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5 Steps to Improving Mental Health

  • October 21, 2019

Relocating to a different country and working within the NHS can both be very rewarding experiences, however, the challenges that you may encounter along the way can sometimes seem daunting and can take a toll on your mental health. The NHS reports that 1 in 4 adults suffer with mental health problems in the UK every year, and that 1 in 10 people will experience depression at some point in their life. This article aims to shed some light on the ways in which you can improve your mental health if you’re struggling, or steps you can take to maintain it even if you’re not.

Mental health is a broad term that can cover a variety of illnesses, we will primarily be covering depression within this article, but mental health struggles are by no means limited to depression or the symptoms we are going to discuss.

What are the signs that someone is struggling with their mental health?

Mental health problems are very personal and can differ vastly from person to person, as such, the list below is not exhaustive. Someone with depression may not exhibit all of the symptoms mentioned or may even experience some symptoms not covered in this article.

With this said, some signs to look out for are:

  • A sense of hopelessness
  • Lack of interest in things they previously enjoyed
  • Withdrawing from loved ones or avoiding social events
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Change in sleeping patterns, sleeping more or struggling to sleep
  • Change in eating habits, eating more or loss of appetite
  • Self-harming or suicidal thoughts

How can someone improve their mental health?

Mental health problems can often seem overwhelming, and people sometimes find it difficult and even embarrassing to talk about. However, if someone is experiencing any of the symptoms listed, it is important to deal with the underlying issues rather than ignoring them. By not dealing with these feelings, the problem can potentially get worse and become more difficult to deal with.

The positive thing is that it is possible to improve your mental health in some simple ways:

  1. Talk to someone – It sounds simple, but often just talking about how you feel can really improve your mental health. Sharing a problem with a friend or family member can not only bring you closer to that person, but they may even be able to see the problem from a different angle and be able to offer you some helpful advice. If you don’t feel like you can speak to a friend or family member, consider speaking to a medical professional as they will be able to suggest the best course of treatment for you, and offer you alternative options.
  2. Improve Your Physical Health – Improving your diet and exercising regularly are proven ways to give both your mental health and confidence a boost.
  3. Make time to do the things you enjoy – This can be difficult to fit around your career and family life, however, even taking half an hour to read a book, take a relaxing bath or listen to your favourite music can help you to mentally refresh. If the only time you have to yourself is during your commute, utilise this time and try listening to an audiobook or podcast.
  4. Practice Mindfulness – Try being more present in the moment. This can be tricky and may take some practice, but the more often you do it, the easier it gets. Try focusing on your surroundings, the things you can see, hear, feel, taste and smell. Sometimes taking a few minutes to simply focus on your surroundings can clear your head and help you to look at problems more clearly.
  5. Get enough sleep – This can be easier said than done, particularly if you’re struggling. However, by making sure you go to bed on time, and by ensuring that you get enough rest, this will help you to feel refreshed. As simple as this one sounds, it can greatly improve your mental health, and is something that many of us overlook.

These suggestions can go a long way to improving your mental health and wellbeing, however, this article is just a guide. If you, or someone you know is struggling, we recommend that you seek help from a qualified medical professional or contact one of the services below.

If you are an IMG who would like some advice on relocating to the UK and working for the NHS then get in contact with us at [email protected] and one of our specialist team will be happy to advise you.


England, N. (2019). NHS England » Adults. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Oct. 2019]. (2019). Clinical depression. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Oct. 2019]. (2019). Self-care | Mind, the mental health charity - help for mental health problems. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Oct. 2019].


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