In fact, mental health should be the main topic of conversation as we draw closer to the end of 2020.
Throughout this year we have seen much of the UK in lockdowns and tiers, with many people not able to see or spend time with their friends and family. Combine that with work pressures, looking after dependents, the colder mornings and darker nights, we could be forgiven if we have let the importance of our mental health slip.
Please this Christmas time check-in with your friends and family. After all, a conversation costs nothing and may mean you have saved someone from their mental health demons.
We are all in this together!
Here are some top tips from The Mental Health Foundation about how you can keep your mental health charged.
Talk about how you feel
Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. It also may open communication for someone else who may be struggling but did not know how to express themselves.
Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and feel better. Exercise keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy which also impacts your mental health. We have previously written about some lovely walks in the local area which you can check out here.
Your brain needs a mix of nutrients to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body. A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health. We don’t know about you but we are very excited about our Christmas dinners. Here’s a challenge – if you have never tried a brussel sprout why not try one this year!
We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary. When the drink wears off, you feel worse because of the way the alcohol has affected your brain and the rest of your body. Drinking is not a good way to manage difficult feelings. Have you thought about taking part in dry January next year?
Keep in touch
There’s nothing better than catching up with someone face to face, but that’s not always possible, especially now. You can also give them a call, drop them a note, or chat to them online instead. Keep the lines of communication open: it’s good for you!
Ask for help
None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help. Your family or friends may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear. Local services are there to help you, which you can find out more about here.
Take a break
A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’.
Do something you are good at
What do you love doing? Or what new skill did you learn during lockdown 1.0? Enjoying yourself can help beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it, and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.
Accept who you are
We’re all different. It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else. Feeling good about yourself boosts your confidence to learn new skills, visit new places and make new friends. Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn.
Care for others
Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together, especially at Christmas.