Mental ill health can affect anyone, as we have seen in recent months from public figures – the most outwardly happy people can be fighting an invisible battle on the inside. Mental illness does not discriminate.
hero Mental Health expert and counsellor Ashleigh Turner has put together some simple activities for you to try, to help boost your own mental health and support those around you too.
Activity 1: Positive Energy
They say that yawning is contagious and I believe energy is too. Evaluate the energy you surround yourself with. If you find someone to be a really positive influence on you and you come away feeling energised, make the effort to catch up with them for a cuppa.
Likewise if certain people feel quite negative or you always come away feeling quite drained, try limiting this person and see how it makes you feel.
Activity 2: How are you really?
“How are you?” is a question we hear a lot, often the answer will be ‘fine’, ‘good’ ‘I’m ok’. Take the time to talk to someone about how they feel, try asking ‘how are you really today?’
If you aren’t able to ask and really spend time listening to their answer, then you can use other ways to communicate. For example, you can just say morning/afternoon, a simple hey, or share a smile so you are still engaging and connecting.
If you are asked ‘How are you?’, challenge yourself to give an honest answer. If someone asks you how you are and you don’t feel great, try and be honest – perhaps you could say ‘thanks for asking – I’m not great, but I don’t feel I have the energy to talk about it today’.
Activity 3: Give an honest compliment.
Focusing on and noticing the good qualities around us gives our moods a boost – honest compliments can be a great way to support the mental wellbeing of those around you and spread positivity. We’ve put together some ideas for honest compliments below:
- I love how your face lights up when you talk about “x”.
- Your passion always amazes me.
- I admire your confidence.
- Your opinion on “x” opened up my eyes to see other perspectives.
- Thank you for being trustworthy.
- You are so resilient.
- You bring out the best in me.
- You’re such a good listener.
- I love your authenticity.
- You’re so talented at “x”.
Activity 4: An act of kindness.
Practicing kindness can have a profound effect on our physiological health, helping us to become happier and compassionate towards others.
If you can sense someone isn’t feeling great but aren’t able to ask, how about a simple gesture to show you care. Make them a cuppa, give them a biscuit, leave them a smiley face via email, text or post-it note and let them know that they’re not alone.
What will you try today to support mental wellbeing?