Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week. The UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems, inspiring action to promote the message of good mental health for all.
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, their theme for 2020 is kindness, and we love this. It’s a reminder to be kind to others, to our planet and our surroundings, but also and very importantly, to be kind to ourselves. Especially in the current pandemic. Here are a few steps that we can take each day to help improve our mental health:
Move more: Taking 30 minutes of ‘exercise’ each day can really help to boost our mood. That doesn't have to be running or anything too strenuous, walking, gardening, and even dancing around the kitchen are all known to help boost our mood. Yoga and meditation are also fantastic ways to nourish our bodies and minds. Don't forget to check out our live yoga sessions with @rachelfindingbalance on Mondays and Wednesdays if you can.
Talk and connect with people: There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world. It's not as easy right now in the current situation, but with so much technology at our fingertips, a phone call or text could go a long way.
Learn a new skill: Cooking, DIY, an online course ... Most of us have more time on our hands right now, why not put it to good use and try to learn a new skill over the next week?
Give to others / small acts of kindness: Research suggests that giving acts of kindness can help to improve your mental wellbeing as this creates a positive sense of reward, gives you a feeling of purpose and self-worth and helps you to connect with people. Be sure to try and include acts of kindness each day. Holding a door open, saying hello and giving a friendly smile, sometimes have a greater impact than you realise.
Be present: Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ of your surroundings can strengthen and broaden awareness. Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities. Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations.
Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. That could be on a morning walk or even just a few extra moments looking out of the window each day.
Eat well: You've heard the saying ‘you are what you eat’ but it's true. The body needs to be fuelled with a good balance of food to keep it healthy. That's not to say you can't indulge in the odd treat from time to time, however, a recent study found that a 'Mediterranean-style' diet (a diet high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil) led to a reduction in depression among participants. Drinking water is also very important to help keep your body and mind functioning at its best.
We also know that CBD can help to relieve stress and anxiety - two factors that can have a massive impact on our mental health. If you'd like to know more about how CBD can improve your health or simply fancy a chat with one of our friendly team, feel free to get in touch.