Mental Health Top Tips
Whether you are struggling with your mental health right now, or just want to find ways to become more resilient and practise self-care, we have gathered some information that may help.
Please remember that not all online resources and accounts are reliable, so we have only listed those we have verified to be from trained professionals working within mental health or relevant sector. If you find others, please proceed with caution.
Please be aware that some of the topics could be triggering and if you are struggling always remember that you are not alone, and help is available. See our resources page for more information.
- Situational Depression – short-term, stress related depression
- Relationships – couples, for those seeking a partner, and for parents
- Self-compassion – being kinder to yourself
- Values and understanding your emotions
- Healing trauma
- Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) – help for HSPs in an overwhelming world
- Diet and nutrition
- Further resources
This form of depression is short-term and stress related. It is very common and can be caused by many different circumstances including relationship breakdown, work stress, money worries, bereavement, or illness. During this time of immense pressures many people are struggling. There is lots of information on the mental health hub about stress, burnout, parenting, women’s health, anxiety, sleep and money and mental health. You may also find it useful to look at the stress bucket.
Alongside all those self-care tips and information, we also recommend following clinical psychologist Dr Julie Smith, whose book “Why has nobody told me this before?” is a Number 1 Sunday Times bestseller:
Written in short, bite-sized entries, you can turn straight to the section you need depending on the challenge you’re facing – and immediately find the appropriate tools to help with . . .
- Managing anxiety
- Dealing with criticism
- Battling low mood
- Building self-confidence
- Finding motivation
- Learning to forgive yourself
You may also find it useful to follow psychiatrist and neuroscientist Doc Amen
Many of us who struggle with our mental health, will experience difficulties in our relationships and that is totally understandable. There are loads of great people using social media to help us navigate the murky terrain of relationships, but we recommend these three in particular:
If you are struggling with parenting, you may benefit from the work of psychotherapist Philippa Perry. We recommend her book “The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did)”. There are resources on the mental health hub for juggling parenting and work, alongside tips for new mums. You may also want to check out Momwell and follow Positive Parenting Solutions on Facebook or find out more on their website. They offer a free online course:
“Get your kids to listen without yelling, nagging, or losing control.”
You can also download a free co-parent resource guide from the Divorce and Children website.
But what about your relationship with yourself? If you are in a relationship or a parent it can be hard to find time for yourself and yet if you don’t find time for yourself, you can find your mental health deteriorating and this can in turn can affect your relationships, causing resentment and tension.
Steven Bartlett spoke to Jay Shetty about why you have to be your number 1 priority recently and you can watch the powerful video here on LinkedIn.
If you suffer from anxiety and self-doubt one of the best books you can read is “Feel the Fear… And Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers. Having sold more than 15 million copies it is has:
“…helped thousands of people through its dynamic techniques for turning fear, indecision, and anger into power, action, and love… Whatever you are afraid of, this book can give you the insight and practical tools to push through your fears to live the life you always wanted.”
If you want to join an online community that is all about love, kindness, compassion and the search for happiness we highly recommend Action for Happiness. They run regular online talks and share wonderful monthly calendars.
We are also big supporters of mindfulness and meditation to reduce stress and anxiety, by helping us to embrace uncertainty and we recommend these tools to help you practise self-compassion. Some useful apps include Headspace and Soundcloud. On the latter Manchester Mind’s Resilience Coordinator Ruth has a number of practices available for free and there are also some videos online here.
Values and understanding your emotions
Sometimes a good place to start, is with your values. If you are not living your values, you will often feel unsettled or unfulfilled. Friend of the station and Values Consultant, Jackie Le Fevre of Magma Effect has a website full of useful information. You can also find out more from when she also spoke on the podcast in August 2022.
Jackie signposts from her website someone else we wanted to highlight. Psychologist Susan David, who studies emotional agility. If you want to find out more about the gift and power of emotional courage you can watch her inspiring Ted Talk. You can also find out about your own emotional agility by doing a quiz on her website and sign up for her insightful newsletter.
Going from courage to all manner of emotions, you may have also heard of researcher and storyteller Brené Brown. She has spent two decades studying courage, bravery, vulnerability, and shame. Not sure what to think? Well 62 MILLION, yes 62 MILLION people have watched her Ted Talk on the power of vulnerability, and if you do nothing else from reading this page you should find 20 minutes to watch too.
If you feel empowered by that talk and hungry for more, you can also watch The Call to Courage on Netflix. Here is what it is all about:
“With humour and empathy, Brené Brown discusses what it takes to choose courage over comfort in a culture defined by scarcity, fear and uncertainty.”
Brown has many published books on shame, vulnerability, leadership, and emotions. She also has a podcast, Unlocking Us. You can find out more on her website.
You may also find The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness by consultant psychiatrist Professor Steve Peters useful. It aims to help you to understand how your mind works and better manage your emotions and thoughts.
Sticking with emotions you may also be interested in the finding out about the anger iceberg. This is a concept created by the Gottman Institute that describes anger like an iceberg. You can see the anger above the surface of the water but what you don’t see underneath are all the hidden emotions causing the anger. This can help you understand yourself and others better.
Trauma and mental health are interlinked because those who have experienced some form of trauma are more likely to experience mental health issues. Sometimes these can be from childhood and are known as Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACES. You can find out more about these here.
There is lots of information available online and increasingly those working in mental health are talking about trauma-informed mental health support, while breaking down and challenging stigma. These are the individuals who we recommend:
Josh Connolly, you may remember Josh from our Time to Talk Day podcast in February 2023. Josh is a mental health advocate and resilience coach. He runs breathing space sessions and resilience courses. He is very active on social media discussing trauma and mental health, and we think he is wonderful. You can find out more on his website and by following him here:
We also recommend clinical psychologist and author Dr Nicole LePera aka The Holistic Psychologist. Her book “How to do the work” is another Sunday Times bestseller:
“Drawing on the latest research from both scientific research and healing modalities, Dr LePera helps us recognise how adverse experiences and trauma in childhood live with us, keeping us stuck engaging in patterns of co-dependency, emotional immaturity, and trauma bonds. Unless addressed, these self-sabotaging behaviours can quickly become cyclical, leaving people feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, and unwell.”
You can follow her on social media, where she shares lots of insightful reels and posts:
Dr Glenn Patrick Doyle is a psychologist focused on trauma recovery. He is most active on Twitter/ X but you can find him on the other social media channels too:
Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) – help for HSPs in an overwhelming world
Do you avoid violent films or television shows? Do you feel easily overwhelmed by too much going on around you? Do you need a lot of downtime? If your answer is yes to these questions, you may be a highly sensitive person. This is not a mental health diagnosis, but a personality trait found in approximately 20% of the population and it comes with both strengths and challenges. Work on this trait was shared with the world by psychologist Dr Elaine Aron in the 1990s and famous HSP’s include Alanis Morissette, Neil Young, Nicole Kidman, Princess Diana… oh and Josh Connolly (mentioned above). Others thought to have been HSPs include Einstein, Gandi, Mozart, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and Van Gogh. Not a bad list of people to aspire to but people who are HSP are also quite susceptible to depression and anxiety because of the challenges that come with the trait. If you think you may be a HSP it is important to understand what that means and how to manage the main challenge of overwhelm. Aron’s book “Highly Sensitive Person: how to thrive when the world overwhelms you” is a good place to start and there is also “Sensitive” the movie, which stars Alanis herself. Another HSP Elena Herdieckerhoff also spoke about the trait for her Ted Talk. “Sensitive: The Power of a Thoughtful Mind in an Overwhelming World” by Jenn Granneman and André Solo is another book which only came out in 2023.
Diet and nutrition
Obviously, diet and exercise are important for mental wellness and lots of work is being done on diet including the work of Dr Tim Spector who is a Professor of Genetics and specialises in gut health. He is the co-founder of Zoe, a nutritional science company who investigate how our biological responses to food are based on individual characteristics like the bacteria in your gut. If you think your gut health may be affecting your mental wellbeing it is worth speaking to your GP. Often gut issues are linked to mental health and vice versa, but changes to your diet may help, especially if you have allergies or intolerances.
Other individuals we recommend following include:
Simon Sinek – author and inspirational leader. Check out his amazing YouTube video “Start with why: How great leaders inspire action”
Steven Bartlett – entrepreneur and BBC Dragon is active across social media and had a podcast “Diary of a CEO” where he reveals the remarkable stories of people who are making a difference in the world.
Matt Haig – author and journalist whose novel “The Midnight Library” is simply wonderful.
Mark Manson – is a self-help author and blogger best known for his book “The subtle art of not giving a f*ck”. He is also active across social media.
Mel Robbins – another author, motivational speaker and podcast host, who is active on social media.
All on the Board – are two Transport for London employees who wanted to bring smiles to commuters faces using the underground’s information boards. They have now amassed a huge following on social media and have published a book also called “All on The Board”.