Five ways to improve your mental health
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to look at just a few simple steps you can take to help your mind heal and feel better. Mental Health is no easy subject, but by constantly talking about it, everyone can help support each other. When you’re pregnant or a new mum, you often go through stages of feeling down, which is absolutely normal, but everyone deserves to feel happy.
Always remember that improving your mental health is a journey, and nothing will come quickly - also that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Here are just a few ways that can help you or someone you know, to feel a little more positive.
1. be kind to yourself
Sometimes we can be too harsh on ourselves, criticising the things we do or don’t do, the way we look and the way we feel. It’s important to be kind to yourself, and give yourself the love that you deserve. Rather than focusing on negative things, tell yourself one positive thing you love about yourself every morning; it could be that your hair looks amazing or that you know you’re intelligent, or maybe just that you did an awesome job at getting baby to sleep the night before. A little kindness can go a long way.
2. look after your body
Eating healthily and exercising have been shown to dramatically help with feeling low and unhappy. By preparing nutritious meals, and making sure you eat enough every day, you're giving yourself an added boost of energy and good stuff. We also believe that eating what you want helps to make you feel better, so have a nutrient rich salad for lunch, but feel free to treat yourself to some chocolate afterwards - anything that makes the soul feel good. Exercising when you have little ones around is easier said than done, but even if you only manage 10 minutes of jogging on the spot or light yoga whilst baby is napping, your mind will reap the same benefits as your body.
3. create a support network
Having supportive and loving family and friends around you will really make a positive impact on how you’re feeling. Being a parent can sometimes be lonely - although you have your little one there, you miss the interaction with friends and sometimes with your partner as life is so busy. Finding time to go for a coffee with someone else can really help, and if you’re struggling to do that with people already in your life, why not try an app like Peanut? You can meet other mums who just want to spend some quality time with someone else going through the same thing.
4. connect with your mind
When we’re feeling low, it can feel easier to zone out from the world and hide away than confront it head on, but trying to reconnect with your mind might help. Meditation and mindfulness are both ways to really focus on the present, how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking. If you’re not sure how to do this, there is a lot of helpful information online that will teach you how to understand yourself and embrace the world around you to feel happier.
5. try something different
Monotony can often make us feel worse when we’re low, and that’s because we get trapped with our own negative thoughts and can’t escape them. Rather than spending the day with baby trying to get the chores done and them to nap, why not go out for a walk and stop by your favourite shop? Even something as simple as taking a bus ride to a new park or having lunch in a cafe can help to break up a tiring routine that you feel stuck in.
Finally… Always know that it’s okay to not be okay. Not matter how you feel, you’ll always be the amazing person you are every day.