Good mental health is a state where you feel able to engage in regular daily activities, are involved in the community and can bounce back when faced with challenges or uncertainty.
Working on good mental health can be done in so many ways!! While some are foundational strategies that all people should adopt for strong mental health, others are about finding what works for you as an individual to nourish and nurture your mind.
Some strategies for supporting your mental health
Eat well: Make sure you have plenty of nutritious foods and water to give your body the fuel it needs. Nutrition plays a significant role in mood, energy, ability to focus and general functioning!
Get enough sleep: Sleeping well is essential for your brain and body. Rest gives you the energy to focus and remain resilient. Sleeping too much or too little can impact your mental health negatively, and the impact is pretty immediate. Setting up a good pre-bed routine can help with sleep.
Be active: Activity can help manage stress, boost mood and sleep better. During activity, hormones are released, which can directly improve mood. It doesn’t need to be intense exercise, just get the body moving (and make sure it’s something you enjoy!).
Go outside: Fresh air and sunlight are thought to increase a hormone called serotonin, which can boost mood and help you stay calm and focused.
Connect: Spending time connecting with family and friends can strengthen your health and wellbeing. This can look different for everyone – you could try social groups, online gaming, hobbies, sporting groups, volunteer groups, and LGBTIQA+ groups.
Stay engaged: Do things you enjoy and find things that give your life structure! Find things that get you up, empowered and joyful. Try something new…skating, sewing, playing the piano, reading…
Understand your mental health: Taking time to understand warning signs, triggers, behaviours, coping strategies, and support networks can be helpful for you to start to take a proactive approach to your mental health.
Self-care: What nourishes your soul? Make sure you take time to do the things that recharge your batteries and make you feel fantastic. It might be binging a TV series, taking a long bath, dancing to loud music, taking a break from social media, walking barefoot in nature, talking kindly to yourself, setting goals.
Reduce alcohol and drug use: Alcohol and drug use can impact mood, sleep, energy, physical health and wellbeing. Alcohol and drugs may make you feel good in the moment, but the long-term effects will always be negative. Consider cutting back if you think this is an issue for you. This can be done with the support of a counsellor or doctor if you need.