Having good mental health is about feeling positive about ourselves and others, being able to form good relationships, and having the resilience to overcome challenges.
Good mental health is characterised by a person’s ability to fulfil a number of key functions and activities, including the ability to learn, the ability to feel and express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions. It is also the ability to form and maintain good relationships with others.
Steps to support your mental health:
The foods you eat and what you drink can have a direct effect on your energy levels and mood. Research has shown us that eating healthier foods can have a positive effect on your mood. Sugary, processed foods increase your blood sugar, making you feel tired and irritable when your blood sugar levels drop. Drinking too much alcohol can also lead to mental and physical health problems.
Physical activity can help your mental health in many ways as it can boost your mood, help slow/stop weight gain, can make you get a better night’s sleep and may ease depression and anxiety symptoms. Getting active every day for a least 30 minutes helps maintain your overall health. People who are physically unhealthy, may struggle to stay healthy mentally. People living with health problems (i.e.: heart disease, diabetes etc…) may often suffer with depression and anxiety.
As you age, your brain and body change. These changes can affect your mental and physical health. Older women may face more stressful situations (ie: financial) than men do, as women tend to live longer. As women come into the menopause stage of life, women may experience shifts in mood. This is due to hormone changes.
A healthy body image means you feel comfortable in your body and you feel good about the way you look. A negative body image can put you at higher risk of certain mental health conditions, such as depression, low self-esteem and eating disorders. You may not want to be around other people or you may obsess constantly about what you eat or how much you exercise. Women, especially young girls, are more likely than boys to have a negative body image. This can be due to the fact women can feel pressured to adhere to unrealistic beauty ideals, amplified by social media platforms (ie: Instagram) in recent years.