Reduce stress and eat well for good mental health

Health
26 January 2016
Keeping your mind active is important to maintaining good mental health - particularly after leaving work.

While there is arguably some stigma still attached to topics surrounding mental health, there can be no doubt this is starting to fade. 

The topic might not be a comfortable one to discuss, but it is important to be aware of the issues surrounding mental health. Awareness of the matter means that more support is available than there has been in the past. 

It is important to keep yourself in good mental health - and this is particularly the case for those planning on leaving work. 

Keep your mind active

Leaving work is likely to lead to a feeling that you're slowing down a little without the usual 9-5 routine. This is not an easy adjustment to make. 

However, by ensuring your days are filled with activity, you can keep your grey cells active and reduce your chances of becoming despondent and suffering with low mood or depression. 

Anything that can be done to keep the mind active is to be encouraged - and this can range from crosswords and sudoku puzzles to engaging in more ambitious projects and hobbies. 

Although there is nothing wrong with taking it easy - and it is very important to relax and enjoy yourself - this should not be allowed to slip into complete inactivity. 

Boost your mood

Staying positive is a bit of a cliche, but there is some truth in it. But the simplest things - even just singing your favourite song on occasion - can really help to keep you in a good mood. 

Keeping busy will already help break up the day, give you a routine and help your mood look after itself to an extent.

Techniques such as mindfulness emphasise being aware of your emotional responses so you can stay in control of them as much as possible. By doing things you love and living in the moment, you can regulate your mood quite effectively. 

Communicate

Regardless of whether you meet up with someone to talk face-to-face, chat over the phone or on the internet, connecting with other people brings you out of yourself. 

If you're leaving work, you may be surprised how much you miss your colleagues, even if you didn't particularly spend time with them socially. 

Keep socially active by getting in touch with these old friends - or make new ones by going out to social clubs, joining volunteer groups or helping out with a local charity organisation. 

Reduce stress

Symptoms of stress should not be overlooked - and it is not good enough to try not to worry about them and hope they'll go away. 

Major lifestyle changes such as finishing work do bring a certain amount of stress with them - and the importance of offsetting this impact on your mood cannot be overstated. 

Make some time for yourself to focus on things that make you happy, avoid or minimise unhealthy habits like drinking too much alcohol and focus on the positive aspects of your life to help relieve stress. 

© 2016 Axonn Media Ltd. All rights reserved. Any views and opinions expressed in news articles are not those of Just Retirement Limited. News supplied by Axonn - NewsReach.