Staying mentally well

Updated: Feb 9

**Disclaimer** I am not saying that doing these things will automatically help your mental health but these are things I've learnt from friends, mentors and therapists.

I have struggled with my mental health from a very early age at first I thought it was just me, then I grew older things almost began to pile up on top of me and metaphorically weigh me down.

In this article I want to suggest some things that have helped me over the years.

By no means have I completely figured everything out but I would like to think I'm doing better than I used too. I still have days, weeks and sometimes months where I'm a walking ball of depression of uncontrollable rage.

My first tip is to exercise regularly.

It gets the feel good hormones flowing and I believe 'heathy body, healthy mind.' It doesn't have to be a full on intense workout, it could be a quick 5 minute blast or just even doing your part for The 28 Day Press Up Challenge.

If you do The Press Up Challenge you don't need to do them all in one go.

If you do it I would ask that you tag me in any posts on social media and use #MindStrong6WeekChallenge and or #28DayPressUpChallenge.

Create a routine for both morning and night.

The morning routine should prepare your body for the day to come and the night routine should prepare your body for sleep. A routine can be as simple as you want it but it is something you do almost everyday.

  • Shower

  • Write in my diary (I write about the day, some affirmations, 3 things I'm grateful for, 3 things I learnt that day)

  • Read a book (currently reading Ant Middleton's Zero Negativity)

Take on what you can manage, do what is sustainable!

Taking on what can't manage will eventually lead to overwhelm. When I do try and do too much I start off doing loads and feeling really productive but I don't give myself time to wind down, so make sure you get that chill time in their as well.

I believe everyone should have a 'support network.'

I define a support network as people who you can lean on when you get tough. Mine is my little sisters, my girlfriend and a coach from Shine Coaching called Stacy.

My girlfriend is my rock and has seen me at my best but also at my absolute worst.

When I was doing my sessions Stacy listened and taught me some CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) but most effective was the quotes she would send me in a text. The quote I think about the most; 'You are not defined by your past but what you choose to be.'

Finally I have some friends I like to play video games with. To be honest we're not that good but for a few hours playing games can help me to chill out and take my mind off things.

You need to challenge yourself!

To push yourself!

To create new limits for yourself!

To see what you can do!

Remember don't push too far at once so instead gradually building up to something is always the best option. When it comes to training we call it periodisation. We plan and build someone up to lift new weights.

How it works is we set a deadline based on how much the person wants to lift. Then incorporate 3 main phases; 1) Building muscle 2) Gaining strength 3) Power. The same approach should be taken towards achieving your goals.

You wouldn't spend every on the couch binging Netflix and then expect to run a marathon after lockdown is lifted.

Building up this way reduces the likelihood of feeling overwhelmed.

Many thanks, I hope this helps.

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