Often our focus is channeled on our external & physical health. We know that if we exercise, keep fit, fuel our body with nutrients and goodness, sleep well, drink lots of water and avoid sugary foods we are more likely to be physically healthy.

When it comes to our internal mental health however, we are less well informed. We might have a general idea when it comes to sleeping more, exercising for stress relief and stepping outside to clear our heads, but when it comes to putting quality time into our daily mental health, the truth is this is something that many of us neglect.

A daily self-care routine is so important. Not just for eliminating short term feelings i.e. feeling less stress, anxious and generally low. But more for the avoidance of longer term mental health illnesses such as depression, sleep disorders, anxiety and chronic stress. I’ve put together 5 tips on how you can use daily self-care to improve your overall mental health. Have a read…

1. Step outside. This is an easy-one, particularly in the glorious early summer weather. Stepping outside for a walk, a workout or simply just to sit and think, can be so beneficial to our wellbeing. Enjoy some one on one time with nature just for a short while each day. Especially if you are working long hours. You will come back to your desk feeling refreshed and ready to rock & roll for the afternoon!

2. Do something you enjoy. This sounds so simple, but so often we actually neglect activities that can really make us feel great. Try and find some time, even if it is 15 minutes when the kids are in bed to sit down and do something for you. This might be running a warm bath, reading your favourite book, working out, cooking something you enjoy or as simple as flopping on the sofa, grabbing some dark chocolate and tuning in to your favourite series! Good Housekeeping have put together an amazing list of ways to create the ultimate self – care routine – have a read!

3. Make time for those who uplift you. Times are a little dull at the moment, particularly on the social front! Use your daily/ weekly virtual calls to connect with loved ones that generally make you feel good. Speaking with those we just enjoy talking to can boost our morale and put a smile back on our face!

4. Practice a good sleep routine. This could easily be a blog in itself, but winding down a few hours before bed can do wonders for your mental health and sleep quality. Try and find a bedtime that suits you every day and stick to it – even at the weekends where possible. At least an hour before you plan to sleep, switch off your socials and refrain from having bright lights on where possible. Let your mind switch off so you can sleep deeply and peacefully without any external pressures. Waking up at a similar time each day can also be great for ensuring a restful night’s sleep.

5. Be kind to YOU. In light of Mental Health Awareness Week the Mental Health Foundation are challenging ALL of us to be kind to ourselves and others. Try and give yourself some love each day, rather than battling with damaging and unhelpful thoughts of ‘I should have done x’ or ‘I should have achieved y’, think about what you HAVE achieved and celebrate those achievements no matter how small.

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