7 ways to support your Mental Health

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year's theme is 'Nature'. Spending time in nature, whether it's walking in the woods, growing flowers in your garden or being around animals can have a positive impact on the way you feel. It can reduce stress, boost your mood, clear your mind and improve your physical health.

We believe it is important to highlight the issues surrounding Mental Health, as well as helping to remove the stigma that still surrounds it.

There are many steps you can put in place to support yourself if you are struggling with your own Mental Health, or if you are looking for ways to support a loved one.

Exercise has a huge impact on our mental health. It is a fantastic stress reliever, and can help to clear your mind. Mastering new skills is a wonderful way to boost your self-esteem and doing physical exercise releases feel-good hormones in your brain. You can find an activity that you enjoy - whether that is running, Yoga, walking your dog, a HIIT class, going for a bike ride or playing a game of tennis. 
Connecting with nature is an excellent way to improve your mental health. Talking a peaceful walk, listening to the sound of the wind whistling through the trees, feeling the sun on your skin, and feeling the crunch of the leaves underfoot all help to make you more mindful of the world around us. It focuses your mind on the present moment, calms and grounds you. 
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Feeling lonely or isolated has a big impact on your mental health, as we have all learned over the last year. Humans are not made to be solitary creatures - we need connection with others. If you cannot be together in person, then arrange regular phone calls or zooms with your friends or family. It's so important to keep those connections alive so that you don't feel so alone.

Sleep and Mental health go hand in hand. Lack of sleep can make your mental health deteriorate; poor Mental Health can affect your sleep. Putting steps in place to improve your sleep will have a knock on effect on your mental health. Turn off any technology for at least an hour before bed, journal, try a guided meditation and use aromatherapy. Using our Calm Bath Salts will help you unwind, relax and leave you de-stressed and our Calm Room & Linen Mist can be used over your pillow to promote a restful night's sleep. 

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If you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, deep breathing will help by triggering your body’s natural relaxation response. Slow your breathing down, take long, deep inhales, breathing from the diaphragm, then a long, slow exhale out. Try counting to five as you inhale, hold for a count of three, then exhale to a count of five. Focusing on your breathing keeps your mind busy and helps to quash anxiety.

We are what we eat, and often when we are struggling with our mental health, we don't have the energy to feed ourselves properly. Food nourishes your whole body, including the brain. Improving our diet gives us more energy and allows us to think more clearly.

A nutrient-rich diet, full of fruit, whole grains, legumes, leafy greens and vegetables, gives our bodies the fuel it needs to produce protein-building blocks, enzymes and neurotransmitters, which improves the connections between the brain and the body.

Minimising refined sugars and caffeine is also important, as overconsumption can lead to energy crashes, affecting our mood causing us to become anxious and depressed.

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If you are struggling right now, please know that you are not alone.  

If you are unable to seek support from friends and family, there are many charities and helplines where you can reach out for help and support when you need it most, and you could also contact your healthcare practitioner.

Here are some helpful UK services to consider:

CALM - Campaign Against Living Miserably is a UK charity who run a free, confidential and anonymous helpline offering help, advice and information to anyone who is struggling or in crisis.

Mind Charity - UK charity offering advice and support for anyone affected by Mental Health problems. 

Anxiety UK - UK charity for those affected by anxiety disorders.

Samaritans - UK charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress or struggling to cope.

PAPYRUS - UK charity for the prevention of young suicide.