Improving your mental and emotional health usually isn’t just a matter of setting your mind to it. You need a roadmap and some ideas to help you get started. This article will provide you with some tips to help you get started.

1. Accept yourself We’re all different, but the one thing we have in common is that none of us is perfect. Many different things, including our background, race, gender, religion and sexuality, make us who we are. Everyone has something to offer and everyone is entitled to respect, including you. Try not to be too hard on yourself.

2. Get involved Meeting people and getting involved in new things can make all the difference for you and for others. Join a club, meet up with friends, do a course there are many things to do if you look around. Not only will you feel better, but you will benefit from supporting others too.

3. Keep active and exercise Regular exercise can really help to give your mental health a boost. Find something you enjoy sport, swimming, walking, dancing or cycling and then just do it. It may be hard work, but it is worth the effort. Regular exercise can help you feel more positive.

4. Eat healthy Having a balanced diet will not only help the way you feel, but it will also help the way you think. Try to eat regularly and aim to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Good food is essential for your mind and body to work properly.

5. Keep in contact You don’t have to be strong and struggle on alone. Friends are important, especially at difficult times, so it is good to keep up contact with them.

6. Relax If too much busyness is getting you down, make time to relax. Fit things into your day that help you unwind, like listening to music, reading or watching films. Find something that you enjoy and that will work for you. Even 10 minutes of downtime during a busy day can make all the difference and help you manage stress better.

7. Express yourself Our creativity often goes unnoticed, even by ourselves, much less given a regular outlet. Find a way to express your emotions and needs on a regular basis, such as journaling, blogging, painting, writing, or some other method.

8. Talk about it Many of us can feel isolated and overwhelmed by problems sometimes. Talking about how you feel will help. Confide in someone you trust and if you feel there is nobody to talk to, call a suicide helpline or hotline in your community. Some people are comfortable just chatting with an online or real-life friend, but are embarrassed to start the conversation. You’d be amazed at just how good you will feel if you can take that first step.

9. Ask for help If you were feeling physically sick you would see a doctor, so don’t be embarrassed about getting help for your mental health. Everyone needs help from time to time and there is nothing wrong with asking for it. In fact, asking for help is a sign of personal strength.

10. Talk to a professional Many people run away from the idea of talking to a professional about their problems. They believe that it is a sign of weakness or admitting their own failure in life. Yet it takes enormous inner strength and willpower to acknowledge that most of us are not experts in every area in human living, and to seek out additional assistance. Don’t hesitate to talk to a professional if you feel like your life has reached a dead-end and you’ve tried other self-help methods and tips.