There's never a bad time to start the conversation around mental health and mental wellbeing.

Here's A to Z guide of small tips on keeping mentally healthy this year.

Ask for help when you need it. It's easier said than done, we know. But if you're having a low day, don't feel as though you have to push forward with a smile. Your employer, family, friends, GP - there are many people who can offer support.

Our Wandsworth Recovery Café offers a safe space and support for adults in the area who are struggling with their mental health. Learn more about the service here.

Be a big kid again. It's easier to get caught up in all the adulting we do. Give yourself time - just an hour a fortnight, say - to colour in, do a puzzle, lay on the floor or build lego. 

Create. Write a poem or short story, or perhaps try painting. You don’t need to show anyone or do anything with it. It’s for you and your creative juices only!

Do what you can. We tend to put pressure on ourselves if we don't do exactly what we want to do, exactly when we want to it. Do what you can. Tomorrow is a new day.

Experience something new. Read a new magazine or try a new food, or look into starting a new hobby this year.

Food. Eat well. Eat regularly. Strive to eat more fruit and vegetables. Take a minute to consider where your fibre, minerals, protein and vitamins are coming from.

Get out. It doesn’t have to be far or life altering, but a walk every now and then to somewhere new can be a breath of fresh air.

Help. Lift the mood of others by doing something small. Offer to make someone tea at work or do the washing up after dinner.

Be Inquisitive. Task yourself with learning three new things every day. Feeling as if we are expanding our knowledge and growing our skill sets can help us to refine our sense of purpose.

Join a group. A chess club, a book club, yoga sessions, cookery class, or volunteering at a charity - all of these examples provide an opportunity to expand your social circle and support network.

Keep in contact with friends, family members and loved ones. We're all busy people and neglecting a friend for a few weeks happens, but give yourself just 20 minutes to catch up over the phone.

Laugh. If there's one particular video, comedian or sketch show that always puts a smile on your face, start or end your day by watching it. 

Music. Make a list or playlist of 10 or 20 upbeat songs you love that can really change your mood. We suggest: 'Into The Groove' by Madonna, or 'Don't Stop 'Till You Get Enough' by Michael Jackson.

Spend more time enjoying nature. The birds, the bees, the plants, the trees. How about dedicating an hour per weekend to simply being at the park?

Be open with yourself about how you're feeling. Allow yourself to feel anxious, to feel low or down. But remember that it's never a permanent feeling. 

Put your phone down, especially for the hour before bed. Make a conscious effort to spend an hour doing something meaningful or helpful which would otherwise be spent inanely scrolling!

Have dedicated quiet time. Whether that's half an hour of reading a book or simply resting your eyes. It's important to have a moment to yourself to reflect.

Take a different route to work or to the shops. Take a moment to actively notice new or different sights, smells, and sounds.

Stretch. Try starting your day with a stretch or two. Touch your toes, stretch your calves, stretch your triceps. Get the day off to a good start.

To-do list. Keep it brief and keep it small, but keep it close. Whatever you manage to tick off, you've ticked off something. Be proud of that.

It's all about U! It's cliché but also very true. Make sure everything you do is done with your own happiness at the heart of it. Essentially, it's OK to be selfish and put yourself first. 

Celebrate victories. Note down your successes. Try it now - write or make a mental note of three things that you've done really well today.

Water. We should all be aiming to drink between 6 to 8 glasses of water per day, to boost our performance and boost our mood. On that note - be aware of how much alcohol you're drink. You can read the Chief Medical Officer's drinking guidelines here

X. Cross out negative influences. Unfollow everyone who doesn't spark joy in you on social media. Throw away things that take up unnecessary space. 

Zzzzz. Get some sleep! It’s easy, but entirely unbeneficial, to fall into a Netflix binge trap. Remember, children (6 – 13) need around 10 hours per night, teenager (14-17) need around 9 hours per night, and adults roughly 8 hours per night.

And finally, if you don't manage to do everything or anything on this list, don't stress. One step at a time!

If you're struggling with your mental health, know that professional help is available. You can speak to your GP about accessing support in your local area. 

If you're in a crisis and need immediate help, you can go to your closest A&E department or phone 999 and ask to be taken to an A&E department. 

You can call the Samaritans on freephone 116 123. You can also phone your GP and ask for an emergency appointment, or phone NHS 111. 

For more information on our Wandsworth Recovery Café, click here.

Learn about Hestia's Mental Health & Complex Needs Service

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