Mental Health Awareness Week is coming up, and this year’s theme is kindness. I think we could all do with a little more kindness – to ourselves as much as to and from each other. Since times are somewhat challenging, I thought now might be a good time to share some tips…

Mental health tips for challenging times


Journaling is one of those things that sounds too simple to be of any use – but it really can help. When you have lots of thoughts whirring around in your head, the process of having to put them in order and write them down can help you to sort through your thoughts and feelings. Just writing things down can help you to make decisions or to view things more objectively. As well as this, often once something is written down your brain can find it easier to let go of, so that it’s not whirring around in your head so much.

Practice good sleep hygiene

I am a massive fan of sleep, and really strict about getting to bed on time. When you’re feeling rubbish it can be tempting to go to bed later, and to sleep later in the mornings – but this can actually make things worse. Stress can affect your sleep too, but it’s still important to keep to that routine as much as possible. There are lots of things you can do to help improve your sleep; take a look at this post for some ideas.

Get some fresh air

It sounds so simple but getting outside for some fresh air can make a real difference. Even just a quick walk around the block can help to clear your head. Apparently walking can really help with anxiety because when you walk your thoughts slow down to match your pace so they’re not so overwhelming.

Talk to someone

Talking can really help. Much in the same way that writing down what’s going on in your head can help to order your thoughts, so can speaking them out loud. Having someone there to listen can make a big difference, but it can be hard to talk to someone we know. Often if you’re in a relationship with someone you may feel that they are part of the problem, or that you don’t want to cause a problem in the relationship by talking about your issues. Free counseling can help with this; it can be really helpful to talk to someone who is completely outside of the situation.

Do something you enjoy

It sounds really silly – why wouldn’t you do something you enjoy? But on the other hand, when was the last time you did something you enjoy? It’s really easy to get bogged down in day to day life without making time to do the things we love. Try to do something every day that you enjoy; make this as important as the things you do for other people. If you’re in a relationship, finding something you enjoy doing together can really help too.

Don’t suffer in silence; if you are having a hard time, reach out for help in one way or another.

Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


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