Health and Wellbeing

Physical and mental health are both impacted by each other. Positive health and wellbeing is all about balance. Exercising too much or too little can have a negative impact on our wellbeing, just like worrying too much about what we eat or not worrying at all can as well. It’s important to take positive actions towards looking after our health and wellbeing, but it’s also important to think about balance. Reflect on your current habits and behaviours, your balance of activities, and think about if there’s anything you’d benefit from changing.

1. Talk to someone

Talking things through with someone can help you to get perspective, to take some time away from the things that are worrying you, and to get ideas for new things you can try to manage what’s worrying you. Sometimes just saying it out loud can help you to process what you’re experiencing. Talking to someone can help to help to challenge your own beliefs and to recognize when your behaviours are causing you to feel anxious or stressed.

2. Get enough sleep

Sleep is as important to your health as eating, drinking, and breathing. Poor sleep is linked to physical problems, like a weakened immune system, and mental health problems, like anxiety and depression. Check out these tips to get better sleep.

3. Eat well

Eating enough fruit, vegetables and nutrients can improve your mental health and wellbeing. Eating a lot of processed foods and saturated fats is linked to poorer mental health. Eating well is all about balance, and having a positive relationship with food. It’s not about avoiding treats altogether. It might feel harder to eat well on a budget, but it’s not impossible. Check out recipes from Cooking on a Bootstrap and tips from the NHS. If someone else buys the food in your household, try talking to them about trying new foods, or you could even offer to make dinner for them.

4. Get moving

Being active and moving our bodies is not just good for your physical health, it’s good for your mental health too. Getting your blood flowing and your boosting your endorphins can help you to be more productive. Try your best to incorporate movement and activity in your routine, in whatever way works best for you. If your routine involves sitting in one place for hours at a time, try to break this up with a few minutes of stretching – you can even do it from your sofa. There’s free exercise videos and tips online, from  It can help to keep a record of personal achievements based on your own goals.

5. It’s all about a healthy balance

Eating well and getting enough exercise are important, but it’s also important not to get carried away. Eating disorders are most common among 16-19 year-olds, and a third of all adults have felt shame about the way they look. If you are worried about your relationship with food and your body, take a look at these tips. and talk to someone.

6. Get out in nature

Spending time outdoors is good for your physical and mental health, and it’s free. There are lots of ways in which spending time in nature can be positive for our mental health. New and exciting research is happening all the time that adds to our understanding of how our natural environment affects the health of our bodies and minds. Many of us live a fast-paced urban life, with long working days and long, crowded commutes. In these environments there are many pressures that affect our mental health. This is why it’s worth making the time for nature, in whatever way works for you. Mix up your weekly routine and get outside into green spaces, instead of always meeting friends in cafes, restaurants or pubs. Look for parks, public gardens, museums, and National Trust free open spaces. Take a look at the Mental Health Foundation’s Thriving With Nature guide for inspiration on how to get the most out of your local green spaces.

7. Try spiritually connecting mindfulness

Spiritually connecting and reflecting  can help us to recognise and acknowlede thoughts and feelings, and to learnto regulate them and quiet your mind. You can do this through prayer, quiet reflection, or mindfulness. You don’t have to be a pro to practice mindfulness – it can improve your mood from the first try. There are apps like Headspace that offer free trials to get you started.

8. Practice wellbeing with friends

It can be easier to commit to healthy habits when we do it as a team. Try going for a walk in open, green spaces with a friend, or take it in turns to cook each other cheap and healthy meals. You could even try some mindfulness activities together, or you could find people with similar beliefs to practice with, and go to Buddhist centres, churches, or mosques. If you live with siblings, you could try some of these activities together too. You don’t need to wait until you’re struggling with your mental health – you can build wellbeing activities into your daily life, which can help you manage your mental health before problems arise.

9. Doing good does you good

Kindness can help reduce stress and improve our emotional wellbeing. We all have so much going on in our lives, not just on an individual level, but at a national and global level too. This can mean that we push kindness to one side in favour of what’s urgent or trending right now. But if we take the time to be kind to other people, this can have a hugely positive impact on our wellbeing. Start with a commitment to showing kindness in your words and your actions, and thinking about random acts of kindness you can do for those around you.

10. Practice gratitude

Practicing gratitude can lower stress levels, increase feelings of happiness, and help you sleep better. Each day, write down one or two things that you’re grateful for from that day, like your health, family, or friends, or something you’ve done that you’re proud of. This can help you to recognise and appreciate the people and things you have, and after a few days it can start to reshape how you feel about things. Celebrate your own achievements, even the ones you might think are the smallest ones – sometimes they feel like the hardest.

11. Look after your sexual health

Get to know your body. Get regular checkups. If you’re in a romantic relationship, make sure it’s healthy and safe for everyone involved. This means anything that takes place is consensual, and no one feels exploited, solicited, or pressured. Brook offer free and impartial advice and support on sex, relationships, friendships, and more. Change Grow Live do too.

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