5 Ways I Improved My Mental Health

Having lived with depression and anxiety; a delightful duo, since I was around 12–13 years old it’s taken me a long time to get it under control. I will go over 5 things I did to help improve my mental health.

Bare in mind that everyone is different so somethings will work for you and not others and vice versa.

Sleep

Sleep can be an illusive bastard. The powers that be say you need around 7–8 hours sleep to be well rested, but its not as easy as that. The key to waking up and not feeling tired still is to wake up naturally. Waking up naturally means you wake up out of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, also known as deep sleep. Most people will get woken up by an alarm in the morning, so if you can wake up before your alarm, thats a winner.

An hour before bed you don’t want to do anything to taxing on your brain otherwise your just keeping yourself awake. I find reading a book or drawing usually helps. If I’ve had a busy day I sometimes don’t need any help getting to sleep.

Diet

What you eat can contribute to your mood greatly. If you eat a lot of food with fat and other saturates in you can feel gross and horrible.

For breakfast I usually eat either a banana or bran flakes to get me started for the day.

For lunch I switched to eating salads made up of lettuce leaves, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, beetroot with a protein food such as boiled eggs or chicken. Sometimes I’ll have a protein shake after using the gym. After I few days I felt loads better.

For dinner I usually have a protein such as chicken, turkey or fish with some veg and homemade chips (lower in fat).

I also cut out sweets and chocolate in the week and saved that for the weekend as a treat.

Essentially eating more vegetables of different colours, more protein and less fatty foods will make you feel better.

Be Selfish/Positive

Being selfish isn’t always a bad thing. Doing a good deed that makes you feel better is essentially selfish, so in my eyes its good really. I do it sometimes but started doing it more lately to try and be more positive, and being positive means you feel better.

Exercise

This is one of the most beneficial things I’ve started to do. If I get to work earlier enough I’ll either have a go on the rower or spin bike. This really helps me wake up and refreshes my head. I also do the same on lunch to help break up the day. If I you have trouble focussing on my work this can really help jump start my brain and I can’t jump straight back on it. If you don’t have access to a gym even going for a walk an be of great help.

Vitamin Supplements

I started taking L-Carnitine powder in water to help reduce my anxiety, which I don’t need as much as I used to. I also take magnesium and vitamin b tablets for depression which helps with energy and feeling more awake.

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