Top 6 Useful Tips For Keeping Your Mental Health In Check

Blue Monday is on the 17th of January, which is theorized to be the most depressing year. The theory is that is because it’s cold, we’re broke from Christmas and we’re starting to feel guilty about not sticking to our new year’s resolutions. 

So we’re giving you some top tips on how to keep your mental health in check year-round before Blue Monday hits. 

1. Breathing Exercises and Yoga

Yoga Meditation Pose

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It’s easy to get into a bad habit of feeling guilty about having not achieved enough the year before or even feeling guilty about setting a new year’s resolution but not sticking to it. Before you start to panic or if you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, a good way to deal with panic is by making sure you use some deep, calming breaths. Taking deep breaths helps send a message to your brain to calm down. Studies have shown that yoga is also a great way to help you relax and improve your mental health. It will also help you to learn how to control your breathing. 

Some added benefits of yoga: 

  • Improves strength, balance, and flexibility 
  • Benefits heart health 
  • Can help you sleep better
  • Reduces inflammation 

2. Nature

Sunset over a lake looking out to some trees

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Several studies have shown that going out and interacting with nature can help improve your mental health and reduce stress. The Mental Health Foundation in the UK did a study on how people coped with stress during the Covid-19 pandemic and found that: “Nearly half (45%) of people in the UK told us that visiting green spaces, such as parks, helped them to cope.”

Going outside and surrounding yourself in nature not only helps your mental health but also encourages you to go out and exercise either through taking a walk, a jog, a run, or otherwise. Plus, you can also get away from technology and social media and just focus on your surroundings. 

3. Pets

A Golden Retriever puppy and a ginger cat taking a nap together

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Pets are a great source of comfort and it has been proven that just stroking your pets, can help release endorphins. Endorphins are basically feel-good hormones, which ultimately will improve your mood. Many universities and hospitals have also brought in therapy animals to help improve mental health. Having a pet can also help in other aspects of your life, from helping give your life a routine or relating back to the above point, it gets you out in nature and encourages you to engage in physical activity. 

Note: If you don’t have a pet, there are also many other ways you can interact with animals, even fostering animals is an option. 

4. Working on small personal goals

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In my experience, working on a small personal goal helps improve your mental health. When work and everything else is stressing you out, sometimes it’s great to just focus on a small personal goal that is easy for you to accomplish. Whether it’s doing the laundry, finishing that chapter of a book you’re reading, or even watching that film you’ve had on your list for a while, it can help give you a sense of accomplishment. Ultimately, it can help build your confidence and can also help take your mind off of the things that are stressing you out. 

5. Relax in your own way

A woman showing off her hands covered in paint

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Doing the things you enjoy will also help improve your mood and decrease your stress. Watching a film, reading a book, coloring, or listening to music are some great ways to help yourself relax. Many of these things are all proven therapies in some form or another, as well as participating in sports or exercise. 

Here’s our other article, listing the creative therapies you can try.

6. Talk to someone or reach out

Two people holding hands to console/support them through therapy/talking

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If none of these tips help, there are always people you can reach out to. Whether, it’s friends, family, or a therapist, talking about your issues can help take some of the stress off of your shoulder. It’s important that you reach out to someone you trust who will support and talk to you. It can be hard to try and reach out and talk to someone, so here are some things to keep in mind for when you do. 

  • Talk to them in your preferred way, whether it’s face-to-face, a phone call, a letter, or a text.
  • One conversation may not help straight away, it can take time to feel completely comfortable talking about your issues. 
  • Suggesting ways they can help. 

There are many resources out there that you can use to talk to someone, with many offering face-to-face help, phone calls, or even anonymous text conversations.

However, you deal with mental health and stress, you don’t have to be alone. There are many resources out there for you to use and try out, whether it’s some techniques you want to try like yoga or therapy. 

And for everyone out there feeling guilty about not sticking to their resolutions, it’s important to remember, sometimes it’s okay to let go of goals if it’s affecting your mental health. Remember that everyone is at a different stage and try not to compare your goals and resolutions to others. They are not conducive to who you are and what you can achieve, everyone needs a break from time to time. 

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