Caring For Your Mental Health: A Complete Guide

Whenever we talk about health, it’s usually centred around physical issues. We talk about ensuring we remain healthy, and it’s normally accompanied by advice such as exercise a lot and eat foods that are good for you.

The problem is, we focus so much on our physical health, we end up neglecting our mental health. This is a real issue as mental health problems affect millions of people up and down the country, and billions all over the world. They’re serious issues too, and many people die because of mental health problems every year. In the UK alone, around 6,000 people commit suicide every year as the result of deep mental health issues. So many of these deaths could’ve been prevented if individuals cared more about their mental health and understood how to handle any problems.

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That’s what this post is going to talk about today. I want to help you learn how to keep your mind healthy, which will ultimately lead to a much healthier you in general. If you feel like you have some issues going on up there, then I implore you to carry on reading this guide. It will help you understand what your problems are, and the best course of action to keep yourself healthy. Even if you don’t have issues, it’s important to know all of this in case you start to develop them one day or you have friends/family suffering that need your help.

So, without further ado, here’s a complete guide to caring for your mental health:

Accept That You Have An Issue

I think the biggest problem with mental health issues is that no one likes to admit they have one. We can talk all day about the stigma of mental health that’s really been created by the media and mainstream TV. We’ve almost been led to believe that if you have a problem with your mind, you are insane and will be crazy.

No. This is not true at all. There are multiple issues that develop over time and are common in so many people. Things like anxiety, depression, split personality disorder are all common problems and don’t turn you insane. They’re health issues just like a dodgy knee or obesity, the only difference is they affect your psyche rather than your physicality.

So, the first step in caring for your problems is accepting you have one. Realise that you’re depressed, that you’re suffering in some way, and make a commitment to improving your life and dealing with it. Don’t be afraid of acceptance, things are a lot worse if you’re in denial.

Try And Find The Cause Of Your Problems

If you have a physical problem that’s causing you pain, what do you do? You try and figure out what’s causing your pain, and it will help you solve the issue and return to full health. It’s the same with mental health problems. A lot of them are triggered by an event or circumstances in your life.

The issue is, it’s sometimes a lot harder to pinpoint the cause of mental health problem compared to a physical one. But, there are some examples of common causes. I think one of the top causes has to be divorce. If your parents split up when you’re quite young, it could have an effect on your mind and lead to mental health issues down the line. Mainly, this is because you bottle up your emotions and never speak to them about how you feel. As is the case with a lot of the causes, such as feeling left out of your friend group. You feel left out, you get lonely, and you retreat into your shell which causes anxiety and depression.

A big cause of mental health problems is a severe or critical event that happens to you or that you witness. The best example of this is an army veteran that saw horrible things when in the service, and it plays with their head. But, you could also develop mental health issues after a car crash or if you’re mugged, etc.

It’s important to try and trace back the start of your mental health problems to the main cause. In doing so, you can maybe confront it and help figure out ways to cure yourself.

Get Professional Help

As I’ve already mentioned, there are parallels between mental and physical health problems. When you’re physically in bad shape, what do you do? You call up your doctor and book a consultation right away. Often, they help you in ways you couldn’t yourself, and you recover quicker.

Again, it’s the same with mental health problems, you need to get professional help. Sometimes, this means calling your doctor, and they’ll refer you to a psychologist or another qualified professional with experience in this field. You should also speak to your bosses at work if you’re suffering as they may provide you with a professional service to help you cope. I know there are companies like Health Assured that some businesses work with for this exact reason. It’s especially important if some of your stress and anxiety comes from work too. You need the professional help and guidance to help get through it and combat your issues.

Looking for help doesn’t make you weak, it makes you strong. It shows you’re facing up to your demons and really want to change the way you are.

Talk

My final tip is simple; just talk. Talk about your problems with a professional counsellor or with friends and family. Write about your journey in a blog or film it and upload it to YouTube. Just make sure you speak about it as much as possible, it will really help you.

Most mental health problems are aggravated when you bottle everything up and don’t express your feelings and talk about what’s wrong. Don’t let this happen to you, speak out, and speak loudly too, it will help you as well as others too.

I really hope this guide helps many people out there suffering from anxiety, depression, or any other mental health problems. Take my advice on board, and you can start breaking free and feeling more healthy.

Sure Signs You Need To Make Some Changes

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We all want to b perfectly healthy, and yet achieving that can be incredibly difficult. Partly what it so tricky about it is keeping up with our own bodies. Trying to stay in tune with your body is one of the most difficult things you need to do – but it is likely essential if you want to improve your health. In this post, we are going to look through some of the most common telltale signs that you are in need of some health-related changes in your life. As long as you are looking out for the following, you should stay on the right track for as long as you need to, or would like to.

Aches & Pains

We all get aches and pains from time to time, but if you are getting any that seem to be unexplained, or they persist for a long time, then you will want to have it checked out. Although they can be benign and nothing to worry about, it is also always possible for aches and pains to be symbols and indicators of something more serious. Aching limbs could mean the start of a flu, for example. Or worse, if you have chronically aching limbs, it might be that you are developing a serious illness like meningitis or something similar. Make sure you keep an eye out for any aches and pains, no matter where they might crop up in your body. You need to ensure that you are doing everything you can to keep illnesses at bay, so this is hugely important.

Tiredness & Lethargy

Being tired is quite common these days, especially in our culture. However, this doesn’t mean that it is a healthy state to be in. As it happens, we are all far too tired far too often these days. Mostly this is down to the nature of our work, which often seems to be designed to make us as sleepless as possible. If you find that you are excessively tired, however, you should consider taking some steps towards fixing that.

There is fortunately a lot you can do to improve your overall sense of tiredness. For a start, you should stop relying on caffeine to get you through the days. Caffeine can affect your ability to sleep up to twelve hours after taking it, so if you want to sleep better you should cut it out immediately, or at least cut down on how much you have. It is also true that screens affect our ability to sleep. This happens because the light from screens inhibits the body’s production of melatonin, the chemical which informs your body clock that it is time to sleep. So if you want to sleep better, you should seriously think about reducing the amount of time you spend looking at screens throughout the day, and particularly in the evening.

Another common problem is that the bed is simply not comfortable enough. There is no reason not to have a comfortable bed, so you should make sure to treat yourself to only the very best that you can afford in bedding. That way, you are much more likely to get a decent amount of sleep each night, and that will hugely affect your overall health in a number of positive ways, as well as ensuring that you feel much less tired on the whole. Sleep is an essential – make sure you get enough.

Addiction

The number of things which are potentially addicting is incredibly high. In a way, you can say that anything which relies upon or provides a dopamine rush can be potentially addictive. The quality of addiction is not necessarily anything to do with the substance or habit itself, but the dependence that the person feels upon it. If you ever start to notice that you are developing a dependence for something, it is a good idea to nip it in the bud as soon as you can.

Some addictions are arguably more damaging than others, and often these are the most common ones, simply because they are the most addictive. A good example in our culture is nicotine. This is the second most commonly addicted-to substance in the world (sugar being the first) and it is also incredibly dangerous when smoked in tobacco. If you notice yourself beginning to smoke more and more, you should think about curtailing it in order to get your health back on track as soon as possible. You might find it difficult, so using discount vape juice or nicotine patches is likely to make the transition easier on you. However you do it, you should aim to be rid of your addiction as soon as possible.

If you find yourself becoming addicted to something other than a substance, you still might want to think about kicking it. You might be addicted to social media, for example, and even this can negatively affect your health and your life as a whole. Remember: anything can b addictive, and it is up to you to decide whether something is becoming a problem or not.

Depression

It is often said that depression is the most commonly widespread mental illness in the world. If we think about the worst possible outcome of this affliction (death) we can see why it might be such a serious concern, and something which we should all learn as much about as possible. Depression kills people, and it is so important that you keep an eye out for any early signs of it in yourself and in your loved ones.

Depression is usually marked by a flattened affect, meaning a lack or loss of ability to feel emotions deeply. It is also usually accompanied by an intense sadness, but it can also just be a numbness. Sometimes, it comes hand in hand with a heavy dose of anxiety, and this can confuse the situation greatly. If you notice depression in yourself or anyone else, you should ensure that the proper medical treatment is sought immediately. It could be a life or death decision.

Easy Ways To Have Your Healthiest Summer Ever

Summer is a fun and celebratory time for many people. It can make us all feel more festive, happy, and hopeful. Schools are out, and the weather hots up (here’s to hoping anyway). So it is worth making our summertime be the happiest and best yet, by making sure that we are the happiest and healthiest yet too. Setting yourself some small goals to get yourself ready for summer can one the best things to do. It could also be time to make a few changes, in order to be healthier in time for the summer months. We haven’t got long! So here are some suggestions to make sure that your summer is the healthiest and best yet.

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Sort Out Your Sleep Routine

There is nothing worse than when it comes to summer and longer days, meaning it can be harder to get to sleep. So now is the time to think about your sleeping routine and if there is anything you should be doing to improve it. It might just be the case of getting blackout blinds. It might just be the case that you need to focus on getting to bed one hour earlier than you normally do. It might be getting out of the habit of checking your phone in bed. Whatever it is for you, it is time to make some changes.

Shift Some Weight

In order to be at your healthiest, then for many of us, losing some weight will help us get to our optimum weight. When we are lighter, we will be looking better, but more importantly, improving our internal health. So we can run, play, swim, and enjoy the sun of the summer all day long when you’re feeling much healthier and fitter.

Kick Bad Habits

All of us have some kind of vice that we lean on a little. It might just be that you’re a bit of a Diet Coke girl and love to have a can regularly. It might be other things that could be detrimental to your health like having too much wine on a daily basis, or you smoke a few too many cigarettes. If you want to be at your healthiest, then habits like this need to be kicked to the kerb. Otherwise, you might find that you are spending summer at an in patient alcohol rehab centre. So think about what makes you reach for your vices and then you can go from there.

Go with Grains

Whole grains are packed with goodness that we all need. They have protein and fiber, as well as vitamins and even antioxidants. When they are included as part of a healthy balanced diet, it could even help to reduce your risk of things like diabetes and coronary heart disease. So they sound like a no-brainer to add to your diet, don’t they? They can be eaten hot or cold once cooked, and work well with lots of fresh veggies. So they make a perfect option for eating over summer!

Operation Preparation: How To Get Ready For Hospital Procedures

 

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Whether you have a medical or cosmetic treatment, surgery and operational procedures can be an incredibly scary experience. There will be a lot that is racing through your mind but taking a few small, smart steps before your operation can help you approach the big day with confidence – and ensure a smooth recovery. Here are a few tips that will help you deal with and prepare for surgery.

Read the instructions!

All surgical procedures need you to do a few specific things before the big day. Your consultant or doctor will give you all the information you need to prepare properly, and it’s vital that you read it all and take it in. Many people turn up on the day of the op without giving their info leaflet a second glance, and it will just end up as a waste of your time – and the hospital’s resources.

Quit smoking

Every doctor will tell you to quit smoking, of course, but it’s even more important to do so – even if only temporarily – at least a few weeks before the big day. Patients that smoke are more complicated to deal with when they go under the knife, and if you want to avoid the prospect of complications, you’ll need to kick the habit.

Overcome your fears

Fear of surgery is a common issue, but it’s essential that you don’t let your anxiety cause you to cancel or postpone your procedure. Putting it off will just delay the inevitable, and if you are suffering from an illness, you will only be allowing it to worsen. Timing can be critical in some cases, and sometimes only surgery can reveal the full extent of your disease. So, if you have concerns about the op, speak to your doctor. They will be able to point you in the right direction for help, and ensure that you approach the big day with confidence rather than fear.

Be active

Be as active as you possibly can before your operation – but always chat to your doctor beforehand to ensure you are doing the right type of exercise. Going into a surgical procedure when you are fit and healthy will reduce your recovery time and have a positive impact on your outcome. Also, you might be spending a long period recovering on healthcare furniture and beds while you are in a hospital, and could be unable to exercise for a few weeks after the procedure. The fitter you are beforehand, the least impact your inactivity will have.

Arrange your follow-up care

Finally, make sure that your loved ones, family, and friends are all aware of your needs after the operation. Give the people in your life the time to learn new skills – maybe they will need to put dressings on or change your bandages, for example. Some people don’t like to make a fuss, and won’t ask for help – but a speedy recovery might rely on others giving you assistance.

The vast majority of surgical procedures occur without a hitch. And much of the success is due to how you prepare for your big day and plan for your recovery. Get these simple things right, and with a little luck – and a lot of skill from the surgeon – your op has every chance of success.

Four Great Rules To Live By That Will Truly Affect Your Appearance

 

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There is so much more to looking your best than dressing well and expertly applied cat-flick eyeliner, unfortunately. Not only do we have to consider our weight, hairstyle, and fashion, there’s all manner of seemingly innocuous things that will sneak up on us and make us look tired, old, or just plain drab. It can seem like a bit of a minefield, but there are four basic rules to follow.

  1. Prioritise a good diet

A bad diet can have a really detrimental effect on our appearance, and it’s not just our weight that suffers. Eating fatty or oily food in high quantities can make our hair limp, and our skin look dull or spotty. We also need lots of vitamins and minerals, protein and healthy fats in our diets to ensure strong hair growth, clear skin, and healthy skin rejuvenation. Water is also crucial for keeping skin looking clear, aiding weight loss, and just making us look awake. Yo-yo diets can also cause poor skin and lifeless hair, and even result in weight gain. The best way to look great and benefit from clear skin is to enjoy a healthy balanced diet and good hydration – easy peasy.

  1. Avoid bad habits

It might surprise people to know that there are so many bad habits that people associate with poor long-term health which can also have an immediate impact on physical appearance. Smoking, for example, not only compromises life expectancy and health, but it can seriously affect looks too. Lines around the mouth, skin discolouration, dull skin, and a bad odour are all almost immediate side effects of smoking. Drinking too much alcohol can also cause the skin to look dull and tired, and weight gain is also common.

  1. It’s called beauty sleep for a reason

If you’re a stranger to sleep, you’ll be no stranger to dark circles and maybe even other skin complaints. When we miss out on sleep, our bodies produce cortisol, known colloquially as the stress hormone, which worsens inflammation such as acne or psoriasis. Our bodies also rely on sleep to rejuvenate and create more collagen, which is essential for keeping skin plump and elastic. Missing sleep can even speed up the aging process, so don’t skimp on it!

  1. Consider your medications

Some medication can have side effects of skin problems, and it can be difficult to know what to expect before you start taking them. This is especially the case for contraception, as the use of hormones can have a significant effect on skin clarity. The two major types of contraceptive pill, the mini pill or the combined, such as the Yasmin pill, use different combinations of hormones, so will affect the body differently. On the plus side, if one has a negative effect, the other might work perfectly, so make sure you speak to your doctor if you think this could be a problem for you.

There are so many factors which affect our appearance, many of which we never consider, even though their impact can be significant. Just remember, if you’re worried about anything it’s really important to see your GP for advice.

 

Couple’s Workouts: Yea Or Nay?

It’s that happy time of year when we all try and stick to resolutions and maintain motivation for longer than 2 weeks. If you’re still going with a new exercise regime, well done! You’ve made it a lot further than many people. If your motivation levels are dwindling by the day, you may be thinking about varying your workouts, but have you considered embracing the new trend of couple’s workouts? Here are some of the pros and cons to consider.

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The pros

You get your own cheerleader

When you work out with your partner, you’ll have your own cheerleader to encourage you and push you that little bit further. If you’ve got someone there to give you that extra boost you’re likely to get more out of the sessions.

Moral support

Rocking up to the gym on your own can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re not a seasoned athlete. If you go with your other half, you’ve got a workout buddy straight away, and you’ll probably feel more comfortable.

Fun

If you have fun while you exercise, you’re much more likely to stick at it and want to go back to the gym on a regular basis. If you’re listening to music together, chatting, and having a laugh, the time will fly by, and you won’t consider your workouts a chore.

Joint celebrations

The couple that trains together can celebrate together. After a hard week at work and giving it our all in the gym, you can enjoy a well-earned treat together at the weekend. You can bask in the bliss of knowing that you’ve earned that takeaway or a 3-course feast at your favourite restaurant.

The cons

Your appearance

Many people feel self-conscious about how they look when they work out. Let’s face it, being bright red and sweaty isn’t everyone’s idea of their best look. If you’ve been together for a long time, you probably don’t mind him seeing you with sweaty hair and rosy cheeks, and you can put up with him being one of the grubbiest men in the gym. However, if it’s a relatively new relationship, you may not be ready to let your guard down just yet.

Different interests

If you’re working out together, you need to find activities that you both enjoy. If you love the cardio machines, but your partner prefers to lift weights, you’re probably both going to lose interest if you try and do similar programmes. If you do have different interests, you could work out at the same time, but follow separate plans. You may also find that you have different levels of fitness, and this can make it tough to train together. If you’re finding everything a challenge, and your partner’s skipping through the workout with no problem, this could also make you feel less confident.

If you’re a fan of Instagram, you may have come across images of couples working out together. It may look cosy and glamorous on the images, but would you really want to work up a sweat at the gym with your other half? Hopefully, this article has helped you to decide whether to say yea or nay to feeling the burn together.

Why You Should Stop Smoking before Surgery

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If you know you’re due to have surgery – whether for medical or cosmetic reasons – you should make every effort to stop smoking as soon as possible. You should aim to quit completely as soon as possible before the date of the operation.

The reasons why

Non-smokers experience fewer ill-effects during and after the anaesthetic and they often recover much more quickly than smokers. Their wounds are more likely to heal with no infections and with less visible scarring. If you have, for example, tummy tuck surgery in Manchester with Dr Gary Ross, he will recommend that you stop at least six weeks beforehand.

Your body, especially your lungs and heart, start to recover and repair themselves as soon as you quit smoking.

The more time that elapses between you quitting and having your surgery means more repair and recovery.

Smokers spend on average two days more in hospital after surgery than non-smokers.

If you carry on smoking

You’re at increased risks of chest infections, post-operative blood clots in the lungs or legs and your wounds will heal much more slowly. All this puts you at more risk of infections.

You have a 30% chance of post-op breathing and/or heart problems.

You’re 12 times more likely to have wound complications, including infections and ruptures.

Why smoking is bad for you

Chest infections

Your lungs are lined with millions of cilia – tiny hair-like projections that wave about and move mucus up from the lungs and air passages. Smoking temporarily paralyses these cilia so they can’t do their job of removing mucus, dust and other foreign bodies. This makes smokers much more prone to infections, especially after a general anaesthetic.

The effects of nicotine

Nicotine raises the heart rate and blood pressure – during an operation, when you’re under an anaesthetic, it’s crucial that heart rate and blood pressure are maintained within strict parameters.

Increased risk of blood clots

If you smoke your blood will have high levels of compounds that can cause it to clot faster than a non-smoker’s blood. This increases the risk of post-op blood clots in the lungs and lower legs; these clots can be fatal.

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO2) is a toxic gas inhaled with cigarette smoke. It reduces the ability of your blood to carry oxygen, which in turn can increase the risk of heart attacks, gastric ulcers and strokes. While you’re under an anaesthetic, your blood may carry less oxygen than a non-smoker, which can starve the heart and brain. Post-operatively, lower levels of oxygen can delay healing and make you more prone to infections.

What you need to do

Ideally, you should give up as soon as you know you’re having surgery. If you feel you can quit quickly and cleanly, then do so; if not, see your GP or practice nurse for help with making a managed withdrawal. You may, if you need, use nicotine replacement therapy, but remember that nicotine on its own will affect your surgery and recovery.

Your safest option both for your operation and for your long-term health is to quit smoking for good – you can do it!