The mental health awareness week runs during the second week of May and as the title suggests it is about raising awareness to an ever-growing concern amongst society today. Of course, mental health awareness shouldn’t just be about being more aware of depression and anxiety, bipolar disorder, or eating disorders. It should also be about being proactive in supporting good mental health so that you don’t suffer from these things in the future.
How can you take steps to support your mental health?
Keep healthy boundaries – It is all too easy to have relationships in your life that are not good for us. Why not go through your friend’s list on social media and just keep the ones that have got your back, distance yourself from the ones that are toxic, and drag you down. Learn to say no, it’s so easy to say yes to everything especially if you are insecure about friendships. But by saying no you won’t become overwhelmed with what you need to do. Learn to put yourself first in everything, this is not something most of us find easy but it is certainly not being selfish. By looking after yourself well means you will have more capacity to do the things you want to do for others.
Essential oils can help you, OnGuard a blend from doTERRA, is the oil of protection and can support you in putting these boundaries in place. Helping you to find the inner strength to protect your personal space, to find the resolve to cut away those toxic relationships, to learn to say no.
Lift your mood – probably one of the saddest things to happen to you when you are struggling with mental health is the loss of joy. Everything becomes such a chore, you have no motivation to do anything and when you do there is no joy from it. Stepping out of this place is hard but important in finding that road back. Diet can play a significant role in supporting your mood, changing your thinking can also help. But one of the best places to start is essential oils, no great effort is required just the simple pleasure of enjoying a beautiful fragrance. Whether you choose to diffuse them or use them topically (on the skin) there are so many to choose from to help lift your mood. Elevation, Cheer, Ylang Ylang, Peppermint, Melissa to name just a few but one of the best places to start is with the humble orange. Red Mandarin, Tangerine, Bergamot are all good choices.
My favourite is Wild Orange, as well as supporting you with calming your anxieties this oil helps you to get back in touch with that inner child. It can help you to find joy, fun, playfulness again, it can help inspire creativity and it most definitely makes you smile again.
Get outdoors – getting out into nature can’t help but make us feel better! By being mindful of what is around you will find you see and hear so much more, the beauty of it all, the bird song, the babble of a stream, the peace. Walking near water whether that is a river, a lake, or along the beach there is something so calming about the gentle ebbs and flows of the water. Out into the peace of the forest, no distractions, nothing to compete with, nothing to undermine you just trees pure, grounded, majestic. Into the sunlight not only are you gaining vital vitamins that help your body to function more efficiently but it immediately lifts your mood. And of course, if you are out walking, running, cycling you are also exercising something that is proven to support your mental health.
Why not bring the outside in by filling your home with plants and flowers, apart from looking good they can also help clean the air in your home of toxins that could be having a detrimental effect on your mental health.
Diet – you may have heard that the gut is our second brain. The food that you eat can have a significant impact on your mental health. Diets have become far too dependant on fast food, ready meals, cans, and packets as the pace of life has got filled with so many other pressures. Your body relies on a vast array of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to support good mental health as well as physical, to allow the production of hormones that help your mood. Seratonin is one of the key hormones for mental health and 80% of your daily requirement is produced in your gut. Changing your diet can seem like a huge hurdle when you are struggling to even get out of bed some days so start with baby steps. Initially, it may be that you add in a good range of supplements that can support your body’s requirements. Gradually introduce foods, one at a time so that you don’t get overwhelmed, fruit and vegetables are a great place to start. Don’t like veg? Adding them in as soups, smoothies or juices is a great option.
Good sleep – one of the things that most people struggling with mental health concerns lack is a good night’s sleep. It may be struggling to fall asleep in the first place, waking in the night and not falling off again or just poor quality, waking feeling like you haven’t slept. All of the suggestions above are going to help support better sleep but creating a simple routine that educates your brain that it is time to sleep can be really helpful. Turning off mobiles and tablets an hour before bed, dimming the lights, relaxing with a book, meditation, or a bath, using a diffuser with calming essential oils such as lavender or Serenity. Maybe you struggle with an overactive mind? Keep a notebook and pen by the bed and jot down the things trundling around in your head then pop a drop of lavender essential oil on the bottom of your big toes, relax and think about nothing but sleep. You might not transform your sleep overnight but give it time and things should improve.
Would you like to learn more about essential oils, what they are and how they can support you in your health and well-being journey? Why not join one of our ‘Introduction to Oils’ classes where you can learn more, ask questions and you will receive some oil samples to enjoy during the class plus a handy little A-Z book. Get in touch for all the details and to secure your place in one of the classes, begin your journey to support your health and well-being naturally, today!
You might also like to have a read of some of my previous blogs for ways to support your well-being and if you are struggling with your mental health please don’t struggle alone, reach out to someone whether that is your GP or a good friend.