We all know the importance of eating a balanced diet, including our five a day, and getting regular exercise to keep physically healthy but there is less understanding about how to stay mentally healthy. Eating well and keeping active are really important for our mental health too and there's lots of other things we can do to improve and maintain our mental wellbeing.
Activity and exercise - as well as being vital to our physical health, exercise is very beneficial for our mental health and can help to reduce stress and anxiety. You don't need to go to the gym or play a sport, a short walk, doing some housework or gardening can be enough to boost our mood
Eating well - your brain is like the other organs in your body, it needs a good mix of nutrients in order to work properly and stay healthy so having a balanced diet and eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables can really help to boost our mental health
Staying hydrated - if we don't drink enough and start to become dehydrated, our brain can struggle to deal with the effects this has on our body, making it harder to think clearly so it's really important to drink enough water throughout the day
Getting enough sleep - sleep and mental health are very closely linked because a lack of sleep can impact on your mental health but mental health conditions can affect how well you sleep. When you're well, it's important that you try to get the right amount of sleep - this can be different for each of us but on average most people need around 8 hours of sleep every night
Asking for help - if you're feeling low and the things you usually do to improve your mental health don't seem to be working, it's important to talk to someone and ask for support. You could speak to a friend or family member, try an online forum like Mind's Elefriends but if things don't improve or you start to feel more unwell speak to your GP
As well as the above, there are daily actions we can all take to look after our mental health and wellbeing. The Five Ways to Wellbeing were researched and developed by the New Economics Foundation.
Lancashire Mind are part of the Mind federation, a network of local Mind organisations and national Mind. There's lots of information and resources on the Mind website that can help you to learn more about mental health.