10 tips to improve your mental health

1. Coffee in your favourite mug

Start your day with a cup of coffee. Coffee consumption lowers rates of depression, but if you cannot consume caffeine, try something like green tea, or (my favourite) white tea. Have a special mug that is yours and hold it in both your hands and take in the moment. A few moments of contemplation and appreciating your special mug starts the day stress-free.

2. Heal with words

If you have something you are keeping buried inside of you – get it out! Write a poem, or a story. I find poetry incredibly healing, it brings out the deepest of sorrows and leaves me feeling less burdened. If writing is not your thing, then keep a journal and share your thoughts there! It works like magic – try it.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.  -Maya Angelou. 

3. Dance

Put your headphones on or turn the stereo up while you do some housework. Dancing reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) and increases endorphins (the happy hormones). Try it, it really works!  I always have EarPods in when walking the dogs, it helps me to quicken my pace and lifts my mood.

4. Gratitude Diary

Now I hear you say – but there’s nothing I can write that I’m grateful for! Well, if I can find 3 things a day whilst stuck flat on my back in hospital with a broken back, I am sure you can find 3 things. It doesn’t have to be big, it could be the mug you drink your coffee from, or your cat resting on your lap.  Just search for small 3 things each day.  Choose whether this works best for you at the end of the day, or the beginning. It works!

5. Give Some Love

You may not feel like it, but try! I guarantee that by stepping out and giving support to someone, it will distract from your problems and help lift you up. Reach out to a relative or friend that you know is struggling, perhaps bake them a cake. Visit your local old peoples home and ask if you can give some support or join a mental health group online where you can help support others! 

6. To do lists…

Remove your list of things to do from your head!  I like to write my list down the night before, to remove it from my head and stop me worrying before I go to sleep. It really helps, and keeps you super organised!

By contrast, if you feel apathy and have no plans, write a small list of easy things to achieve, such as get dressed, read a book, go for a walk. Set yourself a target of three things, so that you feel good for your achievement.  

7. Eat Dark Chocolate

It boosts brainpower! The flavonoids, caffeine and theobromine in chocolate are thought to improve alertness and mental skills. I highly recommend Lindt dark chocolate with orange, or almond!

8. Get Creative

Try a new recipe, paint, sew or write a poem! Check out some ideas on pinterest – we all have a creative skill in us somewhere! Creative expression greatly helps overall well-being so give it a go!  You don’t need to be the next Picasso or Delia Smith!

9. Mindfulness

Take time to relax your brain with meditation or quiet time. It only needs to be five minutes, perhaps take a nice warm soak in the bath. You can practice mindfulness whilst on a walk in the woods. Take in the natural surroundings and clear your mind. Switch off to problems and still your mind.

10. Smile

Smile.  It may not feel easy to do when you are low but it will help to release stress and lower your heart rate. Pass a smile on to just one person when you go out and see what happens! Challenge yourself to smile at the first 3 people you see in the day. If needs be, put your favourite funny film on!

Please do share this post with anybody whom you feel may benefit. 🙏

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