Your top tips for looking after your mental health


Written by In Sight

To celebrate the Mental Health Foundation’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we asked our community for the ways they protect their mental health and boost their wellbeing. We had so many great ideas, and saw some incredible skills on display from knitting to origami!

Why is mental health important?

Mental health is key to living a balanced, productive, and happy life. It influences how we think, feel, and act, shaping our everyday experiences and interactions. Taking care of our mental health is important for everyone, helping to create a stronger, more supportive, and resilient community.

Of course, everyone is different and what works for one person may not be the best for another, so do take time to figure out what helps you. If you do find yourself in a crisis situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to emergency services or local helplines for urgent support.

Sending a HUGE thank you to everyone that contributed!

Simple, practical tips for productivity and rest

A cup of coffee next toa phone with "do not disturb" on the screen

“To reduce excessive phone and electronic device scrolling, I will place the phone on Do Not Disturb, so it does not distract me. If still drawn to scrolling, I turn off the phone. I will also deliberately leave the phone at home or in a room away from where I am to distance myself from it and the rabbit hole it is.”

“Another neurospicy one here: I just buy multiples of things like lip balm, phone chargers and toiletries. One by my bed, one always in my coat/bag, etc. They don’t wear out faster so it doesn’t cost more, and I’m not constantly running around finding my things!”

“When I get up, I bring my mobile phone into the kitchen, login to YouTube, and play a video that I now call my “dish-washing music.” I bee-bop at the kitchen sink as I rinse dishes, and the whole while I think to myself this one very important phrase: “Future me will thank past me.” Because at that point in the future, what’s happening right now will be the past. So, if I do the dishes right now, I’ll come back into the kitchen later and look around and see that I’ve done the dishes and they are in the drain tray drying or already dried, and the countertops are wipes and the hob (stove top) is all sparkly and the cupboards are all tidy and my spice rack and all my cooking utensils are neatly facing forward (in my neurospicy precisely particular way) and the rubbish is taken out and the recycling is sorted. There is a big breath of satisfaction when I exhale as I look around at all that beautiful order, and then I say proudly, “THANK YOU, PAST ME! I’m so proud of you!” It gives me that adrenaline rush and positive vibe. It helps me SO much! And no one taught that to me. I figured it out for myself. So if someone else can benefit from this little helpful tip, then please, feel free to “steal” it for yourself. Happy it can help others, too!”

Keeping busy with crafts and active mindfulness

An open jar lays on it's side on carpet, with bright, colourful origami stars tumbling out

“I do big jobs in small parts. For example, if I have some washing to put away. I’ll put away underwear first, then leave the rest. Then I come back later to put away T-Shirts. Etc.

I just can’t tackle a big job unless i have that ‘head’ on. And that’s very rare! 😂

I also like to make or draw. At the moment I’ve been making lots and lots of paper stars. 🌟 Something repetitive and busy. That’s just me.

Find something easy, that you enjoy. One for thinking and one you gotta concentrate to do, and do them whenever you need. It’s not selfish to take time for yourself, it’s a necessity.”

“My husband enjoys LARPing. I love researching family history.”

“Me & my daughter made ourselves S.O.S. kits while we feel good so that when we feel bad we have a manual to go robot mode to I add to it randomly as things make me happy”

“I knit. And I make polymer clay earrings. Very mindful and helps me process my emotions in a healthy way (and I’m super warm in winter!)” – and we think community member Kim is incredibly talented knitting this petiteknit pattern!

Reflexology, relaxation and regulation

Feet in trainers walking while the sun shines

“I go for monthly reflexology treatments. Keeps me balanced and I sleep really well for weeks after. Lots of water and a good supplement with fish oils. Keeping my brain fed (fish oils) and hydrated helps with the stinking thinking. I find that if I do get stressed I increase the reflexology treatments and it brings me back to balance again. That’s my biggest tip. Some charities give treatments for free too.”

“I can often be overwhelmed by the black clouds and bad thoughts creep in.

A walk in the sun definitely assists. I try and force myself to do this even though I definitely don’t feel like doing it.

I also try and remember that everything will be brighter the next morning.”

“The biggest improvement to my mental health (beyond having therapy when I was able to get it!) Is sleep. Good quality sleep, enough sleep and the odd (most likely weekend) day where you sleep through your alarms because you’re catching up.”

“In addition to therapy twice per month, I’m focusing on healing my nervous system – engaging the vagus nerve, based on a book I read about self-healing. I have started experimenting with yoga, breathwork, reiki, somatic movement, forest walks…”

Credit to Holly at @TattoosByHollyAnn for our next tip:

“Me & my daughter made ourselves S.O.S. kits while we feel good so that when we feel bad we have a manual to go robot mode to I add to it randomly as things make me happy” 

It seems our furry friends are always there to help us too!

“Having a looong sleep in snuggled with my senior doggies and scrolling aimlessly for a while always leaves me feeling oddly refreshed! And I guess my tip is to be very careful to know when something is helpful or harmful – if staying in bed was leading to detriment (like doomscrolling and feeling miserable after) then it wouldn’t be good for me”

“Get outside, to walk amongst nature. Train my dogs or just simply be with my dogs, sit up on top lawn with cup of tea first thing in morning, usually in my pjs still 🫣and watch them zoom around being hyperactive happy silly spaniels . Driving up onto the moors for solitude , take a spaniel or walk alone or just sit quietly in the pickup. Turn up volume of liked songs that come on radio whilst driving so the vibration and beat goes through my body. Sometimes when things are very painful I’ll crash on the sofa and listen to my body if it needs rest and sleep, binge watch something on netflix till this phase passes. Meditation if I can do it ( the one thing I can’t focus on doing when significantly emotionally dysregulated) ,exercise helps like yoga, running and some weights”

“Walking my dog. I have ME/CFS so sometimes it’s a bit of a challenge but I always feel better mentally afterwards. Even if it’s pouring with rain. That can be the best time actually as its just me and the pooch pacing the street or field and we have it all to ourselves. Other times I like the interaction with other dog walkers. And it always it makes me happy to see my dog happy 😊

“I exercise hard 5 days a week. It’s pretty much the only thing that helps me regulate.”

The final word about self-compassion

A dog sleeps under a comfy blanket

“Grace. Give it to yourself when you’re not having a good day, when you can’t get errands or tasks done. Also cocooning— when coming out of an abusive relationship it’s perfectly normal and healthy to just kind of be with yourself, sleep, hang out at home, whatever feels good.

We’d love to hear yours!

Will you be trying any of these tips to support your own mental health? Please feel free to share your own feel-good advice over in our Facebook Group. For more mental health resources, take a look at the official campaign by the Mental Health Foundation.

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