Lifestyle factors, including diet, sleep, stress, activity and social connection, all have a significant impact on mental health.
Physical activity has been shown to be effective in treating mild to moderate depression and anxiety and some studies show it to be as effective as popular antidepressants. It can also help to increase self-esteem, manage stress and is a great way to make social connections – another valuable way to help maintain good mental health.
Relaxation techniques can help to reduce stress and improve mental wellbeing – such as breathing exercises, meditation, mindfulness, visualisation and gentle movement.
Eating healthily is good for your body and will help your mood overall. The easiest way to improve your diet is to cut out processed food, avoid foods high in refined sugar and saturated fats, and eat more plants.
Sleep problems are strongly connected with mental health problems. Fatigue from lack of sleep can add to symptoms of mental ill health and increase stress levels. Develop a calming bedtime routine can help people to wind down at the end of the day, and follow a consistent sleep schedule can help to improve the amount and quality of sleep you get.
The Health Connections Mendip website lists a number of local projects and resources to support mental wellbeing and lifestyle change.