Activities to boost your mental health

How you can boost your mental health

Here are some of the best mental health tips from different experts. 

Depressed man
Depressed man/ iStock

South Africa is facing a suicide crisis, and mental illness is one of the most common causes of suicide. 

However, mental illness is not always easy to detect. You cannot detect it using a blood test or even an x-ray. The issue is deeper than that. 

A long-lasting feeling of sadness or irritability, frequent mood swings, excessive anxiety, worry, or fear, social withdrawal, and dramatic changes in eating and sleeping habits are some of the common signs of mental illness. 

However, there are things that you can do to help boost your mental health. 

Dr Lee Kingma says exercise is crucial. "If you possibly can –  some gently exercise like a walk or yoga can invite your body into a happy physical space.”

South African media personality, Connie Ferguson, recently shared about how exercising has been helping her. 

READ: World Mental Health Day: How to manage your mental illness

"Exercise is good for so many different reasons, but the reason I commit even when I don’t feel like it, is because of its effect on my mental health!" she wrote on Instagram.

Dr Lee adds that doing some form of spiritual activity can also help boost one's mental health. 

“I have noticed in my coaching practice that those with some spiritual practice are coping so much better during this time of the pandemic," Dr Lee said. 

Ferguson also adds that prayer has been helping her. 

"It’s been years that I’ve been off antidepressants, and even in the most challenging times, I managed to stay off. Wake up, PRAY, exercise and go about your day," Ferguson said. 

Dr Happy Setsiba says one has to be mindful of triggers. These can be anything from certain types of discussions, a type of music, social media or even certain places. 

“There are things that you can avoid. For instance, if you have people that always say things that you don’t like or that stress you out, you can always avoid them,” advises the Clinical Psychologist.

What we consume on social media also affects what occupies our thoughts. Constantly watching things that will make you feel anxious is a bad idea and will only escalate your stress levels. 

READ: Mental Health: Five morning routines to help you prepare for the day

Image credit of iStock/ Marjan_Apostolovic

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