Here are some top tips from Mandy who helps run some of our courses

  1. Sleep. Sleep helps to regulate the chemicals in our brain that transmit information. These chemicals are important in managing our moods and emotions. We can feel at a low ebb or anxious, if we don’t get enough sleep.
  2. Cut out the caffeine. Try to either cut down or cut out the caffeine i.e. coffee, tea, energy drinks etc. as this can make you feel jittery, anxious or stressed.
  3. Get active. Activity and exercise is essential in maintaining good mental health. Exercise boosts the chemicals in your brain that help put you in a good mood. Exercising can help to eliminate low mood, anxiety, stress and feeling lethargic.
  4. Do something for someone else. Helping someone can help with your self-esteem and make you feel good about your sense of self in the world. Feeling as though you’re part of, for example, your local community, either by volunteering or being neighbourly will give you a positive boost.
  5. Eat well. Mineral deficiencies, such as iron and vitamin B12 deficiencies, can trigger off low mood. Try to eat abalanced diet, which includes fruit and vegetable as part of your five a-day. Enjoy having a treat such as a takeaway or pizza, as long as this doesn’t become the ‘norm’ every day.
  6. Stay in the sunshine. 30 minutes -two hours per day of sunlight can help to the brain to release chemicals which improve our mood, like endorphins and serotonin. Be careful to use sun protection in the summer months. As an alternative in the winter time, using a special light therapy light can help with low mood
  7. Stay social. Avoid spending long periods alone to avoid becoming isolated and lonely. Seize the opportunity to talk to people and maintain healthy friendships. Having friends and support available is helpful, especially when you’re feeling low or stressed.
  8. Keep an eye on unhealthy habits. Drinking in a binging manner or more than usual can result in feeling stressed or at a low ebb the following day, and it can be harder to concentrate, as your usual sleep pattern can be interrupted. Avoid drinking, smoking and or using any drugs recreationally and or prescribed, can result in dependency issues developing as well as withdrawal symptoms.
  9. Manage stress. Avoiding problems or stressor will only exacerbate and maintain stress symptoms. Talk to people close to you or a health care professional to identify the triggers to stress and ways to manage these. It’s part of the human condition to experience stress and finding coping strategies/solutions to deal with these will help you feel more in control of your life, as well as improve your self-esteem.
  10. Have Fun. Laugh and have fun by doing activities which give you sense of satisfaction and help to reduce stress levels. Make time to do the things you enjoy the most, for example, watch a movie, read a book or magazine; attend an exercise class, go for a meal. Not doing the things we enjoy, can lead to unhappiness and irritability.