As some of you may know, we are currently in the second week in May aka Mental Health Awareness Week (in the UK).
Throughout the week, the media has done a tremendous amount of work to discuss mental health in depth across all platforms.
Many people young and old have discussed their ongoing battle of mental health disorders.
Recently, I watched Nadiya: Anxiety and Me.
Nadiya Hussain is an author and winner of The Bake Off.
She believed that she had a panic disorder, but she had never been officially diagnosed.
It was amazing to see how she had the courage to open and talked about what she has been feeling all her life.
“I worry about everything.”
“I feel less anxious when I have a routine, I know what I’m doing and when I’m doing it.”
Throughout the program, Nadiya talked with others who suffer from anxiety.
Nadiya went to talk to Mr. David Clark from University of Oxford who stated, “Over 25% of us will experience an anxiety disorder at some time in our life”.
That is a staggering amount therefore it is important to see what options for treatment are suited to our needs.
Prioritising your mental wellbeing is important to ensure that you can get the best quality of life possible.
So, what can you do to keep your well being in check?
Have a creative outlet
Ok. So, I’m not asking you to paint like your Picasso, but Art Therapy is a real thing.
Art therapy involves the use of creative techniques such as drawing, painting, collage, colouring, or sculpting to help people express themselves artistically and examine the psychological and emotional undertones in their art.
Although some research suggests that arts and creative therapies may help with mental health problems, however it’s difficult to be sure because many studies have only a small portion of participants.
However, letting your feelings out in a creative way kills 2 birds with 1 stone.
Letting your feelings out will take a load off your chest. And putting that pain on paper may be a good idea.
When I was feeling sad, I wrote poetry. I must admit, some of it was quite dark but it did make me feel better.
Don’t feel like writing, why not dance? When I was younger, I was always dancing. At home, at school…anywhere you name it.
Talk to someone. Online or face to face.
There are several online counsellors that may cater to your needs. I used better help for a few sessions. They are quite useful, and they have a system whereby they can reduce the fee for sessions if you are eligible to do so.
Others may prefer face to face contact.
Personally, I prefer face to face. I find it effective as I get very distracted. So, face to face helps me to remain focused.
Have a substantial balanced diet
Studies show that the lack of a balanced diet has both physical and psychological effects.
“Fruit and vegetable consumption were the health-related behaviour most consistently associated with mental well-being in both sexes.”
In addition, “A systematic review conducted by O’Neil et al. (2014) showed that unhelpful dietary patterns (including higher intake of foods with saturated fat, refined carbohydrates and processed food products) are linked to poorer mental health in children and adolescents.”
Go for a walk clear your mind, distract yourself.
I know at times it may be hard but try your best to take part in some form of physical activity.
“Strong evidence exists showing a 20-30% reduction in depression in adults who participate in physical activity daily. Exercise has potential advantages over antidepressants with fewer side effects, and perhaps less stigma attached to it as treatment modality in comparison to counselling or psychotherapy.”
Not only does participating in exercise make you feel good, it also makes you look good so consider incorporating exercise into your daily routine.
All the factors listed can enhance your wellbeing.
Find what works for you.
Adapt your diet and your lifestyle to ensure that you put your wellbeing first.
Thanks for reading and remember that your happiness should be your #1 priority.