Mental health in Australia is a prominent issue with one in five (that’s 20%) of Australians aged 16 to 85 experiencing some form of mental illness each year. One of seven will experience depression which can be a lifelong battle.
Practicing different wellbeing exercises daily is one way to help improve your mental health. Six of our favorite practices are below.
Sleep is so important to help rest and rejuvenate your body and mind. There are so many health benefits from having sufficient sleep, which for an adult is around 6-7 hours each day.
If you find you are quite restless at night or do not have a regular bedtime routine we suggest switching off devices that emit blue light (as that keeps your brain wide awake) such as the computer, your mobile and the television and reading a book or meditating instead. This will help quiet your mind ready for a relaxed and restful sleep. Establishing a routine that includes this restful time will inevitably help signal to your brain and body that bedtime is approaching.
Having a balanced diet is another way to improve your wellbeing. Your body needs a vast variety of essential nutrients in order to function at its best. The Australian Dietary Guidelines is a wonderful resource that explains in detail the different ways you can achieve a more balanced diet.
Water is extremely important for our bodies, so important in fact that our bodies are 60% to 70% water. It is a known fact that drinking enough water can decrease the risk of developing depression or anxiety. Not only is it good for you on the inside, being around water can have a calming effect and relax your mind. Some mediations are based on the sounds of water and the ocean due to this.
Getting your body moving daily not only improves your mental well being, but your physical too. Improving your blood flow reaps benefits all over your body and it helps you feel more energetic and mentally active. Have you ever gone on a run, played sport or even completed a circuit workout and felt a rush of adrenaline or energy afterward? That would be thanks to a chemical called endorphins. This beauty helps relieve pain, reduces stress and can also make you feel pretty darn good, which is always great when it comes to our mental health.
Getting out in Nature
Funnily enough, just being out in the sun can help the release of endorphins too. Surrounding yourself with nature is something so simple that it can be underappreciated. Connecting with the natural world around us has a grounding effect. Fresh air is also wonderful at helping to clear your mind.
We do understand that in an urban setting this can be hard to do, but there are ways we can get around this. Bringing nature into your home or workspace can have the same effects on our wellbeing as being out in the middle of a forest. Ways to do this include indoor plants, aromatherapy (nothing smells better than nature herself), opening the blinds to let in natural light or even having pictures of landscapes, flowers, beaches etc.
Having a Hobby
This practice is limitless. No matter who you are and what interests you have there is a hobby for everyone. Hobbies are beneficial in the way they can provide comfort, keep you busy and engaged, challenge you and give you an overall boost in your mood. Focusing on a hobby after work or on the weekend helps to wash away the stress of the work week. Examples of hobbies that can improve your wellbeing are team sports, painting, dancing, writing, gardening or hiking.
Taking on some, or even all of these practices will help you improve your wellbeing. Some you will feel the effects immediately whereas others are for the long term. Regardless of this, your wellbeing is too important not to apply any practices into its betterment. What changes will you be making to your everyday life to improve your wellbeing?