Taking care of your mental wellbeing can be more challenging when you have a diagnosed mental health problem. But importantly, having a diagnosed condition such as depression or anxiety doesn’t mean that you won’t have long periods of good mental wellbeing.
Ways to improve your mental wellbeing
Whether you have a mental health problem or not, there are lots of practical things you can do to improve your mental wellbeing:
- Building positive relationships
- Looking after your physical health
- Making time to do things you enjoy
- Learning to accept yourself
In addition, there are a few specific things you can do to help safeguard your mental wellbeing if you’re living with a mental health problem.
1. Get involved in your treatment
Evidence shows that people who are more involved with decisions about their treatment have a greater chance of recovery than those who aren’t. Your doctor or mental health professional should always discuss your treatment options with you and you can be involved in the decision making process at every stage.
The only situation in which a doctor can overrule your preferred treatment method is if you’re receiving compulsory treatment under the Mental Health Act 1983.
2. Manage your medication
If you start taking medication, it might help to keep a record of any side effects, their impact and how they’re made worse or better by different food, drink or by taking the medication at a certain time of day.
Keeping track of this can help you and your GP find a medication regime that works for you.
3. Tell people what helps
Everyone is different and when it comes to mental health problems there’s no one size fits all solution. So, it’s important that you let the people around you know what works for you. That way, if you do become unwell, they’ll know what to do and how to support you. For example, you may want to tell your friends and family whether you prefer to be left alone or to talk things through.
Being confident that the people around you know how to support you can help to ease feelings of stress and anxiety about what might happen if you start to feel unwell.
Learn more about mental wellbeing from this How to: Mental health guide by mental health charity Mind.