Mental Health and Better Everyday Living
A handy list of tips on how to maintain better everyday living, including finance and appetite, while facing a mental health problem.
We fully understand that the pressures of everyday living can feel overwhelming while you’re facing a mental health problem. Sometimes, even getting yourself up and out of bed feels like an impossible task. For times like this, we’ve gathered a few helpful tips that will help you prepare to face the world, and feel comfortable while being productive.
Monitor Sleeping Habits
The relationship between sleep and mental health is a close one. Ensuring that you get as much rest as possible is vital to having enough energy for the day. The catch is, living with a mental health problem can affect the quality of your sleep, and not getting enough sleep, in turn, escalates the state of your mental health. It’s a difficult cycle to escape, but there are practical things you can do to try and maximise your time to rest.
Keeping a sleep diary, writing down your worries before trying to rest and making sure to stay off your mobile for at least an hour before getting to bed are all wise boxes to tick for the best sleep possible. If you’re still stressing over sleep, taking your sleep diary to your GP could also help to identify and rectify your problem.
Watch Your Appetite
What you eat also has a great impact on your mood. Maintaining a healthy diet is a great start to preparing yourself for everyday life, and the road to better mental health. Foods that slowly release energy, such as rice, pasta and nuts, are most beneficial to balancing your energy levels. Eating small amounts regularly, rather than eating two large meals, could be key in keeping you going through your everyday.
The aim is always to remain productive, rather than to crash and feel tired. Avoid sweet foods that cause your blood sugar levels to spike rapidly and deplete, and try to stay away from ‘trans fats’ that cause inflammation (linked to heart disease and diabetes). The last thing you need when facing a mental health problem is to develop a physical one too.
Spotlight On Finance
Mental health issues can make earning and managing money much more difficult. And worrying about your income can often make your mental health even worse, like a vicious cycle. Understanding your ‘money and mood patterns’ could help you to face searching for employment or seeking benefits. By explaining why you feel anxious with triggers like having to phone the bank, you can better understand your thinking patterns and rationalise with negative thoughts before they occur. It’s worth trying to monitor your spending habits, too. Impulsive shopping provides a brief high, but it can cause stress and debt when you’re short of money later on. If you’ve identified that this is a problem for you, confide in a trusted friend to start and introduce some financial accountability.
Parenthood and Mental Health
It’s entirely natural to worry about the impact your mental health may have on your family, particularly when you’re a parent. Days where your energy is low and you don’t feel able to play can inspire feelings of guilt, especially when your children do not understand the issue. One of the most important things to do is help yourself, before worrying about your family. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with practical tasks, such as childcare and transport when necessary, and make sure you have a reliable support network of trustworthy friends to turn to. Try to introduce a routine into your household, with regular mealtimes so fewer demands from your children come as a surprise. Knowing exactly when you need to carry tasks out can quell the anxiety of uncertainty, as well as ensuring that you keep active.
While dealing with a mental health problem is never black and white, having practical tips to make everyday living easier is valuable. When all feels uncertain, it’s always worth reading sound advice or talking to somebody about your situation – even on a mental health crisis helpline from the likes of Mind.