Suzy Reading’s Best Advice For Being Mindful Of Your Mental Health
Posted by Samantha Nice, Oct 07, 2021
When it comes to wellbeing and mental health, it's fair to say, Suzy Reading knows her stuff being a chartered psychologist specialising in stress management and the facilitation of healthy lifestyle change. Here she shares some of her tried and tested advice...
Prioritise Sleep & Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Meeting our sleep needs of 7-9 hours a night is fundamental to our mental health. I personally really feel it if I've had insufficient sleep, so I make it a priority to give myself enough time in bed to get the amount of sleep I need. We can't make ourselves sleep but we can learn how to rest and this can make all the difference when sleep is hard to come by. My other 'energy bank basics' are good nutrition, hydration and exercise. We don’t just need this for our physical health but for our mood, mental clarity and stress tolerance too.
Identify What Depletes You
Another useful top tip is to look at your daily habits and regularly check in with how you’re feeling throughout your day or week. It helps you determine the choices that interfere with your mental health, such as too much time spent on screens, excess intake of sugar, caffeine or alcohol or a lack of fresh air, nature, social connection or movement. These can all get in the way of our ability to cope.
Pay Attention To Your Posture
Mental health is not all in your head, it’s anchored in the body too so being conscious of your posture can have a powerful impact on how you feel. If you’re experiencing sensory overload, fold your hands on your desk and rest your forehead on your hands. Close your eyes and let the world wait for a minute. Take five relaxed breaths and give yourself time to recharge. If you’re stuck in video calls or in meetings, I’d recommend breaking up sedentary periods by simply standing up. Notice how standing upright helps you tap into a sense of personal power and readiness.
It’s Okay Not To Be Okay
There’s such an emphasis on positivity and resilience that it can put pressure on people to feel that they should be coping better. No one is immune from stress, burnout, grief and anxiety and it actually takes great courage to bear witness to our feelings. We all need the support of others so don’t be afraid to seek this – whether that’s through a friend or professional support.