Luke Ambler, founder of Andy’s Man Club and the #ItsOkayToTalkCampaign discusses a few helpful ways to improving your mindset.
We all have days of positive mindset and we all have days of negative mindset. It’s our duty to protect our mental health and our mindset, so here are five tips to help your mental health.
For me personally, getting outdoors and releasing endorphins, or indoors whatever it may be like some form of yoga, getting the blood pumping really helps. Not only to release those chemicals but it makes you feel better when you look yourself in the mirror and you know you are training those muscles and getting fitter. Part of a positive mindset is finding that self-confidence and belief in yourself, so by setting yourself those fitness goals, not only does it improve your physical health but also your mental health.
- Having a good routine
Whether it’s a morning routine or a night routine, I think both often get neglected. If you go to the gym, you don’t just rock in and start lifting weights or if you’re going for a run, you’d have a warmup. That’s the exact same thing when you’re trying to get through a day, whether that’s trying to find a job or a house or whatever it may be. Whatever you are doing in life right now and wherever you find yourself, you’ve got to get set up in a morning and set your intentions right, visualising the day ahead and giving some time to yourself. Life can get stressful, so give yourself some time in a morning to set your day out and look at what your goals are.
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Also, look at what you appreciate in a morning. For me, that’s one of my main points today. Every day I wake up and ask myself who and what I am grateful for which sets the day off just right. Finishing the day off is just as important. Too often we get to the end of the day and spend time on social media and technology before trying to get to sleep. A lot of us struggle with our sleep so give yourself a good routine before bed. Turn those phones off; you might want a glass of milk or a glass of water to help settle down.
- A good night’s sleep.
This ties in with the previous tip. You have to set yourself up for a good night sleep with those routines and also by looking at things that impact your sleep. Whether it’s over-thinking, whether it’s caffeine consumption, whatever it may be, try to reduce these factors. For some people, having a chat with someone before they go to bed is good, or journaling. Anything that is going on in your head, find a way to offload that to give you the best chance of a good night’s sleep. I always recommend six to eight hours, that’s what works for me anyway. I know having kids that that can get broken, and I know the difference when I’m cranky and energetic, so I definitely recommend trying your best to get a good night’s sleep.
This tip is possibly the most important one right now, especially after COVID-19. Nature is the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness week. Get out in nature, it’s free to us all! You can get outside and go visit a local park or beauty spot, whatever your area is. Many reading this will be based in Bradford and there’ll be people from elsewhere, but Bradford has some of the most beautiful scenery on its doorstep, from Bolton Abbey to Keighley.
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Get outdoors, go for a walk and if you have a good music playlist on, that can also help clear your mind. Getting outdoors allows us to embrace nature, it’s where we are from and it is what we all need in our lives. Whether it’s walking, cold water swimming or climbing a mountain, everyone has those things that they need to push themselves out of their comfort zone and grow.
Talking about your mental health is the most important tip. I founded the It’s Okay to Talk Campaign for a reason, my brother-in-law took his life and he never spoke. Now, we work with guys all over the country and the world encouraging them to talk. It’s the old saying that I’m sure most of our grandmothers would have had that ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ and I truly believe that. We all have stuff bottled up and once you do talk about it, you’ll realise that you aren’t weird or on your own, and whatever you’re going through you don’t have to carry it as a burden because other people you’ll find are also going through something similar so there is nothing to be embarrassed about.
There are my five tips to look after your mental health. Within each segment there were bits from journaling to exercising outdoors in nature and getting a good night’s sleep, so have a think about a few of those things. They are more than words and I like to practice what I preach. Ultimately, to round this up, reflection. Reflect on your day, reflect on what’s working well in your routine and what’s not working well. Reflect on who is good in your life and who is maybe not so good in your life and start taking some action to help you get from where you are now to where you want to be.
Andy’s Man Club is a charity that promotes the #ItsOkayToTalk campaign, aiming to reduce male suicide by encouraging men to open up about issues at their clubs across the country. For more information, Andy’s Man Club’s contact details can be found below.