When you exercise, your body releases chemicals that automatically make you feel better. Team sports also give you a sense of belonging, which is good for mental health. Your local council will have information about leisure facilities and sporting groups where you live. View our good diet and physical health information, written by our Chief Dietician, Alison Sullivan.
It’s true – you are what you eat. Whether it’s concentrating at work or just getting a good night’s sleep, your diet can have an impact. Try to avoid sugary and caffeine rich food and drink, but snack on fresh fruit and vegetables instead. Your skin will look great and you’ll feel better inside.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is important, not only to rest your body after a long day, but also to recharge and relax your mind. If you have difficulty sleeping, speak to your GP.
Talk about your feelings
Don’t keep it bottled up. If you can talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling you are more likely to stay healthy and maintain a realistic picture of how things are. This doesn’t always have to be a professional – it could be a friend, relative or someone else that you trust.
But if you do need more structured help, speak to your GP or other health worker.
Studies show that getting involved in community projects and volunteering keeps you happier. So try signing up for some volunteer work – it’s also a great way to meet people too.
You can search through over a million volunteering opportunities at www.do-it.org.uk. And don’t forget to visit our own volunteering section to find out how you can give back to your local mental health trust.
Find some breathing space
Leaving the shopping centres and TV behind to get out in green spaces can improve your mood. Your local council website has details about parks and other green areas where you live:
Avoid drugs and alcohol
Alcohol contains a chemical that lowers your mood, so avoid using it as a way to manage your emotional state. Drugs such as cannabis can also reduce your ability to process things emotionally.
Visit NHS Choices for more information about the effects of excessive alcohol consumption.
Ask for help
Remember, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. The best place to start is at your GP surgery (family doctor). If you need more specialist help, your GP will be able to refer you to our services.