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This mental health awareness week, learn to be kind to yourself

mental health tips
In the wake of Mental Health Awareness Week, we thought it would be good to share some tips about protecting your mental health. The theme this year is Kindness and what better way to protect your mental health, than with some tips about how to look after yourself and your wellbeing. After all, the relationship we have with ourselves is one of the most important we hold, impacting all our other relationships with friends and family, so it’s worth taking some time to practise some self-care and protect our mental wellbeing in the process.
Here are a few simple things you can do to ensure you’re being kind to yourself: 

Eat Well
It might sound obvious but eating a healthy diet and the right foods can really help aid mental wellbeing. There’s strong links between what we eat and how this can make us feel. For example, caffeine, although loved by many for providing that morning wake-up fix, can also contribute to feelings of anxiety. 

Try to make sure you’re getting a healthy balanced diet made up of three meals a day. Include nuts and seeds, pulses, lots of fruit and vegetables, dairy and plenty of fresh water in your diet. And, although it’s fine to have treats, try and avoid excess amounts of junk food which can make you feel tired and lethargic. 

Get active & get in the fresh air

Research has shown that exercise releases chemicals in the brain that help you feel good and can boost your mood in the process. As such it can play a huge part in aiding wellbeing with something as simple as going for a walk, a gentle jog or getting out into your garden to do some gardening, all helping you to feel more relaxed, more positive about things and aid sleep too. 

Try to allow yourself an hour each day to do something active or get some fresh air. Pick something you enjoy, whether it’s a run around the block, a cycle in the countryside or just a gentle walk to your local nature reserve. That way it’s something you’ll look forward to doing and can build in to a regular routine. 

Take time out for you
It’s important you make time for yourself to relax so, try to create some time in your day, whether it’s for 5 minutes or an hour, to do something that will help you to unwind. 

For example, if you’re working from home at the moment, try to take a few minutes away from your work space to allow yourself to recharge by having a simple cup of tea or sitting in your garden if you have one. 

Another great way to create some relaxing time for yourself is to consider doing meditation or even practising some yoga or Pilates at home. We’ve created a great Spotify playlist full of meditative music and sounds of nature that would be great for this and which you can listen to here.

Talk to others about how you’re feeling and keep in touch with those you love
Try not to bottle up or keep your emotions and feelings inside. If you have someone you trust, perhaps a loved one or friend, talk to them about how you’re feeling and why. 

Opening up about a problem or issue you might be dealing with, can help you to feel less alone and more supported. In addition, you might encourage your friends and family to do the same and there’s nothing better than helping one another out and catching up with those dear to you. 

At the moment, doing this in person can be hard but there are some apps, such as Facetime, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger or Zoom, which all allow you to do video calls and see the smiling faces of those you care about. 

Treat yourself as you would treat others
We’ve all been there. We’ve had that niggling voice in our head that’s telling us we’re not good enough at something or just can’t do it. We can be our own worst enemy, but would you say that if it was a friend asking for some advice or talking to you? Probably not and most of us are often so much kinder to those around us than we are to ourselves. 

If those negative thoughts creep into your mind, try to challenge them and put a positive light on them, as you would for a friend. For example, if you’re thinking ‘I’ve never done that before, I’d be no good at it’ try to flip that thought into a positive, such as ‘this is an exciting new challenge that I’m going to try’. 
It might feel a little unusual at first but stick with it and ask yourself, what would I say if this was someone I cared about?

We hope you find these tips helpful, because now, more than ever, it’s vital to focus on our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around us.

Calor has partnered with Mind, the mental health charity, for a number of years and supported them in a wide range of ways. To find out more about Mind and the great work that it carries out, head to: www.mind.org.uk