October is Mental Health Month

According to the World Health Organisation, Mental Health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.
Mental health is an issue that has touched each and every one of us.  In fact it is one of the major health issues facing us today.
When I was growing up, people never spoke about mental health.  Like it was some kind of shameful infliction.  I cannot even imagine how painful it must have been to have a mental health issue in such a closed minded time.
Thankfully now it is more ‘acceptable’ to have mental health issues.  But really, is that because the number of people suffering is so high – and it is effecting people from every walk of life – that you cannot NOT talk about it??!

Some of the main groups of mental disorders are:

  • mood disorders (such as depression or bipolar disorder)
  • anxiety disorders.
  • personality disorders.
  • psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia)
  • eating disorders.
  • trauma-related disorders (such as post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • substance abuse disorder.

Here are some tips to help keep good mental health:

  • Eat nutritious meals:  ditch the junk food & takeaway. Stick to food that will nourish your body – and your mind.  Sticking to food that is as natural as possible.  The more green the better.  And don’t forget the fresh fruit!  It’s full of so much goodness including loads of fibre which helps your digestion
  • Move more!  It doesn’t mean you need to git the gym or join crossfit. It can be as simple as getting outside and going for a 15 minute walk.
  • Spend time in nature.  Sit outside with your morning coffee;  go for a picnic; hang out in a forest.  Nature is SO healing
  • Take your shoes off.  When you are outside, take your shoes off and stand on the grass/beach/forest floor.  Grounding or Earthing is so incredibly healing
  • Choose who you associate with.  Be with people who are positive and lift you up.  
  • Start a gratitude journal.  Yes, it sound cheesy but living a life of gratitude will lift your vibration and mood. You don’t have to have massive things to be grateful for:  it can be your cup of coffee; a ripe avocado for breakfast; having a new episode of your favourite tv show to watch.
  • Quiet your mind.  Try meditating every morning for 10 minutes. First thing in the morning is perfect and if you can fit it in, 10 minutes just before bed also will help.  You don’t need to be perfect at it – the point is to just sit quietly and go within.  There are plenty of free meditations on Youtube for you to try out.
  • Practice Qigong.  Qigong is an ancient Chinese practice that quietens the mind and allows you to reclaim your infinite energy.  Again, there are plenty of free sessions on Youtube.  I do 15-30 minutes a morning and it really helps to make me feel centred and ready to face the day.
  • Get enough sleep.  Sleep is the most underrated ways to heal and it’s free!  Establishing a good bedtime routine is key to restful sleep.  Avoid electronics (phone/tablet/computer) before bed as it messes with your brain.  Have a regular bed time and get up at roughly the same time every morning.  It’s also really important to have your room as dark as possible and turn off any electronics/appliances that have a blue light.
  • Be kind to yourself.  It important to treat yourself with kindness and respect – and do not criticise yourself
  • Talk to someone.  If you feel the need, reach out and find a trusted person to talk too.  It’s important to know that you’re not alone.

Image credits:  Tim Mossholder ; Christian Erfurt; Matthew Henry – all on Unsplash.com