Changing the conversation about health

Five essential tips for helping your mental health

The College of Medicine Chair, Dr Michael Dixon, a Devon GP, offers up his top tips for maintaining good mental health using fivekey elements: Scroll down to watch his video:

Eat well
Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables – raw if you can. And try not to eat too much sugar or too much fat; we know these give you a quick fix in the short-term… but they’re not good for you in the long-term. A healthy body can help a healthy mind!

You don’t need to take up weight-lifting! A bit of power walking, some gardening, taking the stairs instead of the lift – anything that helps you break into a sweat every day, or every other day offers a tonic for mental health.

Get outdoors
Try and get connected to the world around you. Listen to birdsong and the sounds of nature and spend some time in the fresh air. You don’t need to go hiking in the desert to enjoy your surroundings, a local park can be just as meditative.

Connect with people
Join a dancing group, a singing group or a book club; anything that makes you feel connected to other people. If you’ve lost touch with old friends or know someone might just appreciate hearing a friendly voice, make that call, you’ll feel more fulfilled for it.

Perhaps the most crucial thing when it comes to mental health is to be kind to yourself and kind to those around you. If there isn’t the right balance of give and take in your social life, then you’re not going to be as mentally healthy and happy as you can be.