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10 October is World Mental Health Day

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The World Health Organisation recognises it as an opportunity "for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide". This year's theme, set by the World Federation for Mental Health, is young people and mental health in a changing world.

Mental health is everyone’s business. We all have times when we fell let down or stressed or frightened. Most of the time those feelings pass. But sometimes they develop into a more serious problem and that can happen to any of us.

Problems range from the worries we all experience as part of everyday life to serious long-term conditions. Most people who experience mental health problems can get over them or learn to live with them – especially if they get help early on.

Good mental health can be characterised by a person’s ability to fulfil a number of key functions and activities, including the ability to:

  • Feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions
  • Form and maintain good relationships with others
  • Cope with and manage change and uncertainty

It’s important to take care of yourself and get the most from life. That isn’t always easy. Here are 10 practical ways to look after your mental health. Making simple changes needn’t cost a fortune or take up loads of time. Why not start today?

  1. Talking about your feelings. It can help you stay in good mental health and deal with the times when you feel troubled.
  2. Keep active.  Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate, sleep, and look and feel better. It keeps the brain and other vital organs healthy and is a significant benefit towards improving mental health.
  3. Eat well.  Your brain needs a mix of nutrients to stay healthy and function well. A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.
  4. Drink sensibly.  We often drink alcohol to change our moods. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary. Trouble is, when the drink wears off, you feel worse because of the way alcohol affects the brain and body. Drinking is not a good way to manage difficult feelings.
  5. Keep in touch. There’s nothing better than catching up with someone face to face, but that’s not always possible. You can give them a call, drop them a note or an e-mail. Keep lines of communication open – it’s good for you!
  6. Ask for help.  No-one is superhuman. We all get tired sometimes or overwhelmed by how we fell or when things don’t go to plan. If things are getting too much for you and you fell you can’t cope, ask for help. Friends or family may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear.  And local services are there to help you.
  7. Take a break.  A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could eb a five-minute pause from cleaning the kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’.
  8. Do something you’re good at!  What do you really like doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past?  Enjoying yourself can help beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it and achieving something can boost your self-esteem.
  9. Accept who you are.  We’re all different. It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else. Feeling good about yourself boost your confidence to learn new skills, visit new places and make new friends. Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn.
  10. Care for others.  ‘Friends are really important…We help each other whenever we can, so it’s a two-way street, and supporting them uplifts me.’ Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together.

Find out more at  https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/world-mental-health-day