BEN – How to look after your mental health

Mental health challenges can affect anyone; around one in four people in the UK will be affected by this in any given year. So what can you do to look after your mental health and wellbeing?


Humans social animals; feeling close to and valued by other people is important for our mental wellbeing.

Even if you can’t meet up with a friend face-to-face, give them a call, drop them an email or arrange to chat online.

Try talking to people at work or try to meet new people with common interests by joining a club, class or by taking up a new hobby. Websites like or are also a great way to connect with people in your local area.

Do what you enjoy

What do you love doing the most? Whether you have baking skills to rival Mary Berry, enjoy catching the latest flick at the cinema or perhaps having a kick about in the park, make time for your passion.

Losing yourself in an activity can not only boost your confidence, but distract you from your worries and give your mind a chance to rest. Can you block out some time to spend on your hobby each week?

Look after yourself

You’ve probably heard it time and time again, but it’s worth repeating – taking care of your physical health is also beneficial for your mind. This is particularly important if you’re going through a stressful period.

Eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, get around 8 hours sleep per night and exercise regularly. If you’re feeling stressed, allow some time for rest and relaxation in order to give your mind a break.

Check out our blog post about physical wellbeing for some tips on looking after your body.

Enjoy the moment

Back in 2010 a major study found that people are happiest when they are focusing on the present.

Try changing a routine, such as taking a different route to work, or make yourself aware of the details of a normal activity. For example, when you eat your food, focus on the taste and texture. You can receive daily mindfulness challenges by downloading Conscious through Google Play or the App Store.

You could also give meditation a go. Try signing up for a Headspace app free trial or download a lesson from the Free Mindfulness Project.

Ask for help

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and can’t cope, the best thing to do is ask for help. This isn’t a sign of weakness – you’re taking positive action towards improving your wellbeing and getting yourself back on track.

If you feel comfortable, have a chat with your partner, a friend, colleague or a family member. Talking through a problem can help you gain perspective and may even reveal a solution.

Additionally, if your feelings are having a big impact on your life or have been going on for a while, go and see your GP who may be able to refer you for some specialist support.

Plus, don’t forget that you can pick up the phone and call Ben’s free and confidential helpline on 08081 311 333 or use our live chat.

Log in to access all the member benefits of this web site. For more details about joining the VRA   Join Us