Looking after your body is essential for your mental health. Unhealthy foods and an inactive lifestyle can have a severe affect on mental health. If you have mental health problems, you may notice that whenever you are in a low period it can be hard to eat right and exercise. If your mental health problem has an affect on your diet/exercise then remember to have compassion for yourself. Below are some tips on how to keep a healthy lifestyle. If you are struggling right now then try 1 or 2 tips until you are ready to try more.
Ensure that your diet is balanced and includes a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, meat and fish (or vegetarian alternative), carbohydrates (pasta, bread, potatoes). It is important to get all the nutrients that we need as they can impact our mood and the chemicals which help regulate our mood.
Keeping yourself hydrated is very important. When we are dehydrated we get tired, depressed and irritable. It is recommended to have 6-8 glasses of liquid a day. Alcoholic drinks do not count and water is the best.
Exercising can be hard and the average person spends most of their day sitting (school or office). Getting 20 minutes of exercise a day can make a difference to your mental health. That can include walking, sports, dancing or yoga. If you struggle with this then try walking short distances and gradually increase your distance.
If you drink a lot of alcohol, have issues with substance abuse or smoke then it might be a good idea to cut down on these behaviours. Alcohol is a depressant and can lower our mood. Long term substance abuse can cause mental health problems in the future. Cutting down smoking can also improve mental health as cravings from nicotine can impact our mental health.
Ensure that you give yourself time to rest and relax. Being busy all the time is not good for us. If we do not get enough sleep it can really affect our mood. Tips to improve sleep are watching caffeine consumption, go to bed and get up at around the same time each day. It is important that if you cannot sleep that you do not force it.
We spend so much time inside, such as in school or work. It is important to get outside and get fresh air. Getting some sun is vital for our mental health. Try some mindfulness practises outside such as feeling the wind/rain/sun/snow on your skin as you walk.