Mental Health Week is drawing to a close. Mental health is often seen as a touchy subject but so many people suffer from long term mental health illnesses and we all suffer from mental health problems even just for a short time during our lives, whether it's trauma, grieve, depression, anxiety.
So here are a few tips, activities and advice you may find useful that I myself us and find helpful.
1. Mindful colouring - this is great! I love mindful colouring! You can create and big a picture to live, in any way you want. Let your imagination flow. You can get so into it, hours pass so quickly often too quickly. You feel such reward when you have brought the picture to life at the end and you get so wrapped up in your imagination that is helps reduce your stress and anxiety levels. There are many hundreds of different books with many different pictures to sort all minds - travel, animals, flowers etc. You can also get pocket sized books which are fab for travelling and on the go. Sainsbury's colouring magazine and Relax with Art magazines that run monthly are also brill! They have removal pages, meaning you can neatly remove the pictures and have them framed, create gifts from them etc. Please give it go.
2. Treat yourself - have something you are looking forward to, if not everyday then every few days. This may be a meal out, or even just a hot bubble bath. Something that you know will cheer you up and keep you motivated when you are dipping or feeling a little down.
3. Catch up with loved ones - whether it's a phone call, coffee or a day out. Having support and a few laughs are the best medicine.
4. Do more of what you enjoy - colouring, exercising, meals out, cinema trips, cooking. Things that again spark excitement or relax you. It is hard to find pleasure when you are feeling low so think about all the things you used to love and try and add them into your schedule. You may not want to do them at the time but doing them will help cheer you up.
5. Bucket Lists - remind yourself of your goals, wishes for the future. This helps keep me motivated and inspires me.
6. Don't lie in bed, get out - getting up and out even if it's just a drive in a car does me the world of good. Clears your head and being around people helps distract your mind.
7. Exercise - I am unable to exercise at the moment but when I am able, walking really helps clear you mind. When the sun is out especially just a walk around the corner for even just 10 minutes really helps.
8. Rest - your mind is going a hundred miles a hour all of the time it seems. Make sure you have some 'me' time in your day. Whether this is binge watching a tv series, watching a film, having a bath.
9. Gain a new skill or knowledge- researching or working on a new project can really provide you with motivation and occupy your mind. This is a fab point to work on. As it's also helping you grow as a person, even in your darkest hours. You are using them and making them into positives.
10. Journal. Keep a diary. Write your thoughts on the page and leave them there. Use it as your therapy. A friend to explain all your thoughts and feelings too, but that can stay on the page without and judgement or feedback. Yet free's your soul. It's been so helpful to me before receiving my diagnosis, I kept a lot of my symptoms and feelings to myself due to feel crazy, my diary held all my secrets.
We can do more to help;
Don't go running to the doctors for medications. Medications are many of us know can cause more horrible side effects and problems. If you are suffering servely then medication may be your only option. However, if you suffer from mood swings, anxiety and less serve depression then self care can be the best medicine.
Cutting out high sugary foods - sugar can lead many to experience mood swings, shakes ( like anxiety - leading many to feel like they are having an attack), and alters blood sugar levels. Eat natural sugars fruits, rather than sweets, chocolates, fizzy drinks.
Junk food- reduce take away's, packaged, processed and fast food. The E numbers, articfial colourings, salt and sugar levels cause mood swings, spiked blood sugar levels, hormone complications, headaches and shakes.
Drink more herbal teas - herbal teas are relaxing and help regulate blood sugar levels within the body, they are also very detoxing and can help remove any nasties that are causing the body stress causing your mood to be effected.
More fresh products - more efficient energy that the body is able to get more from and do not spike blood sugar levels.
Hot baths - the heat will help relax though tight muscles.
Stretch - with stress, muscles tighten! Stretch and help them stay flexible. Feeling fight automatically makes you feel more on edge - so keep them loose and feel calmer.
Increase time spent with family and friends- family and friend's support can help us in so many ways, so whenever possible incorporate it them your schedule.
Foods that help increase mood:
Try all you can to heal yourself - you are your own hero after all!
Remember you may be going through a low period, however you only get one shot at life.
And all the memories you make through your days will be remembered. So don't allow yourself to miss out on opportunities or life.
We only get one shot.
Nobody likes or enjoys the dark days but take them as lessons and use them as purposely as you can. Gaining as many benefits you can from them, allowing the better days to be even brighter.
Don't be someone who looks back at their darker days remembering only junk food binges and reality T.V. Be able to look back and remember the warrior you were, the skills you gained, the lessons you learnt, the plans you made and put into place.
Don't bow down the mental illness. Speak up, but also fight it. Make the best of every situtation.
What do you guys do to help you through your darker days?
Any tips or tricks that help you?
I hope that you have learnt something from today's post and use some of the advice finding it helpful.
Keep positive - love and peace, S xox