep routine
Listen to your body – it's your best guide. Quality sleep plays a significant role in maintaining good mental health, and when we skimp on it, our concentration takes a hit. Establishing a consistent sleep routine, creating a relaxing bedtime environment, and putting away your phone before bedtime can all contribute to a more restful night.
Do Something you Love
Do something you're really into – what makes you happy? What did you use to love doing? Having a good time can seriously help lower your stress levels. When you're into an activity, chances are you're pretty good at it, and achieving something in that area gives your self-esteem a nice boost.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation that focuses on deliberately paying attention to the present moment. Engaging in mindfulness practice enables us to be fully present with ourselves, our work, and our families. It fosters a sense of connection, encourages self-reflection, and cultivates compassion for both ourselves and others.
These are just some of the things you can do to help towards a healthy mind. Remember mental health is not a linear process as with life there are ups and downs and this is completely normal. If you are currently struggling and you would like some support or know someone who needs support there are many amazing charities such as Mind, Action Mental Health, Aware NI, Samaritans and Lifeline.