6 Venture Scotland tips to look after your Mental Health

With everything that is happening in the world it can be easy to feel powerless, but there is always something we can do to look after our mental health.

This World Mental Health Day, we want to help you take small steps towards looking after your health and wellbeing. Is there anything from the list below you can add to your day?

Going out in nature 🌳

You don’t need to jump into the North Sea or canoe down a Highland loch to feel the mental and physical benefits of nature and the outdoors. Studies show that a simple ten minute walk around the block can boost your immune system, your creativity and your mental health. Getting outside is more important than where you go – even if you don’t have a garden or a local green space, you’re still looking after yourself by getting some fresh air.

Taking time away from technology 📱

It can be really hard to step back from the constant pings, texts and urge to scroll but taking a break from technology can help us de-stress. Our outdoor activities and residentials are no-phone-zones – we want our participants to be “in the moment” and make meaningful connections with one another and the outdoors, free from the distractions and anxiety that tech often brings. If you can, switch your phone off for an hour, or leave it behind when you go for a walk – having some peace will give your mind some space to sort through your thoughts and feelings.

Connecting with others 👋

When was the last time you saw your friends face-to-face? Socialising is not only fun but is also a huge part of looking after your health and wellbeing – studies show that socialising boosts your endorphins by 88%!

Practicing mindfulness 🧎

Mindfulness comes in so many shapes and forms. Practicing mindfulness doesn’t have to be complicated, it could be reading your favourite book, working on a hobby, taking a nature bath (it’s as lovely as it sounds) or just focusing on your breathing. Whatever you do to take a break, try and be fully present in the moment and let yourself forget about life for a while…

Practicing self-compassion and acceptance ❤️

It’s important to be compassionate to everyone, including yourself. A useful tip is to treat yourself like a close friend – when you’re having negative thoughts, ask yourself, is this something you would say to a friend? If the answer is no, change your mindset to more positive and compassionate talk. You’re doing your best and that is good enough.

Asking for help 💬

If you’re really struggling with your mental health, talk to your family, friends or a support worker. Alongside offering support, they’ll be able to point you to further support or mental health services. The World Mental Health Foundation has a wealth of resources on their website on a range of mental health topics, including where to find support.

Making positive mental health habits takes time and is never a pass or fail. Some days you might do everything on your list, sometimes life will get in the way and you’ll only be able to do one. Remind yourself that that’s okay, you’ve shown up for yourself and that anything you do for your mental health, big or small, is good enough.

If you can, take some time today to prioritize your mental health. Even if you only have a minute, it all counts.