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  • Fiona McGrother

Top Tips for Emotional Well-Being!

Top tips for self taking care of your mental well being!


We spend many hours days weeks even months perhaps of our lives thinking about our physical well being. We walk, we opt to take the stairs instead of the lift, we think about what food we put into our body how many calories we're consuming are we taking enough of the right things to achieve the things we'd like to achieve.


But, do we give as much consideration to our emotional well being on a day to day basis?


I'd wager the answer to that question is probably most likely a big fat NO! You might once in a while attend a mindfulness session or go to yoga class but for the vast majority of us that's still a secondary consideration, relative to the effort we give to our physical well-being.

So, here are my top tips for taking care of your mental well-being.


Talk about it

We often hear ‘’it’s good to talk’’ or ‘’a problem shared….’’ We know that talking therapies are highly effective, but what about in general day to day life? When someone asks us how we're doing, often our go-to reply is “I'm fine.” Sometimes we’ll say “I’m fine” even when we’re feeling really low. This might be because we recognise that when people ask ‘’how are you?” they’re actually not that interested in an honest response, they’re just being polite. It might also be because of the stigma we attach to expressing how we honestly feel. So, we absolutely SHOULD be talking about how we feel because the more we bring the conversation about our mental health out into the open, the better we will feel about being honest about our emotions.


Helping others

You know that feeling you get at Christmas time when somebody you love opens a gift that you've put a lot of thought into and you see that joy on their face when they open it? That feeling is great, it makes you feel like you’ve achieved something, that someone else values what you’ve done. Helping other people is good for the soul it's uplifting for you and can increase feelings of self esteem and self worth helping you to realise that you were a value in this world. Being part of a community whatever that role is is a really important contributor to good mental health



Getting plenty of rest and sleep.

Now this might seem a little obvious, but lots of us don't get enough sleep and the sleep that we do get is often not a great quality of sleep. Sleep is very important for your physical and your mental health and it helps to regulate the chemicals that transmit information in your brain. Believe it or not, these chemicals are vital to help us regulate our mood and emotion. Without enough good quality sleep, we leave ourselves open to mental ill-health including things like depression and anxiety.


Lifestyle choices

Again something which you might think is a little bit obvious, but thinking about the amount of alcohol we consume whether or not we smoke or take non-prescription drugs are also important considerations. Think about the last time that you had a little bit too much to drink and the effect that this had on the following days activities. Whether or not you had to go to work or carry out some important tasks the chances of you maximising your potential the day after a heavy drinking session are far less likely.

If you drink extensively, over a long period of time, without question, this has a detrimental effect on memory, concentration, judgement, problem solving and judgement. As time passes, you become accustomed to drinking heavily and the ability to function without alcohol becomes more and more difficult.

Often people drink to mask symptoms of anxiety or depression, but in fact alcohol itself is a depressant and the reality is that it will just make the symptoms worse in the long run.


Eating healthily

When we're feeling low or just emotionally at a low ebb, very often our first instinct is to reach for the chocolate or the high carb, high sugar options. and whilst in the moment this can feel like just the ticket, inevitably, this will lead to a sugar crash which means that your mood will drop and your emotional well being instead of being uplifted will do just the opposite and you may also be plagued with feelings of guilt and anxiety about the effects of the unhealthy choices you just made.


So what food can have a positive effect on emotional well being? There is growing evidence but a diet rich in omega-3 has a positive impact on mental health. So, what sort of things should we be eating? To increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, consume foods such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, walnuts, flax seeds and canola oil.



Managing your stress levels

For the vast majority of us avoiding stress entirely, is pretty much impossible. Often our work and family lives present us with challenges every single day that are on some level stressful. What is important though, is understanding what it is in life that triggers increase stress levels for you there are all sorts of ways in which we can manage this. Thinking about life in smaller chunks can make things seem less overwhelming and more manageable. Procrastinating or even burying your head in the sand is often an immediate way of coping. But, instead of coping, it’s actually just hiding from the problem which regrettably, is still there when you come back out. For lots of people, a good time-management strategy is really helpful. Thinking about the things that are important in life, dealing with those and prioritising important tasks is a great place to start. It's often easier to focus on the little easier tasks but we do need to think about what is the most important and then where you have space in your life deal with the smaller tasks.


Exercise

We all know but getting some exercise is essential for our physical well being. It's everywhere, on the news and the media, there's no hiding from it. the more exercise we get the more likely it is that we will stay physically well. But activity and exercise are essential in maintaining good mental health as well. Whatever it is that you do whether it's a run a cycle ride taking the stairs instead of the lift or even going for a run, doing some exercise can give you a real sense of achievement and it can boost the chemicals in your brain that helped put you into a better mood. in actual fact, GPs no prescribe exercise often instead of antidepressants or anti anxiety medication. The truth is exercise can help eliminate low mood, anxiety, stress and feelings of lethargy.

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