LAST week was Mental Health Awareness Week and this is an area which is very close to my heart and of particular interest to me.

Depression and anxiety can be an extremely individual experience and they often present in many different ways.

It may not be obvious to others as it is quite common for people who are faced with it to suffer in silence.

In recent years there have been a number of top sportsmen and women, actors, politicians and singers who have come out about their own personal struggles, which is definitely helping to break down the barriers over a subject which is still considered to be more taboo.

If you think you may be experiencing some of the symptoms associated with depression and anxiety I would always highly recommend checking in with your GP to discuss your options.

As a health coach here are my top three recommendations for helping alleviate some of the signs:

Exercise — moving your body in whichever way feels good for you. It may be a sweaty gym session or a walk in the woods with your dog.

When you exercise you release chemicals called endorphins which help promote a positive feeling in the body.

Nutrition — get your ten-a-day, stay well hydrated, eat plenty of protein and fresh vegetables and minimise the amount of caffeine.

The aim is to improve your mood, give you more energy and also to help you think more clearly.

Meditation — simple breathing exercises focusing on the inhale and exhale can really help to move all of the trapped energy out of your head and melt away, leaving you feeling more calm and balanced.