Mental Health Awareness Week is a great chance to press pause and think about what good mental health looks like. As we open up the conversation, it's easy to get swept up in well-meaning platitudes, urging you to 'look after yourself'. But what exactly does that mean? And what does looking after yourself look like on a daily basis?
In celebration of HELLO!'s Mental Health Digital Issue, guest-edited by TV personality Scarlett Moffatt, we look at some of the household names who've revealed small life changes they've made that have done them the world of good.
Kate Middleton enjoys family walks
The Duchess of Cambridge spoke out about her 'mum guilt' on the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast, calling it a "constant challenge". Kate delved into the guilt that she often feels as a mother, saying "questioning your own decisions and your own judgements and things like that, I think that starts from the moment you have a baby!"
In 2020, the mother-of-three revealed that she finds low-intensity exercise with her family enjoyable. "I remember that from my childhood – doing the simple things, going for a walk together," she said. "That's really what I try and do with my children as well because it totally strips away all the complications, all the pressures."
Kendall Jenner practises journalling
The model has opened up about her social anxiety, sharing a post on Instagram detailing small daily habits that help her cope. Kendall practises meditation, journalling and gratitude to support her mental health.
"My anxiety (especially social anxiety) has been on 100 lately," she wrote candidly in the caption of a video clip featuring a serene courtyard. "I've come to a place where I don't feel bad about it. I love my space and my alone time. I am finding ways to help me start my day off with a calmer, more positive mindset."
Selena Gomez went off social media
The former Disney star revealed in an interview this year with InStyle that she struggled with self-esteem issues in her early twenties. "Instagram became my whole world, and it was really dangerous," she explained. "I felt like I wasn't pretty enough."
Selena decided to go offline for a while, and found she was much more confident. "Taking a break from social media was the best decision that I've ever made for my mental health," she said. "The unnecessary hate and comparisons went away once I put my phone down. I'll have moments where that weird feeling will come back, but now I have a much better relationship with myself."
Oprah Winfrey learnt to meditate
Many A-listers have incorporated meditation into their routines, but for Oprah Winfrey, transcendental meditation is particularly helpful. The practice, which involves silent repetition of a mantra, is supposed to encourage a state of relaxed awareness. The billionaire talk show host revealed in 2018 that learning to meditate was one of the "most life-enhancing things" she ever did.
"My advice is to start small. When you're in the shower or tub, simply be with the water," she wrote in an article for Oprah.com. "Appreciate the fragrance of the soap. The other day, I had a moment of transcendence just fully taking in the scent of my shower gel. The pleasure of the warm water and the privilege of cleanliness filled me to the point of tears."
Katy Perry is a fan of transcendental meditation
Like Oprah, global superstar Katy Perry is also a big fan of transcendental meditation (TM). The Firework singer opened up to Prevention in 2020 about how the practice has benefited her, saying it "clears my head completely" and "ignites something in my brain".
Katy even went on to praise the activity for its artistic benefits, revealing that some of her "best creative ideas" came about during meditation sessions. The pop star, who has spoken publicly in the past about her mental health struggles, said: "For me, TM has been anxiety-reducing, depression-reducing, great for jet lag, hangovers, mood swings. Anytime I'm in a funky mood, I'm like, 'Give me 20 minutes.'"
Rylan Clark has learnt the power of saying no
Rylan went through a really tough time following a split from his husband. The TV personality revealed in an interview with The Observer this year that he took time off work and even spent a period in hospital "for safety reasons". Now well into his recovery, the 33-year-old picked out one small change to his mentality, learnt during his lowest point, that he plans to take forward.
"I always say yes to everything and I nod and smile," he admitted. "But now if there's something I really don't want to do, I'm going to say no. I've learned to be more in control."
Robbie Williams turned to music
The pop legend spoke to The Sun in 2019 about a devastating period in his life between 2006 and 2009 when he suffered from agoraphobia. Sufferers of the anxiety disorder fear being in situations where escape might be difficult. Robbie turned down a £15million offer to host American Idol because of the debilitating nature of his condition, but luckily one small thing helped him turn a corner: a song. Not one of his own, but hearing The Killers' track Human on the radio changed something within him.
"I remember listening to that Killers song and something in that moment made me think, 'I had better get my ass in gear, put an album together and tour,'" the star revealed.
David Beckham unwinds with games
During an interview broadcast on ITV back in 2006, the former England football player revealed that he has obsessive compulsive disorder. Since then, the 47-year-old has shared the small things that can help him relax, including spending time with his family.
The dad-of-four told The Sunday Times Magazine in 2014 that when his children got home from school, he would play Connect Four and build Lego structures with them. "The last big thing I made was Tower Bridge," he said. "It was amazing. I think Lego sometimes helps to calm me down." David also compared his unusual hobby with his passion for cooking, which he described as "therapeutic".
Amanda Holden gives herself a morning pep talk
Believe it or not, most mornings the bubbly presenter and radio host wakes up with what she calls "exam tummy". Amanda revealed to The Sun in 2019 that she prefers not to label this feeling as anxiety, which she considers "a very important subject", rather a "feeling of apprehension" that she just tries to get on with. "You just talk yourself down. You tell yourself you've got nothing to worry about and you go out and face the world," she explained.
One of the small things that helps the Britain's Got Talent judge feel confident is ensuring she looks glamorous. "I will always wear my eyelashes," she said. "I will always be well presented. That's my armour."
Holly Willoughby finds happiness in crystals
The This Morning presenter has spoken openly about how she developed her spiritual side in 2018 after spending time in New South Wales, Australia. Living alone in the lead-up to co-hosting I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, Holly stumbled across alternative therapies.
"There is an opinion of people who are into crystals or meditate – a definite sense of wackiness. But for me, it feels right," she told You magazine in 2021. Holly has recently launched her own wellness brand, WYLDE MOON, and since experimenting with her spirituality, has found that "everything looks a little bit brighter and lighter".
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