Positive steps to help our mental well being…


Last month was World Mental Health Day. Whilst this is a great day to increase recognition of mental health conditions it’s something that should not just be thought about one day a year.

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health condition of some sort in their lifetime

So we know mental health conditions are common and becoming increasingly common, we know there are ways to help but yet it’s still an unspoken area within our society. We need to raise awareness of managing these conditions to help others.

Being a Physiotherapist I commonly see patients suffering with mental health conditions, whether that is due to the pain they are experiencing or down to other factors. I feel very lucky that working at The Harbour Hospital we are able to give patients the time they need to talk. Having someone to listen to and acknowledging feelings is highly important to help patients get better. As Healthcare professionals I feel strongly that we should take mental health as seriously as physical health. Often pain and depression or anxiety can go hand in hand so as a Physiotherapist I always try to encourage patients to address the mental aspects to recovering as well as the physical.

Whilst you may not suffer from a mental health condition we can all take positive steps to improve our mental well being.

My top tips to help you improve your mental health:

Get active:

it has been well researched that exercise can help with stress, anxiety and depression. This does not mean you have to go and run a marathon but you could choose something as simple as a short daily walk in the fresh air. One of the many reasons why I love teaching Pilates is the positive effect it can have on your mood. So choose something you’ll enjoy and you’ll soon see the benefits.

Eat well:

A balanced diet can help your mental well being. Eating regular meals to avoid dips in blood sugar and drinking lots of water is beneficial. Certain mineral deficiencies such as iron and vitamin B12 can give us a low mood. Try to limit caffeine if you are feeling stressed or anxious and limit alcohol.

Get a good nights sleep:

Sleep helps to regulate the chemicals in our brain which are important in managing our moods and emotions.

Do something you enjoy:

Try and incorporate hobbies you enjoy into your daily routine. Creative activities are great for mental wellbeing, listening to music, cooking, sport or socialising.

Talk to others:

Try to talk to others about how you are feeling on a regular basis. This can be a friend or relative or you can seek more professional help if you feel you need it.

Get outside:

Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D which helps our brains release our happy hormones like endorphins and serotonin. Obviously sunlight can be limited in the British winter so talk to your pharmacist about vitamin D supplements.

Most importantly recognise that mental health is out there and do something positive to help others.

Kate and her team of Chartered Physiotherapists run Pilates classes at Pure Chill Studio, 89 Salterns Road. They’re excited to announce new classes are starting on a Friday morning including a post natal class for Mums and babies. Please contact Kate on 07891813521 or email katecadbury.pilates@gmail.com for more details

Jason Rubino