How to Maintain Good Mental Health

This week, 18 – 24 May, is National Mental Health Awareness Week, an opportunity to understand more about how to maintain good mental health.

The theme this year is Kindness because research has shown that kindness is connected mental health. When you are kind, your brain rewards you by releasing hormones into your system that make you feel good.

5 Top Tips for maintaining good mental health.

Mental Health Awareness Week

We are in the ninth week of lockdown and it can be very challenging. Most of us are spending more time online and on social media. That can be a dangerous place if you are feeling emotionally fragile. It is easy to become over-exposed to news bulletins that raise your levels of stress and anxiety.

#Tip 1 Limit your exposure to news programmes. Cancel your daily newspaper. Stop watching news bulletins after 6pm so that your system can be relaxed at bedtime.

Another problem with social media is that it can lead you to comparing yourself with other people and how they are living their lives. You might see friends who are coping really well with lockdown and even seem to be having a good time cooking and home-schooling their children. Or you might see people who are sharing how bad they feel.

It is important to recognise that what you are seeing is what others choose to share and it is just a glimpse of what they are experiencing. Don’t judge them or yourself. Your experience is unique to you and you need to acknowledge what you are feeling, positive or negative.

#Tip 2 Stop comparing yourself to other people. You and your experience are unique

If you are following the activities of friends and connections on line you may be thinking that there are things you ‘should’ be doing. You may be seeing people fundraising or making face masks or running online courses and feel bad that you are not doing something similar.

‘Should’ is a word that is loaded with guilt. There is nothing you should be doing if you don’t want to do it. Follow your bliss and do the things you enjoy doing. Maintaining your own good mental health is the best thing that you can do for other people.

#Tip 3 Let go of the ‘shoulds’.

Once you are aware of your feelings, don’t try to push them down or ignore them. Those feelings are sending you a signal that there is something in your life that needs attention. There is a saying that ‘what you resist persists’.  If you bury your emotions they will find another way to pop up.

#Tip 4 acknowledge your feelings.

If a negative feeling stays with you, find somebody to talk to about it. It’s not a sign of weakness. We all have times when we get tired or overwhelmed. Family and friends can be good, supportive listeners. You may need to find support outside your social circle such as from a counsellor or therapist.

# Tip 5 Seek help and support from people you trust.

I wrote this poem a couple of weeks ago to express how I was feeling that day and to encourage readers to recognise and admit to how they were feeling too.

Today is a day for crying

Today is a day for crying

I don’t know why

It just is.


The sun rose as usual

In a blue sky with fluffy white clouds.

Spring is progressing

The flowers are blooming to their inner schedule.

The trees are shedding their blossoms

and filling out their new bright green leaves


My home is still safe and comfortable

The village and fields a delight.

The cupboards are stocked,

the freezer is full

and the bathroom has toilet rolls.


My loved ones are well

I am healthy and fit

My heart and lungs are strong.

My friends are okay and staying indoors,

just getting older, one lock-down day at a time.


I’ve counted my blessings

Been grateful every day

I know that all will be well.

I’m finding the positives

I’ve meditated and journaled.

I’ve baked and gardened and painted

I’ve posted pictures of it all.


But today is a day for crying.

I don’t know why

It just is.

Some days are just like that

And it is alright if you feel that too.


There are more resources and suggestions available on the Mental Health Foundation website

If you would like to talk about what you are experiencing or need some support, you can contact me for a free 30 minute consultation.