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Articles > Mental Health September, 20, 2015

What can we do to be mentally healthy?

September, 20, 2015

Emma Luxton Student Panel member. Member since 13/01/2015.
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Being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle is an important part of looking after ourselves. However, people forget that looking after your mental and emotional well being is a vital part of keeping healthy. 

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What steps can you take to stay mentally healthy?

Mental health is still a relatively taboo subject and people are often hesitant to talk about it and also hesitant to ask for help. This is obviously something that needs to change, but I personally think it’s on the right track with more and more people opening up about their experiences surrounding mental health problems through their blogs, on twitter, through the media or person to person. The conversation is happening, we have Mental Health Awareness Week 11 – 17th May, but we all need to get involved.

As someone who has struggled on and off since I was a teenager with mild mental health problems I have some insight into how it can feel and I’ve developed some ways of coping with things. I’ve put together a few tips on how to keep yourself mentally healthy.

Talk
I believe one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself mentally healthy is to talk to people about how you’re feeling. Whether you suffer with a mental health problem currently, you’ve previously suffered, or you’ve never had an mental health issues before, it’s important not to bottle things up. Find someone who you feel relaxed around, someone you can trust and just have a chat with them about how you’re doing. If you’ve got some specific issues you want to talk about try and bring them up, if not then just having a chat with someone will make you feel better any way and help to keep your mood up. There are also a number of hotlines offering support and guidance, so if you have these wonderful resources at your feet, there’s no excuse – use them!

Eat & exercise 
Good food and regular exercise is a great way to keep yourself mentally and physically healthy. Food has an effect on your body and your mind, your brain needs the right nutrients to keep it working, and eating the right stuff will make you feel great. Exercise is also important as it releases chemicals into your brain that make you feel good and happy. It can also help improve self confidence and can be something you really enjoy. If you don’t keep that physically active, try it out for a week – go for a jog, do some quick workouts at home and see for yourself what a positive influence this can have.

Take time for yourself
Being with, and talking to people is really important, however it’s also important to take some time out for yourself. Do something you really enjoy, whether that’s painting your nails, reading a book, drawing, walking, or making castles out of cardboard boxes. Whatever it is, make some time for it, you might find it’s a great way to escape for a while and just enjoy yourself by yourself.

Set yourself goals
For some people this might not appeal, but for others it could be great. Set yourself an achievable goal that’s relevant, something that you have to slightly push yourself into doing, or pick something you’re good at and enjoy doing. Having a goal gives you purpose, direction and focus and when you achieve that goal you’ll feel pride and self esteem, and be happy that you worked hard and achieved something great. Goals don’t have to be huge, they could be getting out of bed and going for a walk, or completing a book you’ve been meaning to read. It could be joining the football team, writing a blog post, or tidying your room. They can also be bigger things like getting a job, or winning a race. Whatever you want to do, if it  is truly achievable and not unrealistic try and challenge yourself to complete it.

Smile & laugh
Doing something that makes you smile or laugh will make you happy. Some of my favorite things to do when I need to find something to make me smile are; singing loudly to songs from musicals, watching funny videos on Youtube, calling a friend, or remembering a time when I was really happy.

Obviously mental health problems can be a range of different issues and these tips may not be useful for everyone. But they are a good place to start in trying to keep yourself mentally healthy.  If you are suffering with your mental health don’t be afraid to speak to someone whether that’s your doctor, family, friend or someone else you trust. People are here to help and there is a lot of support available out there.

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A few great websites to check out if you want some information or support are; 

I hope these tips have been helpful, and remember to always look after yourself and stay mentally healthy. If anyone wants to chat, feel free to send me an email at emma.m.luxton@gmail.com, send me a tweet here, or leave a comment below. If you’ve written a similar post, or spoken about your experiences with mental health please leave a comment so I can have a read.

Originally posted on 13th May 2015

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  1. Charlotte Ham
    October 30, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Many concise points on how to stay mentally healthy which are easy to follow and can be done during everyday life. Also very well written

  2. Dean
    June 1, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Thankyou for bringing this up. I myself have had mental problems for many years. From the age of 7 I have suffered with depression, insomnia and severe anxiety attacks, by the age of 16 both had gone and been replaced with OCD which really caused me to go in on myself and isolate myself from everyone and although its still there I’ve learnt from it and I dare say, I’m a better person with it. I’m very independat, everyone says I’m too independent but that’s one of the ways I cope.
    Its important to find something that can distract you, whether it is cycling, rock climbing, kayaking, boxing, hiking, scuba diving, surfing, martial arts, gardening or even bell ringing. For me it was important to have a group of like minded people that you could just do something with, people that arnt clouded by what you are labeled as but treat you like everyone else.
    ~ You are awsome and you can be in control, make what you want of life, now what it is portrayed to be!

  3. Amy Smith
    October 31, 2015 at 11:16 am

    I studied Higher psychology and HNC social Science at my college and completely agree with the statements you have made. I know of many people in my circle of friends that have a history of different forms of Depression and we found a lot of our troubles was caused by bullying and lack of school support . I couldn’t agree more with the bottling up statement as talking has helped my friends out immensely.

  4. rachid allaoui
    October 19, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    i agree with you…

  5. Loyola de K
    October 3, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    I agree, this is a very interesting article!!

  6. Ryan Igglesden
    July 14, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    This article is great , I suffer from depression and some of the stuff makes a difference

  7. Laila
    May 24, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    This is penguin and like totally screams the truth

  8. Melissa
    February 3, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    lovely article x

  9. Gabriella Nardi
    September 13, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    I think… it’s a hard situation , as you say mental health and depression people don’t wanna know. I found this article really interesting to read. As someone who has suffered mental health issues, I belive it needs to be made more aware. Youngsters these days don’t know the signs, don’t not how to prevent it but the major thing is that theyou don’t feel comfortable talking about it. Teenagers need people to reach out to them, suicide numbers are always so high on teenagers.

  10. Joshua Cassidy
    September 6, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    This is very well written, such a lovely chance to help those like myself suffering. Very well put.

  11. Chloe Shore
    March 30, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    I think the article is really well written, I know a few people with mental health issues and I think the advice from the article could be very useful for some people

  12. Kristin Ruck
    February 21, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    I think…most of the stuff mentioned above really helps. i have struggled in this area for along time but i had to love myself first to create that peaceful mindset of happiness and self-worth. then everything came into place.

  13. Nazli
    February 12, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    This is an amazing article!

  14. Leo
    February 3, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Wow that is just so great. People now a days including me mostly ignore the importance of menatl and emotional health which is very crucial for us to function normally in everyday life. Your article is so impressing.

  15. Benjamin Acquaah
    February 1, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    This is an eye opening article, I personally had depression ever since my mum passed away. I surround myself with positive friends who always motivate me to strive and achieve the goals I set. This has changed me as an individual on how I think positively. I’m also a believer of God, this has helped me through my difficult times of need.

  16. Chloe Ferguson
    January 27, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    Great article, very helpful. 🙂

  17. mario kodra
    January 23, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    I think…thats a nice article

  18. stacey brown
    January 7, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    I think it good

  19. jordan
    December 20, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    I think… That we need to treat this more seriously, take bigger stands and make people aware!

  20. rachid allaoui
    October 19, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    I agree with you on this subject

  21. Taniyah
    September 27, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    I totally agree with this artical and it has also helped me as I suffer from hidden disabilities and Believe that all of these tips will be very useful for a persons mental health and wellbieng. Communication is also vital as sharing and discussing your concerns improves your health and also allowes you to express you’re problem.

  22. Mohamed Satti
    September 23, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    regardless of the nature of the topic, it is a thumbs up for me in terms of how well structured the article is.

  23. Sable S
    June 4, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Hi,

    I think you posting this article was a very good thing to do as it may be able to help those who feel too scared or uncomfortable to try and talk to someone about how they are feeling, so they just pretend that nothing is wrong. I did that for about seven or eight months and it completely destroyed me, but as people started finding out, I started improving as I was getting the help that I really needed. These pieces of advice that you’ve written can be useful to anyone, whether they have mild or severe mental health problems.
    And in response to the comment posted last month;just because someone has milder mental health problems does not exclude them from being able to talk about ways to try and improve just because you don’t think they suffer everyday. Yes, there are different degrees of suffering, but it doesn’t make them any less important.
    Emma, this was great advice, thank you so much for posting an article about it (:

  24. Saiem Ahmed
    May 18, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    good

  25. SHughes
    May 13, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Friend, someone suffering with ‘mild’ mental health issues aught not to speak for us who struggle every day. I respect your intention, but for some of us, we literally can’t do these things.

    • Emma Luxton
      May 14, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      Firstly, I suffer from Anxiety, that I take medication for. Also ANY mental health issue, whether mild or not is a mental health issue, people shouldn’t be made to feel less worthy because their problem may not be as bad as someone else. I do struggle every day, and yes maybe I can’t speak for everyone, but NO ONE can speak for everyone because mental health is so personal.

      Secondly, this post isn’t advice on how to cure yourself of any mental illness, it’s a post giving advice on ways to stay mentally healthy, or to try and improve your mental health. It’s important to talk about how you feel, to get help and advice, keeping it to yourself is never going to help, whether you have a mild mental illness or a more serious one. It’s been proven that eating well and exercising can be very beneficial to improving your mental health. Smiling and laughing is also proven to make you feel a bit better in that moment.

      I’m not saying these things are always going to be possible, I never said you HAVE to do any of them, but I know many people, including myself, who struggle with various mental illnesses or varying degrees, and they all agree that some if not all of these points are good advice for someone struggling. Yes sometimes you literally can’t do these things, but sometimes you can, and sometimes they will be very helpful.

      I’m sorry that you feel this advice isn’t beneficial to you, and I hope you find other ways to improve your mental health and feel better. I’d definitely advice speaking to a doctor if you haven’t already. However these tips may be very useful to people so therefore I stand by this advice and I hope it can help someone.

  26. ogbuji uchenna
    October 8, 2015 at 2:17 am

    Nice write up….i have suffered mentally but i was ableto recover through reading of relvent books about menal health and also reading my bible.

  27. abdellah daxsa
    August 8, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    aha …. article

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