Serving, retired, family member - taking care of yourself and of you loved ones matters - read this section to find tips and signposts.
It’s as important to look after our mental health as it is our physical
Mental health problems can affect the way you think, feel, and behave. Some mental health problems are described using words that are in everyday use, for example, ‘depression’ and ‘anxiety’.
This can make them seem easier to understand but can also mean people underestimate how serious they can be.
A mental health problem feels just as bad, or worse, than any other illness – only you cannot see it. Although mental health problems are very common – affecting one in four people in the UK – there is still stigma and discrimination towards people with mental health problems, as well as many myths about what different diagnoses mean.
There are also a lot of different ideas about the ways mental health problems are diagnosed, what causes them, and which treatments are most effective.
However, despite these challenges, it is possible to recover from a mental health problem and live a productive and fulfilling life. It is important to remember that, if you have a mental health problem, it is not a sign of weakness. Most people experiencing a common mental health problem see their symptoms pass quite quickly.
Symptoms may return from time to time, but people are often able to manage them after the first experience. With more serious mental health problems, people also usually find a way of managing their condition. For many people, getting better does not mean going back to their previous life, but might mean making choices to live differently and having power over areas of life that seemed out of control before. Some people emerge from the experience feeling stronger and wiser having learnt more about themselves.
There is a range of support and treatment to help you and also information for your friends and family that might help them understand how you feel.
5 Ways to better mental health
We all have mental health, just as we have physical health, and it’s important that we take the time to look after it.
Yet YouGov research shows that around 33% of us never do.
There are lots of things we can do every day to support our wellbeing. Here are 5 ways to help maintain or improve your positive wellbeing.
Staying in touch with loved ones can make us feel happier and more secure; and often just having a chat can help to lift our mood.
- Put five minutes aside to ask someone how they are
- Arrange to meet up with friends that you haven’t seen in a while
- Join a local group or club and meet new people in your community
Being active isn’t just good for our physical health; it’s also proven to have a positive effect on our mental health and wellbeing.
- Go for a short walk at lunchtime
- Discover a physical activity you enjoy and one that suits you
- Try the NHS’s Couch to 5K programme
Whether you’re spending time with friends or taking a moment for yourself, try to stop to take notice and be aware of the present.
- Set aside for yourself, you are just as important as everyone else in your life.
- Take notice of how your friends or colleagues are feeling
- Spend time outdoors, enjoy the fresh air and notice what’s around you
Learning enhances your self-esteem and confidence and can be a great way to meet new people.
- Sign up for a class and learn something new.
- Rediscover an old interest, such as cooking or gardening
- Take on a new challenge to make or fix something
Giving can be very rewarding – in fact those who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy.
- Volunteer your time for the submarine family or a cause close to your heart.
- Spend time with someone who you know has been having a difficult time
- Fundraise for us and help support the submarine family