Tips for taking care of yourself

If you're going through a difficult time, you might end up feeling low or run-down.

Here are some self-care tips for your physical and mental health to get you feeling like yourself again.

The Five Ways to Wellbeing

The Five Ways to Wellbeing is a simple five-step plan for improving your mental and physical health and wellbeing. Some of it might seem obvious, but it works and lots of our staff swear by it. 

1. Connect

Spend time with your friends, your family and anyone in your life who makes you feel good.

Strong social and family relationships play an important role in good mental health. We understand that this isn't always easy. If you're using one of our services, why not find out about the social activities going on? You could also join a club or social group to meet new people.

Volunteering is another great way to meet new people and feel connected.

2. Be active

Doing some exercise or even just going for a walk around the block can really help your health and wellbeing.

Exercise can help to improve sleep, concentration and your overall mood, even for people experiencing mild depression. And it helps your physical health over time too.

Taking up a new sport or joining a team is a good way to give yourself some structure, and a reason to stay healthy. It can be a good way to socialise too. Even if you've never been sporty before, there are groups and teams for people of all levels and abilities. 

Use this NHS tool to find activities and classes in your area.

3. Keep learning

Learning something new will make you feel more confident, and it can be a good way of taking your mind off anything negative going on in your life for a while.

You could sign up for a course, download an app to help you learn a new language, or try playing a new instrument. You could even just watch a YouTube tutorial and fix something around the house that's been bothering you.

4. Give to others

Doing something nice for someone else can make you feel good about yourself too.

It could be something as simple as holding the door open for someone. Or if you're up for more of a challenge, you could try volunteering. As we mentioned before, it's a great way to make new friends too. Find volunteering opportunities near you here.

5. Be mindful.

Try to be in the moment. This means focusing on what's happening with and around you right now rather than always thinking about the past or the future. 

This can have a big impact on how you feel. You can try mindfulness meditation, using something like the Headspace app to help you learn how to do this.

Find out more about the NHS steps to mental wellbeing here.

Take a look at your lifestyle and habits

Bad habits can creep up on us, especially if you've got other things taking up your attention. Having a think about your lifestyle is a good way to work out some small changes that can make you feel a lot better.

  • How's your diet? What you're eating and drinking has a big impact on how you're feeling. Make sure you're drinking lots of water and eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. If you're eating or drinking a lot of caffeine, sugar or processed things you'll see a positive impact from cutting down.
  • How are you sleeping? We all know how much difference a good night's sleep can make. Getting one can be easier said than done, but there are things you can do to help. Find information and guidance on getting good sleep here.
  • Are you drinking too much? If you're stressed, having a drink can seem like a good way to unwind. But it might not be helping you, and can get in the way of a good night's sleep. Keep an eye on how much you're drinking and try to have a few dry days every week.
  • Are you making time for things you love? Don't feel guilty for taking some time for self-care. Whether that's reading a book, taking a long bath, or watching box sets, make time for things you enjoy.