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Looking after your mental health and well-being is a vital part of being able to live a balanced life. It’s no secret that poor mental health can negatively impact various areas including work, family, and social lives. In fact, recent figures show that 454,300 of those on long-term sick are off work due to mental health conditions.
It’s important that, if you do suffer from any sort of mental health issue, it’s recognized and treated properly to help provide the best possible chance of recovery.
We’ll explore what exactly is meant by mental health, how to take care of your mental well-being, and how to seek help should you feel you’re suffering.
What is mental health?
Mental health comprises your emotional and social well-being. Whilst it’s usually referred to as separate from physical health, it’s not uncommon for one to negatively, or positively, affect the other.
Mental well-being can encompass an array of factors including how you manage day-to-day life, how you cope with stress, the decisions you make, and social interactions.
Many people suffer from some form of stress at some point in their lives, whether this is larger-scale issues such as bereavement, divorce, or other life changes, or everyday situations such as interviews, parenting, or family arguments. But it’s how you deal with these events that are greatly related to mental health.
How to care for your mental health
There are a number of factors that can help take care of your mental health on a daily basis:
- Get plenty of exercises, outdoors if possible, to boost your endorphins
- Drink lots of water and eat a balanced diet
- Take breaks and make sure you regularly carve out time for yourself
- Nurture social interactions and talk to friends or family frequently
- Try meditation or mindfulness (being present at the moment)
Of course, there might be times when, despite doing all the right things, you still find yourself feeling anxious or depressed.
What to do if you feel you are struggling
If you do feel like you’re suffering from poor mental health and it’s not that you’re just ‘having a bad day’, it’s important to seek support. You can do so in the following ways:
- Talk to friends and family – if you have a trusted friend or family member, this can be a great starting point, even if you just explain how you’re feeling.
- Seek professional help from a therapist – it’s important to choose a reputable counselor and consider one who has appropriate insurance. It’s a good idea to select one who specializes in the area required – you’ll find that many have varying degrees of experience in issues such as anxiety, PTSD, depression, and addiction.
- Speak to your GP – your doctor can offer advice and refer you to other areas of support. They can also prescribe medication if they think this might be the best course of treatment for you.
The main takeaway is that your mental health should be a priority and it’s wise to take small steps each day to look after your well-being. And, if you feel like you’re not coping as well as you’d like, make sure to seek support from a trusted source.