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World Mental Health Day: making mental health a priority

  • Publish Date: Posted about 2 months ago
  • Author: Katie Marshall
​We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. And just like our physical health, we can all have times when our mental health is better than others.

For many of us, taking care of our physical health is something we know how to do, whether it’s playing sports, going to the gym, or walking the dog. But when it comes to taking care of our mental health it’s not always as easy or obvious what we can do.

Here are 5 ways you can support your mental health this World Mental Health Day

Get active

Exercise, especially exercising outdoors in nature is an incredible way of boosting your mental health.

Physical activity:

  • releases feel-good hormones

  • helps you to sleep better

  • allows your brain to focus

  • improves your self-esteem.

Your mind is much less likely to wander onto stressful topics if it’s focused on physical activity. You can set achievable goals for yourself that will boost your mood and self-esteem. And, it’s much less likely that you’ll spend the night tossing and turning if you’re exhausted from all that exercise!

Prioritise sleep

A good night’s sleep allows your body and mind to rest and reset. While we sleep our brain processes our thoughts and memories of the day we’ve had.

There is a close relationship between sleep and mental health, and each can have a direct impact on the other. A poor night’s sleep can make us feel irritable, and poor mental health can make it difficult to switch off and get to sleep.

If you have trouble sleeping here are some tips that could help:

  • Avoid caffeine after lunchtime

  • Get into a routine and stick to it (bedtimes aren’t just for kids)

  • Avoid screen time right before bed

  • Create the right environment – too much light or noise can negatively impact sleep

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a type of meditation that encourages you to become more aware of your environment, your body and your mind. There are lots of different ways to practice mindfulness, from guided meditation apps and videos to simply taking a few moments out of your day to concentrate on your breathing.

A simple mindfulness exercise you could try right now:

1. Make sure you’re sitting comfortably

2. Take a few deep breaths

3. Pay attention to any noise or activity going on around you

4. Bring that attention to concentrate on your breathing

5. Count each breath as it goes in and out from 1 to 10

If your mind wanders, try to bring it gently back to your breathing. Finish with another deep breath and bring your attention back to the world around you.

Mindfulness allows us to become more aware of the present moment and conscious of the stream of thoughts and feelings that we experience throughout the day. By becoming aware of what’s going on in our minds it is easier to notice signs of stress and anxiety before they become overwhelming.

Connect with others

Human beings are social animals, so spending quality time with friends and family is one of the best mood boosters and can reduce feelings of loneliness. It can sometimes be difficult to talk about your feelings but doing so can help you to feel listened too and supported. Socialising with people who share your hobbies and interests can also increase feelings of belonging andconfidence. So, joining a club or volunteering in your local community is a great way to build those social connections.

Take time to relax

Rest is incredibly important for our mental wellbeing and actually makes us more productive. Make sure you take lots of breaks throughout the day, especially if you are working at a screen. A change of scenery can also help you to change your mindset if you’re feeling stressed. Doing something creative like drawing, baking, or any kind of craft is also an excellent way to focus your mind on something rewarding. Whatever works for you and helps you to feel relaxed will benefit your mental health.

If you are feeling stressed at work, ask what support is available to you. Lots of companies provide support services such as:

  • Employee assistance programmes

  • Subscription to health and wellbeing apps

  • Mental health first aiders

There are also lots of mental health and wellbeing support online such as Mind, the Mental Health Foundation and the NHS Every Mind Matters website.

At Morson our health and wellbeing agenda is built into our DNA, we care for the mind, body and soul of our colleagues. Visit our health and wellbeing page to find out more about how we care for the personal and professional you.