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What’s the one thing to prioritise for positive Mental Health?

“What’s the one thing to prioritise for positive Mental Health?” This is probably the most common question I get asked by audiences, clients, interviewers, reporters and hosts.

The simple answer is ‘recovery’.

We need to clearly define the difference between Mental Illness and Mental Health.

Having experienced both, it gives me real insight to what we can influence and what we cannot.

Mental Illness absolutely needs to be professionally treated.

Mental Health – we all have.

Whether it’s good or bad – we all have Mental Health – just like Physical Health.

So, consider Mental Health a muscle – something we can exercise, shape, influence and forge to become smarter, stronger and fitter.

How do we do that?

It’s what sports coaches call ‘Marginal Gains’ – those daily, incremental, consistent positive tweaks we can make to stack the odds in our favour and produce a big picture result over the longer game.

We cannot control the uncontrollable, the pursuit of doing so will only create extra anxiety – so we need to reclaim choice.

When we struggle with Mental Health, the first thing we sacrifice is choice – when actually, it’s the biggest tool in our armoury – how we choose to proactively go into each and every day.

But, as we start to engage in those small changes, all of the things that contribute to a healthy mind – exercise, sleep, hydration, nutrition, relaxation – especially at the beginning, we end up living a life on the outskirts of our comfort zones.

It’s easier to stay in a position of pain and frustration than it is to do something about it – comfort zones are not always comfortable, just easier.

This is where ‘recovery’ comes in – as we continually pursue our best selves, day after day, it takes a LOT of energy – you may be experiencing that prolonged feeling survival mode as we come to the end of 2020!

If I asked you to get your calendars, your diaries out now – is there a part of your day that is exclusively ring-fenced for you to rest, recover and recharge – so you can go again strong tomorrow?

No?  You are not alone.

Where do you feature in your own life?

Diarise just 30 mins a day that is purely for you – do something you love, something that nourishes you – recover!

From someone who has experienced burnout and breakdown – I wish someone had told me this!

Do it today, thank me later!

Nick Elston
Inspirational Speaker & Transformational Speaking Coach

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