The start of the year is a time for looking forward to the next 12 months, setting resolutions and goals, and generally feeling positive about life…
In reality, January can be a difficult month for many people, with miserable weather, endless emails, and a general crash after the festive magic of December.
It’s time to relax. This article reveals some tried and tested ways on how to improve mental health. Follow some of these methods over the next few weeks and you will hopefully feel happier, calmer and more energised for the year ahead.
1. Exercise in nature
You may already know that exercise for mental health is a must-do if you are feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed. It may feel like a bit of a tall order at times but putting on your trainers and heading out for some exercise can improve your mental health.
Aerobic movements such as running, swimming, cycling, and walking release endorphins, which provide a positive feeling in the body and mind. Yet, exercise is much greater than a simple chemical release.
Other benefits of exercise for mental health include distraction from your problems, as well as social interaction with others – particularly if you go to a gym or a studio-based class.
Yet in addition to indoor activity, it’s well worth mixing things up and getting outside to exercise. This is particularly wise as spending time in nature can boost your mental health. Combining both exercise and nature is therefore a recipe for success.
Whether that’s a trail run with friends, a brisk walk on the beach, or a cycle around the local park, the power of getting back into nature should not be overlooked.
2. Talk to family and friends
Sometimes, when you are at your lowest and there feels like no way out, opening up to a close friend or family member about your emotions and problems can be all you need to feel better.
This doesn’t have to be a formal meeting or something akin to a therapy session. Simply pick up the phone or pop round to their home and have a chat.
Not only will you be able to vent your feelings and anxieties, but you will often find that they have felt similar to you at one time or another. Whether they can offer advice, support or simply a shoulder to cry on, just having a chat is one of the most powerful tips on this list.
3. Try CBD to reduce stress and anxiety
CBD (cannabidiol) is a much talked about compound derived from the hemp plant, used to treat a variety of physical and mental health conditions.
The good news is that evidence strongly supports CBD’s efficacy in reducing anxiety disorders and stress-related conditions. Therefore, CBD products may be worth a try if you are feeling blue this January.
Our Relief Drops contain 600mg of full-spectrum CBD, with 12 different cannabinoids and terpenes to help soothe the body and mind. We put the focus on producing a product of the highest quality, which is independently lab tested twice and certified organic.
4. Stay hydrated
In the summer months, we put quite a focus on staying hydrated, as beads of sweat remind us to regularly drink water. However, in the cooler winter months, it can be all too easy to slip into a state of dehydration.
In addition to fatigue, headaches, and nausea, dehydration may also increase the risk of anxiety and depression, as well as other unhealthy mental states.
Aim to drink at least two litres of plain water every day (equating to around eight standard glasses), drinking an extra 500ml of water for every hour of exercise you do – more if you sweat heavily.
You can also add electrolytes to your water to boost hydration. Electrolytes are simply minerals that carry an electric charge and prove vital in hydrating the body. You can purchase electrolyte supplements, or simply add a pinch of pink rock salt to your water.
5. Pamper yourself
January doesn’t have to be miserable, turn it into a month of pampering instead. Giving your body some much-needed rest, relaxation and TLC may be able to help boost your mood and alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression.
Pampering may look as extravagant as spending the week in a 5-star luxury spa or as simple as taking a long hot bath with your favourite salts and book.
We recommend adding a few handfuls of our Relief Salts to your bath for an extra treat. This blend contains naturally occurring Epsom salts, combined with organic-certified essential oils and botanicals, including Frankincense and Eucalyptus, for a remedy to aching bodies as well as a lift to the senses.
Remember, if you are struggling, you can always call the Samaritans on 116 123 for a friendly chat, or Mind’s Infoline on 0300 123 3393 for non-urgent information about possible mental health support and services.