Roughly 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in the course of a year and women are more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem than men.
With the current economic climate causing all sorts of stresses and strains it is more important than ever to look after your Mental Health.
Mental/Psychological disorders can stem from a wide range of problems e.g. Eating Disorders, Addiction, Bereavement, Depression.
So what can you do to help to look after your mental health?
Some simple changes can have a huge impact on your mental health and well being.
- Talk About Your Feelings
Talk about your feelings as this can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. Talking about your feelings is not a sign of weakness. It is part of taking control of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy.
- Eat Well
There are strong associations between what we eat and how we feel – for example, caffeine and sugar can have an immediate effect. But food can also have a long-lasting effect on your mental health.
- Stay In Touch
Friends and family are very important. They can make you feel included and cared for. They can suggest different views from whatever is going on inside your own head. This can help keep you grounded and help solve practical problems.
- Take A Break
You know the old saying – a change is as good as a rest. A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. Take a five minute breather from cleaning your kitchen, a lunch break at work or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you.
- Accept Who You Are
Some of us make people laugh, others are good at maths, some cook fantastic meals. We are all different. Learn to be happy with who you are.
- Stay Active
Experts believe exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate, sleep, look and feel better. Regular exercise also keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy.
- Drink Sensibly
We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary.
- Ask For Help
Nobody is superhuman. From time to time we get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things go wrong. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you cannot cope, ask for help.
- Do Something You Are Good At
What do you love doing? What activities/pastimes can you lose yourself in? Enjoying yourself helps beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.
- Care For Others
Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together.
“Mental health is a most important, maybe the most important public health issue, which even the poorest society must afford to promote, to protect and invest in.” (World Health Organisation)
Find someone you can turn to for help, e.g. Family Doctor, General Practitioner, (G.P.), Husband/Wife/Partner, Close Friend, Counsellor/Therapist, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Mother, Father, Sister, Brother.
There are many organisations involved with Mental Health issues and able to help:
Mental Health Ireland
Irish Association of Suicidology
Irish Advocacy Network
Be good to yourself and look after your mental health.