Manage your mental health
It's OK to not be OK
Life is difficult enough – don’t try to be a hero and go at it alone.
It can help to reach out and talk to your friends or family about how you are feeling. If you are open and honest then you won’t carry your burden alone. Once it is all out on the table you can start to work toward making things better, together, and there are plenty of supports and services out there to help. It’s just a matter of finding what you need which can be a daunting task in itself.
There is always someone you can talk to
If you are worried about finances, then contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 to connect with a financial counsellor and get tips for getting back on track.
If you are worried about your relationships, in particular if you are experiencing family and domestic violence or abuse, contact 1800Respect on 1800 737 732.
If you feel like you need to talk to someone about feeling overwhelmed or stressed but worry about feeling judged then you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 any time of the day or night or Beyond Blue on 1800 512 348 and talk anonymously to someone who can listen. Use your time to talk about whatever is important for you. This is a conversation on your terms.
Warning signs when things are getting too much
Sometimes you just can’t put your finger on what it is, but you just feel a bit off. Try to listen to your gut and don’t ignore the warning signs if you start to feel a little overwhelmed.
Don’t know what the warning signs are?
Changes in mood
Lack of appetite
Feelings of tiredness and fatigue… sounding familiar?
Read more here.
If you have been feeling this way for a while it may be time to seek professional support. You can use this self-assessment to help you understand more about how you are feeling.
Think whole body health
Keeping physically healthy goes a long way to keeping mentally healthy.
Healthy eating is linked with better stress management, improved sleep quality, increased concentration, and better mental wellbeing in general.
Check out Healthy WA for information about dietary guidelines and suggested serving sizes.
If you are struggling to eat well on a low budget, check out LiveLighter’s tips for healthy eating on a budget.
Check your alcohol intake
Stresses in life make us reach for a relaxing drink at the end of the day. When those stresses increase and there seems like no letup, it is easy to find yourself enjoying a drink more often. Check out Alcohol.Think Again for safe alcohol use guidelines, tips for managing your intake and contact details for people to talk to if you need help.
If you want to change your relationship with alcohol, or set yourself a personal challenge, then check out Hello Sunday Morning or download their free Daybreak App.
Exercise your way
Physical activity releases feel-good endorphins that enhance your sense of wellbeing.
Choose an activity that you think you’ll enjoy and have a go.
There are plenty of online resources that help you to get fit. You don’t need any money, transport, equipment or even childcare; you can kick start your routine today, right from home:
The Bodycoach TV
Nike Training Club App
Make some space
Practising mindfulness or meditation is just another way of quietening all the noise from both the outside world and your own mind. Less stress and clearer thoughts may be yours for the taking.
The act of taking time to listen to your own thoughts is a powerful skill.
Get mindful now
Not a believer? Have a listen to the long-term benefits of mindfulness and meditation here.
You already made the time to read this information so why not give yourself another 5 minutes and do a quick mindfulness exercise. That’s all it takes… and practice. You won’t reach total enlightenment straight away, but improved focus and better sleep will do for now. Right?
Find what works for you
Connect with others
Strong ties with friends, family and the community provide us with a sense of belonging, connection, happiness, security, and a sense of purpose.
But it can be hard to stay in touch with people when life gets busy, or when distance separates us.
All too often, people around us want to catch up, but procrastinate when it comes to organising a meet up.
Be the first one to pick up the phone. Send a text. Pop over to see a mate. Propose a date and then invite people who make you feel good to do an activity together: a movie, coffee, potluck dinner, a walk with the dog, a neighbourhood street verge party…
Make the most of using technology to stay in touch and keep your relationships going. Out of sight doesn’t have to mean out of mind. Video call and group chat is a way of keeping conversations flowing without the face to face meet up. There are also interactive games you can play when conversation isn’t what you need. Check out the App Words with Friends or House Party charades.
Be wary though. Technology is a great tool, but it can have the opposite effect, making you feel like you are missing out when it appears that others are doing more than you. Don’t rely on social media as your connection to the outside world. Remember it is not a true reflection of what is happening in people's lives. Call or message your friends and family directly for authentic and meaningful contact.
Who to see when
Social connectedness can come from different groups of people not just close friends and family. Interest and exercise communities can give you a group to belong to and foster new friendships. Have a look at some of these social interest groups:
For those people who have few family members around it can be hard. In difficult times we lean on our family and if they aren’t there to help or be a listening ear you might feel like you are out there alone. Organisations such as www.FindaGrandparent.org.au are creating connections between families and Grandparents who want to be part of people’s lives and create meaningful
relationships for the long term.