According to the World Health Organization, mental health is “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
So rather than the focus being about ‘what’s the problem?’ it’s really should be about ‘what’s going well?’
Stigma around mental illness due to misunderstanding or prejudice remains an issue in Australia, delaying or preventing people from wanting or feeling able to seek help, and impacting adversely on their lives.
The reality is the vast majority of people affected by mental illness are able to lead independent and contributing lives in the community, with the right treatment and support. With one in five Australians affected, they form part of our close circles of family, friends and colleagues, and interact with us in our communities every day.
It’s time to look at mental illness in a different light – a positive light.
Below are some practical tips for enhancing mental health and wellness:
1. Establish and nurture relationships
Having quality relationships with other people is the most important factor contributing to a sense of wellbeing. This can include family, friends, workmates and others in the community. Investing time and energy in your relationships can lead to great benefits for all involved.
2. Keep active
Physical activity has been shown to increase wellbeing as well as reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Being physically active can improve your mood and reduces stress.
3. Eat a healthy balanced diet
Nutrition and eating well can make a difference to the way you feel, and in-turn may improve your mental health. Good physical health is related to improved mental health so a healthy diet, avoiding excess alcohol or drugs and drinking plenty of H20 leads to improved health and wellness.
4. Sleep well
Getting a good night’s sleep is critical. We cannot function properly without sleep. Sleep helps us to repair and restore our bodies and minds. Try these tips from the Sleep Health Foundation for guidance on how to get a better night’s sleep.
5. See your GP
Scheduling regular check-ups with your doctor can also help. Your GP will be able to explore any concerns with you and tailor a plan according to your individual needs. If you are fit the criteria you may also be eligible for a care plan, ask your GP to discuss further with you.
6. Think positive
Having positive thoughts can help you feel better. Try thinking of 3 positive things each day. This can lead to increased wellbeing.
7. Take time out
When you relax, you give yourself permission to let go of worries for a while. Relaxing gives your mind and body time to recover from the stresses of everyday life. Try some relaxation apps to guide you on how to relax ie Head Space, Calm and Smiling Mind.
8. Give to others
Making a contribution to the community, however small, increases social wellbeing. This could be through volunteering, helping a neighbour or performing small acts of kindness. It’s also a great way to meet new people.
9. Do something creative.
Activities or hobbies can keep you distracted, have a positive impact on your sense of mental health and wellbeing and can help increase your confidence and self-esteem. This could be building something, playing an instrument, gardening, art, doing a puzzle, painting, cooking, writing etc.
10. Seek help
Seeking help is a sign of strength — not a weakness. If you are struggling to feel happy, cope with everyday life, find meaning or feel connected to others, see your doctor or a mental health professional. Almost half of Australians will experience a mental disorder at some time in their life — depression, anxiety and substance abuse are the most common disorders.
Providence Medical is here to keep you healthy and well
Our team is here to help, please don’t delay and contact us if you have any concerns. Your mental health and wellbeing is important to us.