Tips for keeping a healthy mind

9th to 15th May is Mental Health Awareness Week and here in the Dragonfly PR office, we’re aware of the importance of good mental health to ensure we’re at our most productive and don’t burn ourselves out!  We asked some of our team to give us their top tips for mental health, which we share with you here on our blog.

Tip 1 - Rebecca says: do a digital detox

“For me, keeping good mental health means taking a digital detox at least once per week.

I aim to do a full day, but if that’s not possible then at least a couple of hours every few days away from my phone can help. During this time, I don’t look at my emails, social media, messages etc and try to spend time completely screen-free doing something else, like gardening, reading or spending time with friends. 

Also, I try not to look at my phone/tablet at least an hour before bed as it helps you sleep better if you are screen-free because blue light from devices upsets the body’s melatonin production. Good sleeping habits are important for maintaining good mental health: The importance of sleep | Mental Health Foundation  I recommend reading a book before bed instead of looking at a phone and you may find you fall asleep much more quickly and feel better the next day.  Give it a try!”

Tip 2 - Tom says: walk the dog

“My tip is something I do both morning and night; walk the dog.  I take him down to the park or around the lake near where I live.  It really helps me to switch off.  Within minutes I’ve forgotten about anything that’s been bothering me.  It really is the perfect antidote to a busy day!

“If you don’t have a dog, just take yourself for a walk, somewhere where you can get close to nature as having your eyes focusing on a green landscape is really calming for the mind – it helps me unwind anyway!”

Tip 3: Marina advises using aromatherapy oils to de-stress

“When we’re stressed, it usually because our minds are overthinking and we need to get back in touch with our body and one way to do that is through the senses. 

I find aromatherapy oils really relaxing so it can be a good idea to have an oil burner or a diffuser with some of your favourite, relaxing fragrances ready at hand.  I have a great stash of these essential oils, with almost as many as Holland & Barratt, I am told!

 If I’m ever really stressed, I take myself off to smell a candle or diffuser and chill out with a bit of meditation. 

My favourite fragrances are Bergamot, Basil and Rose during the day and Frankincense in a bath oil at night.

I also recommend making time in your life for herbal tea, which I believe is massively underrated as a stress reliever.  Chinese tea ceremonies can last hours and the reason is they recognise how making tea can slow you down and settle your mind.  I don’t have time for spending hours on this, but I love a good peppermint, chamomile or green tea (although green tea contains caffeine and my dentist tells me it’s bad for staining). At this time of the year, there’s nothing better than getting up early and enjoying the morning sun with a nice brew in the peace and quiet!”

Tip 4 - Sylvia says: connect with family and friends

“Like Tom, I also love walking my dog – it’s hard to stay stressed when you’re playing fetch!  The sun and fresh air really helps me to relax and when I’ve got more space, I take a deep breath and think everything over.  I try not to make any decisions before I’ve got myself out in nature and had the chance to think things through carefully, which stops me making any irrational choices.

I also strongly believe in the power of connection – particularly with family and friends, for helping to relieve stress.  It’s good to have a chat and get things off your chest, or just to have a conversation about nothing in-particular but that distracts you and stops you from overthinking.”

Tip 5: John recommends taking up a hobby

“I think it’s important to take a break from work but that doesn’t always have to mean taking a holiday.   Having a hobby or interest that really lets you mind settle down and relax is a good idea.  I like making things out of wood or carving stone.

I recently carved a chair out of a single piece of wood.  I’ve also made an oak framed summer house in the past.

Taking on a new hobby or interest, something that stretches you is a great idea as it takes your mind off anything that could be causing unnecessary stress and creates calm.”

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