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Looking after your Mental Health

Eating well

Having a healthy diet is important when you want to look after yourself not just physically but mentally. Your brain needs a mixture of nutrients to stay healthy and function well. Everyone should have three meals a day with two healthy snacks in between. Try to cut down on sugary foods and drinks.
A healthy diet should contain a mixture of these
  • Lots of different types of fruit and vegetables
  • Wholegrain cereals or breads
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dairy products
  • Oily fish
  • Plenty of water

Exercise

To keep your mental health in good a healthy condition you should try and fit in at least thirty minutes of moderate exercise three times per week. This does sound like a lot but the key is moderate. Try activities such as walking places instead of getting public transport as well as cycling and swimming. Exercise helps with your self-esteem. It can also help make you concentrate, get better sleep and look and feel better.

Having some quiet time

There are many ways which are easier and feel good at the time like cigarettes, alcohol or even drugs but these can have a negative effect in the long term. Time out is really important for looking after your health. It allows you time to relax and reconnect with yourself. Even though some time alone is key to calm down and relax always make time to spend with friends and family. There are many different techniques to help you relax.
Pausing – Taking time throughout the day to take breaks to think about how things are going, maybe write a list of what’s happened throughout the day then before bed to help clear your mind for the next morning.
Deep Breathing – if you feel stressed or need a breather go somewhere quiet and sit down and take five minutes. Close your eyes take big deep breaths through your nose and out through your mouth. Think about your favourite place, could be your home or somewhere you went on holiday.

Family and friends

This can also include the topic ask for help. Friends and family are always the best to ask for help as these people love you and care for you and just want the best for you and your well-being. Knowing that you are not alone is important, surrounding yourself with people who love you and care about you can emphasise this.

Jessica Cuthbertson, CYP Drop-in Volunteer

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