women performing a seated yoga post whilst sitting on a yoga mat and looking into the distance as if contemplating and relaxing in that moment at the same time
women performing a seated yoga post whilst sitting on a yoga mat and looking into the distance as if contemplating and relaxing in that moment at the same time

5 tips to prioritise your mental health

Prioritising mental health has become more important than ever, especially with the rise of stress, anxiety, and depression in our daily lives. We think it is only right then to consider mental health as an equally important part of our overall health, sitting alongside our physical health and therefore should not be neglected. 

Many people have the misconception that taking care of their mental health requires a lot of time and effort, but it doesn't have to be that way. By incorporating simple habits into your daily routine, you can prioritise your mental health and reap the benefits for your overall health span, lifespan, and quality of life. 

So, without further ado, here are five tips to prioritise your mental health this year:

woman in gym on an exercise mat performing ab crunches

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a technique that involves being fully present in the moment and accepting it without judgment. Pioneering studies show that our ability to remain consciously present in any given moment, activity, or state of being has a profoundly positive impact on our perception of and actual state of happiness in that moment and cumulatively overall. The premise being that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. 

What this means is that regardless of whether someone was doing something that they enjoyed, or not, the degree of presence to what they were doing was a stronger predictor of their happiness in that moment and overall, more than anything else. Which is simply a staggering revelation. But it still requires conscious, and intentional action that needs practice – but is something that we could all benefit from.

Mindfulness can be practiced in various forms, including deliberate meditation, intentional breathing exercises, and yoga or Qigong. Even deliberate cold or heat exposure and physical activity such as sports from one perspective can be considered a mindful activity. As we said before, the actual activity is almost irrelevant, it is the intention behind it and the presence when in it that delivers the real value.

One of our favourite ways to incorporate mindfulness into your routine is to practice breathwork throughout the day. This simple act can help you feel calmer and more centred. 

There is a variety of breathwork patterns that all show benefit in as little as 5 minutes per day. Traditional box breathing is very effective, cyclic hyperventilation (aka the Wim Hof method) less so but still better than not doing. With the ultimate breathwork pattern being the physiological sigh – this one you might need to do a quick Google search to find out more!

Another option that we recommend is to use a mindfulness app, such as Headspace or Calm, that can guide you through short meditation sessions. Apps like this have expert guidance and tips that keep you engaged and help you learn how to navigate a wandering mind. 

man with beard lying in the dark and sleeping

Prioritise Sleep

Sleep is fundamentally the foundation of our physical and emotional health and is essential for optimal mental health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to mood swings, irritability, and difficulty concentrating to name but a few concerns. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night and try to establish a consistent sleep schedule. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends! Trust me, it works!

If you have trouble sleeping, there are several things you can do to improve your sleep quality and then you can layer in the quantity of sleep alongside it. Simple things like avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, turning off electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime, and create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading a book or taking a warm bath or shower. 

group of people all linking hands in a circle to show teamwork and community spirit

Connect with Others

Social support is incredibly important for good mental health. Connecting with others can help reduce stress and improve your mood. It's important to make time for your friends and family, even if it's just a quick phone call or text message.

If you're feeling isolated or struggling to connect with others, consider joining a support group or taking a class or workshop that interests you. You can also volunteer for a cause that's important to you, which can be a great way to meet new people and give back to your community.

Group exercise classes and local sports clubs are also a great way to combine all the physical and mental health benefits of exercise with the emotional health benefits of social connection. Talk about a double whammy!

woman in black sports clothing and man in blue sports clothing running together outside in a park in the sunshine laughing and smiling

Practice Self-Care

Self-care refers to activities that help promote your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Self-care can be encompassed by everything we’ve already discussed but consider it the collective noun for all of those practices combined together. Like health and wellness. Health being the outcome, the state of being and wellness being the lifestyle choices and activities that contribute to a better or more optimal health outcome. 

The key to it all is to find activities that you enjoy and that help you feel relaxed and refreshed. For some it is physical activity, for others it’s rich social connection. Or perhaps a mix of the two or something completely different; anything that works for you is valid! 

One great way to practice self-care is through exercise. Exercise has been shown to improve mood, reduce stress, and boost self-confidence. Even just a 30-minute walk or yoga session can help you feel better. Try to incorporate exercise into your routine at least a few times a week and mix it up with different activities to keep things interesting. This will also help you turn these habits into a sustainable routine for the long term!

set smart goals infographic with a white mobile phone and white pen as decoration

Set Realistic Goals

Setting goals can be another great way to stay motivated and focused, but it's important to set goals that are achievable and relevant to you. Unrealistic goals can lead to disappointment and frustration, which can negatively impact your mental health.

When setting goals, start small and be specific. For example, instead of saying "I want to get fitter," set a goal that is specific and has you doing something achievable that will set you on the right path. This could be to run 3x times per week for 30 minutes each time. 

This goal is specific, achievable, and measurable. Once you achieve your goal, you can set a new one and continue to build on your progress. Plus, you can set other process goals along the way too, such as take part in a parkrun, or set a new PB on your favourite running route. 


Prioritising your mental health doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming. By incorporating these five tips into your routine, you can take small and achievable steps to improve your mental well-being. 

Finally, one last bonus tip…Remember to be kind to yourself most of all! 

We hope you enjoyed reading this and found a lot of value in doing so! If you did (or even if you didn’t) why not share it with a friend or training buddy who you know would benefit from reading it. The U Perform family loves sharing ideas and encouraging each other.

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