Looking After Your Own Mental Health

How can I help myself?

An element of self-help is vital in the recovery process. Have a look at our self-help tips below and watch the video at the bottom of the page which explains what you can do to help yourself. Don't forget to have a read over the Take 5 leaflet for more ways on how you can help yourself. 

Click on the boxes below for more information on how to help yourself

Seek help early
Although this seems obvious it is worth repeating. The earlier the illness is diagnosed the sooner it can be treated.
Talk to people who understand such as family and friends
AWARE self-help support groups provide the opportunity to meet with other people who have personal experience of the illness.
Try to tackle the cause and learn about illness
If you think you know what has brought it on, it can help to write down the problem and think of things you can do to bring about an improvement. Don't be afraid to seek help and don't be discouraged if you have setbacks. Learning about your illness will help you understand and come to terms with it. It may also help you get maximum benefit from treatment. You can do this in a number of ways e.g. by visiting appropriate sites on the internet, visiting the library and by watching our video below on things you can do to help yourself.
Avoid alcohol and non-prescribed drugs
Although they may alleviate some of the symptoms in the short term, in the longer term these substances may make your depression much worse.
Avoid excess caffeine
Too much tea, coffee and other caffeine rich drinks such as cola and energy drinks can increase anxiety symptoms or boost your energy for a short while after which you may feel more depressed.
Eat a good balanced diet
This is important for your physical and mental well-being. Try to avoid sugary foods which give an instant energy boost but may make you feel worse as their effect wears off. For more information about Healthy Eating and what it actually means, please click here to visit the Nutritionist Resource website. 
Take up a new hobby or start attending a night class

Again this can give you something to focus on and exercise your brain without being under any pressure.

Re-examine your lifestyle

Try to achieve a good balance between your work, school or college, your time for activities and your personal time for relaxation and rest.

Keep as active as possible

Recent research has indicated the huge benefits of exercise for those people with mild to moderate depression.

AWARE is the depression charity for Northern Ireland and the only charity working exclusively for those with depression and bipolar disorder.

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