The importance of checking up on your loved ones
As you get older, the list of things you need to do and responsibilities resting on your shoulders seems to become never ending. There is pressure to give your all at work, maintain an active lifestyle, eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, socialise with friends, keep in touch with family members and keep on top of chores.
With a long list of things to do, little things such as keeping in touch with friends and checking in with family members can end up being pushed to the bottom of your to-do list. We tell ourselves that we’ll “do it tomorrow” and then tomorrow becomes the end of the week, then before you know it weeks have passed and you still haven’t contacted the person you intended to.
Whilst it may feel difficult to put the time aside to get in contact with people it can make a huge difference to their life. A friend struggling will appreciate even a quick text message to check in on how they are doing. A grandparent living alone would love even the shortest of visits for a cup of tea. A parent run off their feet would be delighted with a homemade meal by you. Often our loved ones are going through difficult times which they don’t always feel that they can talk to someone about. Whilst they may prefer to keep these things to themselves they will notice your efforts to reach out to them and it may be the gesture they need to open up to you or to help them to feel better.
Everyone would like to think that they would notice the warning signs of the people they care about most beginning to struggle mentally, but this just simply isn’t the case in a lot of circumstances. Whilst it can be difficult to pick up on changes in someone’s mental health and wellbeing it is not difficult to reach out in small ways to show them you are there for support should they need it.
There are a range of ways you can provide support for your loved ones which vary in the time they take to do. You can take as little as a minute to send a message or up to a week of going away on a holiday together to really eliminate any distractions.
Many people struggle with finding the time to contact loved ones, so try different ways to incorporate these interactions in your everyday life, for example:
-Ring someone for a catch up on your journey to or from work
-Invite someone to do the shopping with you
-Ask someone round for a catch up whilst you do dinner
-Work out with a friend
For more ways to spend more time with your loved ones, visit: https://www.familiesforlife.sg/discover-an-article/Pages/30-Ways-to-Spend-More-Family-Time.aspx
The Impact of your Diet on your Mental Health.
You probably understand you should eat a healthy balanced diet to keep your body healthy, but are you aware of the additional impact your diet is having on your mental health?
The UK-based Mental Health Foundation found that less than half of the people diagnosed with mental health problems eat fresh fruit and vegetables. On the flip side of this, nearly two thirds of those not suffering mental health problems eat fresh produce regularly. So, whilst many people associate a healthy diet with a healthy physical being, it is also linked to good mental health.
It has been proven that a healthy balanced diet can:
-enhance mental clarity
-provide a more balanced mood
-protect your mind from early mental decline
There are a multitude of benefits different types of food can have on your mental health. We have put together some useful pointers on which foods are beneficial for certain mental health issues:
Nutrients which are proven to help reduce depression:
-Omega 3’s (salmon, flax seeds, walnuts, chia seeds)
-Folate (asparagus, chickpeas, lentils)
-Vitamin B12 (tuna, shrimp, milk)
-Choline (egg yolks, broccoli, sprouts)
-Magnesium (spinach, yoghurt, black beans)
-Vitamin D (fatty fish, eggs)
Antioxidants which are linked to feeling more optimistic:
Protein rich foods which will aid your body’s production of serotonin:
See more on what a healthy balanced diet consists of at: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/healthydiet/healthybalanceddiet.html