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It’s important to take care of yourself and to look after your mental health, in and outside of the workplace. On this World Mental Health Day, we share 10 practical ways for you to do so.

1. Talk about your feelings

Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s important to talk about your feelings because it can help you stay in good mental health and it’s a way to cope with a possible problem you’ve been carrying around in your head.

You don’t need to sit your loved ones down for a big conversation about your wellbeing. Talking about your feelings can happen naturally, especially when you’re doing something together.

2. Keep active

Indulging in regular exercise can help boost your self-esteem and assist you with sleep, concentration and feeling better.

But exercising doesn’t just mean doing sport or going to the gym. It can also include gardening or walks in the park to keep you active. Exercise can keep your brain and your other organs healthy and improve your mental health.

3. Eat well

What you eat may affect how you feel and it can have a long-lasting effect on your mental health. Your brain needs a variety of nutrients to stay healthy just like all the other organs in your body.

So, a diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.

4. Drink sensibly

We often drink alcohol to change our mood. But drinking is not a good way to manage difficult feelings. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness and some drink to deal with stress, but the effect is only temporary. When it wears off, you feel worse because of the way the alcohol has affected your entire body, especially your brain.

Occasional light drinking is perfectly healthy and enjoyable for most people. Stay within the recommended daily alcohol limits and drink responsibly.

5. Keep in touch

There’s nothing better than catching up with the ones you love face to face, but we know that it’s not always possible. You can also give them a call, drop them a note, or chat with them online instead.

Keep the ‘good lines’ of communication open: it’s good for you!

6. Ask for help

Asking for help can feel like a chore, but remember that none of us is superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan.

If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help. The people around you may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear or even recommend a professional who might be able to help you.

7. Take a break

Take a deep breath and relax.  A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health.

It could be a five-minute pause from work, a half-hour lunch nap before going out, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’. Sometimes the world can wait.

8. Do something you’re good at

What do you love doing? What did you love doing in the past? Or maybe there’s something you’ve always wanted to try…

Is it activities you can or might be able to lose yourself in?

Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it and achieving something, whether you’re good at it or if it’s something new, will help boost your self-esteem.

Enjoying yourself can help beat stress.

9. Accept who you are

Be proud of who you are, because we’re all different.

It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else. Recognise and accept the things you may not be good at and appreciate the things you are good at.

Feeling good about yourself boosts your confidence to learn new skills, visit new places and make new friends, and good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn.

10. Care for others

Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together.

Helping out and volunteering can make us feel needed and valued, and that boosts our self-esteem. It also helps us to see the world from another angle and put our own problems in perspective.