Cost-free tips for looking after your mental health

Photo of woman standing by a river in the sunshine, with her arms outstretched as she enjoys the view


Today is World Mental Health Day. The theme for World Mental Health Day this year is “Mental Health is a universal right” – which serves as an important reminder that mental health is not a privilege but a basic human right, accessible to all.   [1]

However, in a world where the pressures and stresses of daily life can often take a toll on our mental well-being, it is imperative to begin our journey towards a mentally healthier world by looking after our own mental health.

At Porterhouse, as a busy, global healthcare communications agency, we understand the importance of mental well-being. So, we are sharing some cost-free tips to help look after our overall well-being both during and after work.

Here are some strategies you can consider:

Go for a walk – Enjoy Nature:

Spend time outdoors and connect with nature. Nature walks or getting some fresh air outside can have a positive impact on your mental health.

Exercise Regularly:

Physical activity is linked to improved mental health. You can engage in activities like walking, jogging, or bodyweight exercises, which don’t require any equipment or cost.

Even a short ten-minute walk can help relieve stress and lift your mood.

Practice Mindfulness and Meditation:

Incorporating mindfulness techniques into your daily routine can be highly beneficial. Take short breaks to engage in mindful breathing exercises or mindfulness meditation. These practices can help you stay grounded, reduce stress, and improve focus and clarity.

There are many free apps and online resources offer guided mindfulness and meditation sessions.

Here’s a useful example: Calm –

Practice Deep Breathing:

Deep breathing exercises are great to help calm your mind and reduce stress. Try the quick and simple technique below [2]:

You can also find guided deep-breathing exercises online.

10 Minute Balancing Breathwork – YouTube

10-minute Yoga

Yoga is an excellent way to calm the mind, stretch and get some low impact exercise. Yoga at your desk is perfect for anybody who spends a lot of time working at a computer. The sequence on the link below is ideal for those who need to a quick yoga break or for those who want to practice with the support of a chair.

Yoga At Your Desk | Yoga With Adriene

Connect with Others:

Maintain social connections by reaching out to colleagues, friends and family. Just talking about something that is troubling you can help ease a problem.

Social interaction stimulates the brain and promotes well-being. Plus talking to loved ones can provide emotional support and reduce feelings of isolation.

Volunteer and Help Others:

Volunteering can boost your mood and sense of purpose. It’s an excellent way to give back to the community and connect with like-minded individuals.

Let Enough Sleep:

Prioritise sleep and establish a regular sleep schedule. A good night’s sleep is essential for mental well-being.

Limit Screen Time:

Reduce your exposure to screens, especially before bedtime. Excessive screen time can contribute to anxiety and disrupted sleep.


Express your thoughts and feelings by keeping a journal. Writing can be a therapeutic way to process emotions.

Limit News Consumption:

Excessive exposure to negative news can contribute to anxiety and stress. Stay informed but set limits on news consumption.

Creative Expression:

Engage in creative activities like drawing, painting, writing, or playing a musical instrument. Expressing yourself creatively can be therapeutic.

Set Realistic Goals:

Break down your goals into manageable steps and celebrate small achievements. This can boost your self-esteem and motivation.

Practice Gratitude:

Focus on the positive aspects of your life by keeping a gratitude journal or simply reflecting on the things you’re thankful for.

Learn Something New:

Expanding your knowledge and skills can be mentally stimulating. There are many free online courses and resources available.

Read Self-Help Books:

Many libraries offer a wide selection of self-help books that can provide valuable insights and strategies for improving mental health.

Practice Self-Compassion:

Be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion. Treat yourself with the same care and understanding that you would offer to a friend.

Seek Support from Hotlines and Helplines:

Numerous crisis hotlines and helplines offer free and confidential support for various mental health concerns. These services are staffed by trained professionals.

A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a physical one. You will not be wasting anyone’s time.

If you need help during a mental health crisis or emergency, NHS urgent mental health helplines provide:

  • 24-hour advice and support – for you, your child, your parent or someone you care for
  • Help to speak to a mental health professional
  • An assessment to help decide on the best course of care

Please follow this link to find a local NHS urgent mental health helpline in England:

Call 999 or go to A&E now if:

  • someone’s life is at risk – for example, they have seriously injured themselves or taken an overdose
  • you do not feel you can keep yourself or someone else safe

Call: 999

Free listening services and support groups

These offer confidential advice from trained volunteers:

Call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email: for a reply within 24 hours

Text “SHOUT” to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line. Or text “YM” if you’re under 19


Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems

Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)


Remember that mental health is a personal journey, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s essential to explore different strategies and find what resonates with you.

Your mental well-being is worth investing time and effort into.

The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general information purposes only. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.


1, World Health Organisation. World Mental Health Day 2023.,as%20a%20universal%20human%20right. Accessed October 2023

2, Box breathing technique. Very Well Mind. Accessed October 2023