Let’s Talk Mental Health: Taking Care Of Yourself At Home is a collaborative post
Suffering with mental health conditions like anxiety and depression is more than simply feeling a little low within yourself. It’s not wanting to be alone, yet not wanting anyone else around you, it’s wanting to be productive but not being able to peel yourself out of bed, it’s feeling so tired you can’t stay awake, yet not being able to shut off your brain. Thankfully the stigma against mental health is being lifted, and people are now beginning to understand that depression isn’t an excuse anymore, and now if you’re suffering with poor mental health, you will receive the support and care that you need to help yourself recover.
While your first port of call when you’re suffering with your mental health should always be your GP, there are things that you can be doing for yourself at home that can and will improve your mental health. You may not realise that some of the things you’re doing could be greatly affecting the way that you’re feeling, so check out these tips on how to take care of your mental health at home.
Let’s Talk Mental Health: Taking Care Of Yourself At Home
Eat The Right Foods
We all know that eating the right foods will keep our bodies fit and healthy, but did you know that the food you’re eating could be affecting your mental health? We feel sad, depressed, or anxious because there is a chemical imbalance in our brains, and if you’re gorging on junk food a lot of the time, it can greatly contribute to the imbalance that’s being caused. One of the main reasons we are prompted to eat food that’s packed full of nutrients is because of the effect it can have on our minds. Removing junk food or cutting down will help restore the chemical balance in your brain and leave you feeling much happier in yourself.
Mental health problems can also stem from self-esteem issues. If you’re overweight or underweight you may have body confidence problems, and eating correctly will help you see yourself differently and reach a point where you’re happy with your body. Here are some tips on healthy eating guidelines that you could try:
- Many of us eat until we feel (maybe a little uncomfortably) full. Our bodies struggle to digest large amounts of food in one go, and this can contribute to weight gain. When you’re eating a meal, listen to your body and when you’re satisfied rather than ‘full’. This may mean that you’re not eating as much as you usually would in one meal and that you’re eating more often. This is absolutely fine! Eating little and often is easier for your body to deal with.
- A big problem that we face is that our stomach isn’t fully in sync with our brains, meaning that our stomach won’t tell our brain that it’s satisfied which causes us to overeat. Savouring every mouthful and chewing slowly gives your stomach a chance to catch up with your brain; preventing you from overeating.
- Often the body mistakes hunger for thirst, which again can lead to eating too much. When you’re feeling hungry, drink a glass of water and wait ten minutes. If you find that the feeling of hunger goes away, it means you weren’t hungry after all! Remember that water is also super important in aiding digestion and keeping your body fit and healthy.
- Consciously choosing healthier foods and preparing meals will help you eat better. If you’ve got some free time, spend it prepping meals. Then if you don’t feel like cooking you won’t be tempted to eat junk food.
Putting these tips into practise will soon change your eating habits and before long, you will notice that your body no longer crave the sugary and fatty foods.
Allow Yourself To Sleep
Easier said than done right? Even those who aren’t struggling with mental health issues can struggle with sleeping at night. Any stresses that have built up in your mind will linger when you’re trying to fall asleep. However, that doesn’t mean sleep is completely off the cards. Check out these tips that could help you have a better night sleep without resorting to medication:
- Consider using sleep hypnosis tapes to help you drift into a natural sleep. They help soothe the mind by distracting you from your thoughts and using soothing music to help you drift off.
- Take a look at your bed. Is it a little outdated? It might be time to replace your bed so that you’re more comfortable in bed. Investing in a heavy duty adjustable bed will ensure that your bed will last a long time, while being adjustable so that you can get into the right position for a good night of sleep.
- Cutting out food and caffeine a few hours before bedtime will help prevent anything from stimulating your mind or body when you’re trying to sleep.
- Write down your worries before bed. Many people struggle to sleep because they are worried about forgetting something important for the following day. Writing everything down will help your mind rest!
- Reducing any distractions such as a TV from your bedroom will also help you fall asleep faster. While watching TV can sometimes help people drift off, it can also become a stimulant.
- Going to bed at the same time will help your body fall into a routine.
- Not drinking alcohol before bed will help prevent you from feeling dizzy or overstimulated. Much like caffeine and food, stop drinking alcohol a few hours before bedtime.
Learn That It’s Okay To Say No Sometimes
It’s easy to fall into a trap of saying yes to everything just to keep everyone happy. However, this can cut into valuable time that you could be spending on yourself, and everyone needs me time every now and then! Try to remember that it’s okay to say no sometimes and take that free time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate. You’ll find that a bit of time alone here and there will help your mental health.
Exercise Will Help More Than Just Your Body
We all know that exercising is another way of keeping our bodies healthy and strong and yep, you guessed it – it can help your mental health too! Exercising releases a chemical called endorphins into our brains which in turn, makes us feel happier. Getting plenty of exercise will help your body and mind feel happier. Again, for those with self esteem issues, exercising will really help you feel better about yourself too.
Keep A Diary
We briefly mentioned earlier about writing down your worries before bed. This technique can really help with worries throughout the day too. Keeping a diary allows you to write down your thoughts and feelings and get on with your day as you normally would. Sometimes, simply being able to release the way you’re feeling can help. Not only that, keeping a diary can be very useful to show your Doctor so that they can get you the best help possible. You may even be able to work out triggers of your mental health from it too. Consider keeping a diary to benefit your mental health in more ways than one.
Have Someone You Can Call
Finally, sometimes there’s nothing better than a good old natter with someone that you can trust. Letting someone in on your problems can help halve the issue. So it’s important to allow someone else to help you get through this difficult period of your life. Even if you’re not chatting about your issues all of the time, the conversation and distraction will certainly help.
As you can see, there are many ways in which you can help yourself at home with your mental health. Remember your first port of call should always be your GP, but in the meantime you should use these tips to help yourself.
How do you take care of your mental health at home?
This is a collaborative post.