How to improve your mental well-being

Explains what mental wellbeing means, and gives tips to help you take care of your mental wellbeing

Dr Avin Partavian

3/6/20243 min read

What is mental wellbeing?

Mental wellbeing doesn't have one set meaning. We might use it to talk about how we feel, how well we're coping with daily life or what feels possible at the moment.

Good mental wellbeing doesn't mean that you're always happy. Or that you're unaffected by your experiences.

Having good wellbeing doesn't always mean that you don't have a mental health problem. You may live with a mental health problem, but have good wellbeing right now. Or you might not have a mental health problem, but be struggling with your wellbeing at the moment.

And poor mental wellbeing can make it more difficult to cope with daily life.

Tips for improving your mental wellbeing

There are lots of things we can try to do to take care of our wellbeing. We have tips to help you:

  • Try to relax and reduce stress

  • Find ways to learn and be creative

  • Spend time in nature

  • Connect with others

  • Look after your physical health

  • Try to improve your sleep

    It's not always easy to take care of our wellbeing. Or know where to start.

    You might find it helpful to:

  • Only try what feels comfortable.

  • Give yourself time to figure out what works for you.

  • Different things work for different people.

  • Go at your own pace.

  • Take it step by step.

  • If the first step feels too hard,

  • Try to break that up into even smaller steps.

    Remember that good days for your wellbeing won't always look the same. We don't always have the same levels of energy or motivation. Be kind to yourself and do what feels right for you at the moment. 

Try to relax and reduce stress

Find ways to relax

Try to think about what might help you to relax. If there's something that helps you, try to find time to fit it into your day. For example, this could be having a bath or shower. Or going for a walk or listening to music.

Take a break if you need to

If you're feeling overwhelmed by a stressful situation, try to take a break. A change of scene may help you to relax and relieve feelings of anxiety, even just for a few minutes.

Do something you enjoy

Try to make time to do an activity you like on a regular basis. This could be cooking a meal, getting in touch with a friend or watching TV. 

Try to manage stress

If you're under a lot of pressure, you may start to feel overwhelmed or out of control. Stress can also cause physical effects on our bodies.

Focus on the present

Paying attention to the present moment or your senses can be helpful. This is sometimes called mindfulness. You can use techniques such as meditation or breathing exercises. Or you can practise mindfulness by paying more attention to your senses while doing things you do each day, for example, while washing up or eating. 

It's been shown that focusing on the present can help people become more aware of their thoughts and feelings. This means that instead of being overwhelmed by your feelings, it may become easier to manage them.

Make a self-care kit

It may help to put together some things that could help you when you’re struggling. A self-care kit is filled with things that normally comfort you and help you relax. For example, you could include your favourite book, pictures or photos, a stress ball or fidget toy and a comforting blanket or slippers.

Or you could make a digital self-care kit on your phone. You could save photos, music, videos, messages or sayings that you find helpful. Or notes to remind yourself how to manage difficult situations.

Take care online

There's lots on the internet that may affect our wellbeing. You may find that you're spending more time online than you'd like. Or that it's making your mental health worse. It could help to take breaks from the internet. Or change the accounts you follow or websites you visit.