Mental Health Awareness Week 2019
This week marks the annual Mental Health Awareness Week. Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event, hosted in the UK by the Mental Health Foundation, it’s the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems and inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all.
Mental Health Awareness Week has been run by the Mental Health Foundation since 2001.
It’s important to take care of yourself and get the most from life. Being mentally healthy means you can:
- Make the most of your potential at uni and life in general
- Cope with life
- Play a full part in your family, friends and community
Mental health is everyone’s business. Everyone has times when they feel down, stressed or even frightened. In most cases, those feelings pass but sometimes they can lead and develop into more serious problems, and sadly this could happen to any of us.
Many people don’t feel comfortable talking about their feelings. But it’s healthy to know and say how you’re feeling.
Below are 10 ways to look after your mental health.
1. Talk about your feelings
Talking about your feelings with friends, family, university staff or even your friendly Host team can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. Remember, that talking about your feelings is never a weakness; it’s part of taking charge of your well-being and doing what you can to stay healthy.
2. Keep Active
Exercise keeps the brain and other vital organs healthy, which brings a significant benefit towards improving your mental health. Exercising regularly also boosts your self-esteem, allowing you to concentrate, sleep and even look and feel better.
Exercising doesn’t just mean doing sport or going to the gym. Simple things like taking a walk in the park, gardening or even housework can help you active.
3. Eat Well
Our brains need a mix of nutrients to stay healthy and function well, a diet that’s good for our physical health is also good for your mental health.
4. Drink Sensibly
Many of us will drink alcohol to change our mood, but drinking is never a good way to manage difficult feelings and the effect from the alcohol is only temporary, and you would need more and more alcohol each time to feel the same. The key word to drinking and its effects on our mental health is sensible. Occasional light drinking is perfectly healthy and enjoyable for most of us.
5. Keep in touch
Strong friendships and family ties can help us deal with any of the stresses of life. They can make us feel cared for and provide different views from whatever’s going on inside our own heads.
6. Take a break
Relaxing, a change of scene or a change of pace is good for our mental health. Everything and anything from a five-minute pause, a half-hour away from studying, a weekend away somewhere new, make sure to give yourself some “me time”.
7. Do something you’re good at
Doing an activity, you enjoy probably means you’re good at it, and achieving something boosts your self-esteem, and enjoying yourself can help beat stress and improve your mental health.
8. Accept who you are
We’re all different, and it’s much healthier to accept who you are than to wish you were more like someone else. It’s well recognised that feeling good about yourself boosts your confidence and self-esteem. And good self-esteem helps us cope when life takes a difficult turn. Basically, be proud of yourself.
9. Ask for help
We all get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan. Just remember if things are getting too much and you feel you can’t cope, always ask for help. And as with speaking about your feelings, ask your friends, family, university staff or even your friendly Host team for help or a listening ear.
10. Care for others
Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. Think about sharing your skills more widely and volunteer or find out if your university has a mentorship programme, allowing you to volunteer your spare time to help fellow students with their studies.
If you are concerned about your mental health, please pop to the Reception in your accommodation. Speak with our friendly Host team and they will be happy to help. Find out more about Looking after your mental health, in the Mental Health Foundation’s how to guide and take a look at our self-care tips for coping with stress.
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