We all have times when we have low mental wellbeing – when we feel sad or stressed, or find it difficult to cope. For example, when we suffer some sort of loss; experience loneliness or relationships problems; or are worried about work or money. Sometimes, there is no clear reason why we experience a period of poor mental health.
There may be times or situations in your life that are more difficult than others. The capacity to stay mentally well during those times is called ‘resilience’. There are ways you might be able to develop and strengthen your resilience, so that you can deal with everyday life and face difficult situations without becoming unwell.
Talk about the way you feel
If you are facing a difficult time, talking about the way you feel with someone you know and trust can often help. Your friends or family may be able to offer you practical help or advice and give you another perspective on what is causing your problems. Even if they can’t help, often just talking something through and feeling that there is someone to listen and understand you can make you feel much better.
Build healthy relationships with people
Building and maintaining constructive relationships with people is an important part of staying mentally well. If you spend time around positive and supportive people, you are more likely to have a better self-image, be
more confident and feel able to face difficult times. In return, if you are caring and supportive to other people, you are more likely to get a positive response from them. You are then more likely to feel better about yourself and your ability to play an active part in society. For information and advice about how to increase your social contact and overcome feelings of loneliness, see Mind’s booklet: How to cope with loneliness
Look after your physical health
If you have good physical health, you are more likely to have good mental health. Sleep patterns, diet and physical activity all have an impact on your mental wellbeing.
If you have trouble sleeping, this can have a serious impact on your mental wellbeing. Negative feelings are likely to be exaggerated and you might find you are more irritable and less confident. Find information on sleeping better Here
Eating healthily has a positive impact on your physical and mental health. Eating a well-balanced diet at regular meal-times with plenty of water and vegetables will help you to feel more healthy and happy. Stopping or reducing your alcohol intake, and avoiding tobacco and recreational drugs can also help improve your general wellbeing.
Physical activity is good for mental health, particularly if you exercise outdoors. Being active can help reduce depression and anxiety and boost your self-confidence. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer gardening, gentle walking or something more active – you will almost always feel better for having done some physical activity. You can get more information on how to improve your mental health through exercise Here
Do something you enjoy
Doing something you enjoy can improve your confidence and help you stay well. Make time to do things you like, whether it’s cooking, seeing your friends or doing DIY. Learning something new, or taking up a new hobby, can also boost your confidence and occupies your mind in a positive and active way. You can find information about volunteering organisations and local groups, clubs or classes Here
It’s important to make time to relax, even if you don’t feel under stress. This may mean going away for the weekend, spending an evening doing something you like, or even just taking a five-minute break to look out of the window. Find out more Here
Identify mood triggers
Keeping track of your moods in a mood diary can help you work out what affects your mental wellbeing and recognise changes in your mood that would be difficult to spot otherwise. Knowing what affects your moods can help you take steps to avoid or change the situations that have a negative impact on you. You can create your own mood diary, or there are lots to choose from on the internet, an example of a mood diary can be found Here
Look after yourself during difficult times
Everyone has times when they face challenging situations and find it difficult to cope. If you are experiencing a difficult time, or are unwell, it’s important to look after yourself and try and get through. Be careful not to put too much pressure on yourself to carry on as normal. You may need to take a break from your usual responsibilities, for example reducing your social activities or workload. Take small steps and don’t expect too much of yourself.
Stay safe. If your feelings become overwhelming, and you have suicidal thoughts or you think you may self harm, remember that you can pick up the phone at any time of night or day and talk to the Samaritans on 116 123
There is also help and advice Here if you are struggling
Learn to accept yourself
One of the most important steps in staying mentally healthy is to learn to accept yourself. If you value yourself, you are more likely to have positive relationships with other people and find it easier to cope with difficult times in your life. Here are some tips to help you increase your self-esteem. There are local free courses that can help with things like improving self-esteem and accepting who you are, take a look Here
Mange your money and Finances
There’s a strong link between struggling with money and poor mental wellbeing. Feeling low can make it tough to manage money and worrying about it can make you feel even worse. Poor mental wellbeing may mean you make money decisions you didn’t intend to make or, avoid making them at all. If you are worried about money it can make you feel low or anxious, this is normal and doesn’t necessarily mean you are depressed or have an anxiety disorder.
If you are concerned about your finances or in debt, face your fears get advice on how to prioritise your debts. When people feel anxious, they sometimes avoid talking to others, its important to talk to someone. If you cant or don’t want to talk to a friend or family member, seek professional advice. You can find out about local advice HERE if you live in Tameside and HERE if you live in Glossop.
Resilience is what gives people the mental strength to cope with stress and hardship, life’s ups and downs. It is the mental strength we are able to call on in times of need to carry them through without falling apart. Dealing with change or loss is an inevitable part of life. At some point, everyone experiences varying degrees of setbacks. Some of these challenges might be relatively minor (such as not getting that ticket for a gig or missing the bus ), while others are disastrous on a much larger scale (such as bereavement, loss of a job or told you have a serious health condition). Resilience is how we deal with these problems which can play a significant role in not only the outcome but also the long-term psychological consequences.
Resilient people are able to utilise their skills and strengths to cope and recover from problems and challenges. These problems may include job loss, financial problems, illness, natural disasters, medical emergencies, divorce, or the death of a loved one. Instead of falling into despair or hiding from problems with unhealthy coping strategies, resilient people face life’s difficulties head-on. This does not mean that they experience less distress, grief, or anxiety than other people do. It means that they handle such difficulties in ways that foster strength and growth. In many cases, they may emerge even stronger than they were before.
Those who lack this resilience may instead become overwhelmed by such experiences. They may dwell on problems and use unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with life’s challenges. Disappointment or failure might drive them to unhealthy, destructive, or even risky behaviours. These individuals are slower to recover from setbacks and may experience more psychological distress as a result.
Resilience isn’t a personality trait – it’s something that we can all take steps to achieve.
For example, you can:
For more tips on building your resilience, go to the following links improving your wellbeing, and increasing your self-esteem.