EVIDENCE-BASED WAYS IN IMPROVING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
- KEEP ACTIVE
Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and look and feel better.
Exercising doesn’t just mean doing sport or going to the gym. Experts say that most people should do about 30 minutes’ exercise at least five days a week. Try to make a physical activity that you enjoy a part of your day.
If you work in an office it can make a huge difference to get out for a walk or do a class at lunchtime, or to build in exercise before or after work to ease you into the day or create a space between work time and personal time.
- EAT WELL
What we eat can affect how we feel both immediately and in the longer term. A diet that is good for your physical health is also good for your mental health. It can be hard to keep up a healthy pattern of eating at work. Regular meals, plus plenty of water, are ideal.
Try and plan for mealtimes at work bringing food from home or choosing healthy options when buying lunch. Try and get away from your desk to eat. You could try a lunch club at work where you club together to share meals and try new things.
For busy times, or times when you are feeling low or stressed, try reducing or giving up caffeine and refined sugar. Make sure there is a ready supply of fruit/vegetables and snacks like nuts or trail mix that provides ready nutrients.
Be aware that some people find public eating at work very stressful because of past or current eating disorders so if someone doesn’t want to come to work dinners, or makes different food choices in the office, don’t pass comments or put pressure on them to join in.
- DRINK SENSIBLY
We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary.
Most people don’t drink at work but most of us recognize the pattern of drinking more at the weekend or in the evening when work is hard going.
Be careful with work functions that include drinking. It can be tempting to have a drink to get ‘Dutch courage, but if you feel anxious you may drink too much and end up behaving in a way you’d rather not, which will increase feelings of anxiety in the medium to long term.