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Being aware of your mental health

14 October 2022

Have you ever experienced periods of low mood ?

Do you always understand the cause of your low mood ?

Are there times when you wish you could do something about it?

Don’t worry, all of this makes you a normal human being. It is natural that sometimes your mood may be a little lower than others. This can be caused by things such as an argument with a loved one/family member, being overworked, feeling ill, negative media, financial pressures.

This is why it is important that you pay attention to your mental health. It is constantly changing and influenced by factors outside of your control. But when it is low you can do things to  help return you to a better place.

We have compiled some great ways you can keep your mental health in the best possible condition on the following page:

Keep a mood diary

This can be something as simple as a notebook and pencil or via the numerous apps which are now available, don’t forget you have access to Woebot via Medicash which is a fantastic app for not only keeping track of how you are feeling but also provides assistance in allowing you to recognise patterns.

However you do it keeping a mood diary allows you to identify how you feel and also allows you to look back and look for patterns in your feelings, whether this is what makes you feel good and really happy or times when you feel down.

When you recognize patterns you can then put a strategy in place to try and avoid things which bring your mood lower or when you do feel low you are able to look back to identify what you enjoy doing which makes you feel good and may raise your mood.

Should you want to speak to your doctor about your mental health, this also proves very useful for them to diagnose & help treat you, especially if you find it hard to put your feelings into words.

Be aware of the seasons

Unfortunately, none of us can control the weather but as we move into Winter the lack of sunlight hours can have a real pronounced effect on some of us.

If you know that you typically tend to feel lower moods over Winter and the shorter days then you might benefit from a daylight sun lamp, the great news is these lamps are a lot less costly than they used to be.

Using a lamp for as little as 20-30 minutes per day has been shown to have dramatic effects in improving the mood of people.

Talk to Someone

It’s easy to have the “it won’t happen to me” mentality with poor mental health, however it’s estimated that 1 in 6 people will experience a common mental health problem in their lifetime. Keeping track of how you are feeling, trying to recognise any patterns and speaking out if these feelings persist is vital to maintaining good mental health and allows any issues to be identified early on, before they potentially progress to a more serious mental health condition.

Mental Health UK have launched a platform called Clic, which is a free online community to support everyone with their mental health. Some people may feel more comfortable talking about their struggles in an online community or looking for resources suggested by others who may have experienced similar symptoms.

If you are struggling with your mental health and require support, please do not suffer in silence.

Keep active

It has been clinically proven that physical activity leads to an increase in endorphins which are responsible for giving you that feel good factor, so keeping active can be a great way of managing your mental health.

Remember that active means different things to different people, you might not fancy running 10 miles on a cold and wet winter night, in which case you may choose to keep active by walking around the block at lunchtime or by spending 30 minutes stretching at home in the evening.

If anybody would like any ideas around exercise routines or you are unsure of where to start then the mProve app provided by Medicash gives access to both home and gym based workouts along with Yoga and stretching routines.

Why not set yourself a challenge of accessing the app to try something new.