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How to take care of your mental health

Learn how Babylon can help you care for your mental wellbeing

Low mood — what’s normal and when to get help

We all feel low sometimes — it’s part of being human. And we all worry about things in our lives that we can’t control.

It’s normal to feel sad, angry, low in self-esteem or anxious at times. These bad feelings tend to get better after a few days, or maybe weeks.1 You might sometimes have difficulty sleeping too, which can be a normal response to a low mood or unsettling events happening around you.1

Low feelings can turn into depression or an anxiety disorder. And if that happens, it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional. But how do you know when to seek help?

Well, it might be time to speak to a professional if you have:1

  • Been struggling every day for more than 2 weeks

  • Tried self-care steps and they haven’t helped

  • Noticed your mental health is affecting daily life

Here are some other signs to watch out for.

Signs of depression

Depression is more than just feeling down, or having a bad day. You may be suffering from depression if you:2

  • Have thoughts of suicide or self-harm

  • Are not able to enjoy the things you used to love

  • Feel hopeless or worthless

  • Are unable to concentrate or make decisions

  • Have ongoing sleep problems — for example, you can’t stay asleep, wake up too early, or sleep too much yet still feel tired

  • Eat more or less than usual

Signs of anxiety

We all worry about things sometimes, such as money or family problems. But for some people, this turns into an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder is different from everyday worrying — the feeling of anxiety doesn’t go away and can disrupt your life, work or relationships.

You might benefit from some help with your anxiety if you:3

  • Have difficulty controlling feelings of worry, dread or fear

  • Feel constantly restless, wound-up, or agitated

  • Find it hard to concentrate

  • Are more irritable than usual

  • Have headaches, muscle aches, stomach aches, or unexplained pains

  • Have ongoing sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep

How can Babylon help?

If you feel your mental health is impacting your life, we can help. When you need to talk through what’s on your mind, we’re here to listen. And if you need medication, we can usually prescribe that too.

You can book a video or phone appointment with a Babylon clinician. We have a range of experts who can support you, including doctors, therapists, mental health nurses, and psychiatrists.

We can help with low mood, depression or bipolar disorder, and anxiety issues including panic attacks and social anxiety, as well as general anxiety.

Ways to improve your mood

There are plenty of self-help steps you can take to improve your mood and relieve anxiety. Try to build these into everyday life and see if they help:4


Breathe

Deep breathing exercises are an effective way to relieve stress, anxiety and feelings of panic. Breathe in slowly and deeply for a count of 5, then release gently.

Talk

Bottling things up can reduce tension. Talk things through with a friend, a professional or a support group. Just connecting with other people is often a boost.

Exercise

Physical activity releases chemicals in your brain that lift your mood. It’ll also help you sleep and keep your heart healthy.

Be mindful

Mindfulness is about focusing on the present moment. This helps you to stop dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Try a mindfulness app to get started.

Sleep enough, but not too much

Aim to go to bed in time to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Keep your room dark, quiet and cool. Writing a to-do list can help to clear your mind before you turn out the light.

Eat well

A balanced diet can boost your brain and help you feel in control. Make sure to include lots of fruit and vegetables with good amounts of whole-grain carbs and high-quality protein such as fish, lean meat, eggs, nuts and seeds.

Limit alcohol

Alcohol can leave you feeling depressed and may worsen bad feelings such as anger or frustration. It’s a good idea to cut down or avoid alcohol if you’re struggling with your mood

Have fun

Do as many of the things you enjoy as you can — dancing, music, cooking, meeting friends or just taking a long bath. Whatever you love, try to treat yourself.

We can help you keep track of lifestyle factors that affect your mental wellbeing, like sleep, activity and alcohol. Check out My Health in the Babylon app to learn more.

Keep in mind that if these steps don’t help, it may be time to reach out for support.

Try Babylon today

Babylon offers high-quality, 24/7 comprehensive health care. Let us help:

Download the Babylon app

Learn more about our services

References:

1. NHS. Low mood, sadness and depression. www.nhs.uk/mental-health/feelings-symptoms-behaviours/feelings-and-symptoms/low-mood-sadness-depression/, reviewed 15 October 2019

2. Centers for Disease Control. Mental Health Conditions: Depression and Anxiety.
www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/depression-anxiety.html, reviewed 8 February 2022

3.National Institute of Mental Health. Anxiety Disorders.

www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders, reviewed April 2022,

4.NHS. How to be happier. www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/tips-and-support/how-to-be-happier/, reviewed 28 February 2019

The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of a doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never delay seeking or disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read here.