Tips on looking after your mental health and recovery journey

Whatever programme of care you have decided on, you are the expert on how you feel. It’s good to think about how you cope on a day-to-day basis and how you may be able to avoid problems. You might find it helpful to bear in mind some of the points below:

Try to structure your day. This structure needn’t be rigid but a set number of activities planned in advance can help to make you feel more positive and motivated. Try to engage in at least one daily physical activity such as going for a walk or painting.

Be kind to yourself. Don’t worry if you have setbacks. Some days will be easier than others. Try to keep active and do things you enjoy. You may have to push yourself to do things at first but it will get easier in time.

Remember that mental health problems are normal, and nothing to be ashamed of. You may feel guilty or ashamed of your experiences at times, but what has happened to you is not your fault. Letting go of shame can really help your recovery in the long run.

Find someone to talk to. It is a good idea to share your problems with someone you can trust and who you feel safe and comfortable with, someone you can talk to when situations are difficult to cope with.

Find out about local support groups. You may find it useful to share your experiences with other people and to hear how they have coped in similar situations. Some people gain a great deal from being involved in these groups, including new contacts and sometimes, new friends. Shine has ‘Phrenz’ groups for people with schizophrenia and related illnesses throughout the country.

Try to eat well and drink less alcohol. Diet has a real and measurable impact on both our physical and mental wellbeing. Eating a healthy balanced diet can make you feel better. It is also important not to drink too much alcohol. Drinking alcohol may make you feel anxious or depressed and it also reacts badly with most medications.

Rest when you need to. Don’t push yourself too hard. Take a break and relax at regular intervals during the day.

Embrace your individuality. Do things that make you feel good about yourself and who you are.


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