Skip to main content


10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

By Health2 Comments

Today (Tuesday 10th October 2017) is World Mental Health Day. So here’s 10 easy ways to improve your mental health:


Tuesday 10th October 2017 – World Mental Health Day

10. Regular Exercise
I don’t mean becoming a gym bunny or taking up running. Start walking. Walking is the easiest form of exercise. Take it slow and easy. Do it regularly, a couple of times a week. Gradually build up the distance. It’s even better if you can walk in places of natural beauty, as you’ll have the scenery to enjoy.

NHS Choices says:

Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression…

(From: NHS Choices, last accessed: Thursday 28th September 2017)

9. A Better Diet
We could all do with eating a bit better right? Add more fruit and vegetables to your diet – aim for five a day. Cut down on the amount of sugar and salt in your food. Try to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid per day (roughly 1.2 litres). You can learn more about diet on the NHS Choices – Eatwell Guide website.

8. Go Smoke-Free
Despite many smokers saying that a cigarette reduces their stress levels, Nicotine is a stimulant which means it has the opposite effect. It increases anxiety and stress levels, especially when those nicotine receptors in the brain need feeding. Becoming smoke-free has loads of other benefits as well.

7. Drink Less Alcohol
Alcohol is a depressant drug and affects your brain chemistry. Drinking a small amount of alcohol decreases inhibitions and can make you feel happier. But drinking heavily can lead to a lowered mood. It’s also not a good idea to drink if you are angry or upset, as it can make you feel worse and do things that you wouldn’t do sober.

You don’t have to stop drinking alcohol, just cut down on the amount. A good tip is to buy less alcohol. If you buy less alcohol you’ll have less to drink.

6. Meditate
Meditation is about clearing your mind and focusing on the present or a particular thought or emotion. Research suggests that daily meditation for just 20 minutes per day has benefits to mental health after just five days. Benefits of meditation include: lower stress levels, feeling more positive, improved concentration, improves the ability to be in the moment and helps with clarity of thought.

Start slow with meditation. Set an alarm for a short period of time, say 5-10 minutes and gradually build up the time. Gradually build up the frequency of meditation sessions to, so start with a couple of times a week and work towards daily practice. Like anything, your ability to meditate will get better with practice. So don’t be surprised if you struggle with intruding thoughts initially and don’t let them discourage you.

5. Recognise the Signs of Stress
Recognise when your stressed and take steps to de-stress. You can do this by taking a deep breath, focusing on your body, mind and feelings and look for signs of stress. I call this checking-in with myself and try to do it a few times a day. Signs of stress include:

How you may feel emotionally

  • overwhelmed
  • irritable and “wound up”
  • anxious or fearful
  • lacking in self-esteem

How you may feel mentally

  • racing thoughts
  • constant worrying
  • difficulty concentrating
  • difficulty making decisions

How you may feel physically

  • headaches
  • muscle tension or pain
  • dizziness
  • sleep problems
  • feeling tired all the time
  • eating too much or too little

(From: NHS Choices, last accessed: Friday 29th September 2017)

4. It’s okay to say NO
When we think about saying no to people, we imagine the world will end. But the reality is nothing like our imagination. In fact, most of the time, people are okay about it. Remember that it is okay to say no and say it when you need to.

Sometimes it’s better to say no rather than say yes. Otherwise we risk over committing ourselves and spread our limited energy too thinly.

3. Sleep
Sleep is so important for good mental health. Sleep allows our bodies to rest and repair. The average adult needs eight hours of sleep. But children and teenagers need much more. But it’s not just about the amount of the sleep you get, it’s also about the quality. Poor quality sleep lowers resilience and increases the risk of physical and mental illness. Get your shut-eye in and try to have a good sleep routine.

2. Off-Load
We all need people to talk to and to off-load to at times. Some off-load to their families, their spouses, their friends or their therapists. Find some people in your life who you can off-load to.

Important characteristics in people you choose to off-load to: they should give you a feeling of trust, they should have the ability to actively listen to what you say, they should be non-judgemental, they should be empathetic and they should challenge you when needed.

1. Relaxation
Write a list of things that help you relax. Then do some of the things on the list on a regular basis. For example, reading really relaxes me. So every night before bed, I read, even if it’s just for ten minutes.

Write soon,


NHS Choices – Benefits of exercise
NHS Choices – Eatwell Guide
Smokefree NHS
Drink Aware – Alcohol and mental health
NHS Choices – Does meditation reduce stress?
NHS Choices – How to deal with stress
One You – Sleep


I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:

Share on Social Media:

Import: 15 Pleasurable Ways To Spend An Evening

By Creativity, Inspiration, JournalismNo Comments

With the dark nights closing in, the routine this time of year can feel a bit monotonous. So we’ve come up with 15 pleasurable ways to spend an evening.

Depending upon your own personal preferences some of these activities might be your idea of absolute pleasure or excruciating pain. Still, hopefully this list will inspire you to do something different and fun that will break up the routine.

15. Spending Time with your Family
Whether it’s seeing my mum, catching up with my brothers, sister, or my nephews it’s always great to spend time with the family. With life being so busy an unexpected catch up is always welcome. So why don’t you text or call your family and see what they’re up to tonight?

14. Getting on the Consoles
Dust off and switch on your Xbox, PS3 or even the Wii and rediscover an old game. Spend the night shooting zombies, being manager of your own football team and playing online with people from across the world. You never know, you might even make a few new online friends.

13. Ordering A Takeaway
Treat yourself to some delicious food from your local take away. Best of all – don’t stress about the calorie intake, just enjoy.

12. Cinemas or A Night in Watching Films
Venture out of the house to the Cinemas for the latest flick. Alternatively pop on your favourite DVD’s at home for a cosy night in.

11. Hitting The Gym
We all know the gym is good for you, but many of us don’t go often enough. Burning off that excess energy at the gym has two main benefits. First, exercise releases endorphins that make you feel amazing. Second, you’re guaranteed to sleep well.

If you make it a regular thing, you only add to the benefits. Think: loosing weight, tighter body, more muscle mass and more stamina.

Plus there’s an opportunity to see that fitty that frequents the gym. You never know, you may even get talking to him and he may end up becoming your workout buddy.

10. Reading A Good Book
Reading a good book is like being transported into a whole different world; your imagination is ignited and you become totally absorbed.

9. A Romantic Meal Out, or A Meal Out with Friends
If you’re in a relationship, take the time out to have a romantic meal for two out at your favourite restaurant. If you’re single, drag one or three of your friends along to try a new restaurant.

8. Ten-pin Bowling, Laser Quest or Both
Find your local bowling, laser quest or both and book a night out of competitive gaming for you and you’re mates. Choose you’re team carefully though – as the loosing team is buying the drinks!

7. Taking A Dance Class
My friend and I took up Salsa Dancing a few winters ago and we were useless at it. I honestly haven’t laughed that much in ages; we both came out with bellyache from laughing so much at each other.

So take a dance class, even if you’ve got two left feet like me. You can also find some same sex dance classes that cater for gay people.

6. Meditation
Meditation may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of a pleasurable evening, but bare with me here. Imagine low lighting, a scented candle (or three) and a guided meditation CD that makes you feel completely relaxed and slightly giddy from the visualisation.

I think relaxation can be pleasurable in itself, especially with the amount of stress we all have in our lives. I’ve spent many evenings doing mediation because I finish feeling absolutely blissful and if that feeling of bliss isn’t pleasurable, then I don’t know what is.

5. Having Sex
Spend an evening having sex! But rather than the usual quickie, make a night of it and take it slow.

Light some candles, sprinkle some rose petals and get the baby oil out. Give your partner a naked massage using the oil and resist the urge to step things up a gear.

Take the time to get to know every part of his body and let the tension slowly build, until climax.

4. A Few Social Drinks
Find out all the latest gossip by having a good chinwag with friends over a few social drinks. Just make sure that you know your limit if it’s a work night.

3. Visit the Roller Ring or go Ice-Skating
Visiting your local roller ring or ice skating may bring back memories of falling on the floor or on to solid ice, but you’ll enjoy it once your there. They usually have flashing disco lights and great music for you to skate to!

2. The Theatre
Book tickets and go and see a production at a theatre. It gives you something to look forward to and there are some absolutely fantastic shows on.

1. Being Creative
There’s nothing better than creating something. Whether you’re into: making music, creating collages, painting, writing, do whatever takes your fancy. Even if you don’t think you’re that good at it, just do it for the love of it.

Published by: The Gay UK on Tuesday 29th October 2013.

I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:

Share on Social Media: