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"5 Simple Strategies for Maintaining Mental Wellbeing Each Day"

a couple hiking through the trees

As an adult with ADHD and anxiety I know only too well how important it is to protect our mental health and wellbeing. I have spent most of my life 'masking' to try and fit in (females are brilliant at doing this!) before recently discovering the reason for my behaviours. Although my youngest son has ADHD, I never attributed any of my own difficulties to it as girls and women present so differently to males, but it's been a revelation!

I've learnt to manage my mental health over the years and the following 5 tips are an easy way to help you manage yours too. Known as the 5 Steps To Mental Wellbeing, they are simple to incorperate into your everyday life and can honestly make a huge difference!

Tip #1 Connect

Connect with people around you; This can be family, friends, work colleagues or neighbours. Good relationships help us feel a sense of belonging and self-worth. Take time everyday to connect with someone, even if its only over social media or with a text message. Connecting with someone on the bus or in the supermarket all count too! Good relationships help our brains produce happy chemicals so try and connect with at least one person daily.

Tip #2 - Be Active

This does NOT mean going for a daily run or to the gym (although that would be great!) Movement is great for both our physical and mental health. It's amazing for reducing stress and calming anxiety so try and do a little something every day. Find an activity you enjoy and challenge yourself with it. And, if it involves someone else, you can tick off the connect at the same time!

I walk every day. It helps that we have an energetic springer spaniel that needs exercising, but I have always enjoyed walking. I also practice yoga and have done for years. I really don't enjoy cardio (it requires too much energy!) so doing a little yoga every day is also a great way to be both active and mindful at the same time. On the days where activity is impossible to fit in you could try taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to work, or just have a good stretch instead!

Tip #3 - Take Notice

I love doing this! As you know, I love nature, and when I'm walking I always stop to take notice of things. It can be a wildflower, a leaf, an insect or a raindrop. Stopping and taking in the present moment (mindfulness) is a great for calming the mind and relieving feelings of stress and anxiety. Having ADHD means that my mind is constantly racing with hundreds of thoughts and ideas, so practicing mindfulness gives me some relief from this and helps me to live 'in the moment'.

Tip #4 - Learn

We are always learning, sometimes without even realising it! Never be afraid to try something new. Learning new things keeps our minds active and improves our confidence and self-esteem. I never thought in a million years I would learn to make candles and run a business, and I'm still learning aspects of it daily!

Learning doesn't have to be complicated. Just reading a book, finding out the name of a butterfly, learning a new word or researching a topic that interests you all counts. Set yourself a challenge and try and learn something new every day.

Tip #5 - Give

My favourite! Studies have shown that people that help other people are far more likely to think of themselves as happy. Doing something nice for someone else can be incredibly rewarding and can contribute to our feelings of self worth and purpose. Small acts of kindness can go a long way so try and give a little every day. This can be as simple as asking someone how they are, thanking someone for something they have done or making a cup of tea for someone. Just smiling at a stranger can make a huge difference to their day, and to yours. I really believe that a little kindness goes a long, long way!

And my secret weapon for days when I struggle...

Haha, you guessed it! The power of scent is amazing. Lighting a candle has always been a big part of my self-care routine. And for the days when I'm full of anxiety and finding it impossible to switch off, burning an aromatherapy candle is my go-to solution. Please let me know in the comments what works for you, and share any tips you have for switching off and relaxing.

Emma x

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