Leading up to World Mental Health Day on October 10, Mental Health Australia has released an incredible campaign that makes it easy to make a difference. I went into a coffee shop today and picked up one of their postcards. It encourages you to make a promise to yourself. There are so many simple things you can do to improve your happiness and wellbeing. Find out what I promised at the end of the post. This post is longer than average, but super important to me!
You may already know that I struggled with anxiety a lot this year. Now that some things have changed and I am looking after my mental health better, I am a lot happier. A few people even complimented me that I look much healthier too! I am now more aware than ever of the importance of caring for my mental wellbeing.
Mental Health Australia’s postcard has a list of tips. I feel passionately about a lot of these. Please think about how you could start to use them in your own life. They don’t take much time or effort to do, but will make a huge difference.
Ten Tips for 10/10
1. Sleep well
Having trouble getting to sleep? There are so many guided meditations and other relaxing sound files you can listen to that can help calm down your mind. I also find that a warm bath and a hot cup of tea relax me enough to sleep. What things work best for you?
2. Enjoy healthy food
Good food makes my body feel energised. I feel peppy and fab after a delicious, fresh meal.
3. Plan and prioritise your day
I used to struggle with this a lot in high school. I always put a lot of pressure on myself as a high achiever, but I soon discovered that I couldn’t be perfect all the time. Learning to plan and prioritise took a weight off. Writing a to-do list could empty my mind enough to calm down and approach things one at a time.
4. Tune in to the music you love
What things make you happy? Do them and love doing them! Public approval not required.
5. Cut down on bad food and booze
As soon as I cut down on sugar and caffeine, my natural energy comes back.
6. Switch off your devices and tune out
I find that reading a book is super relaxing when the back lighting of my laptop or phone is keeping me buzzing. I can usually only read for half an hour before my nodding head let’s me know it’s bed time.
7. Hang out with people who make you feel good
I think this tip is the most important to me. Throughout the roller coaster of this tough year, the thing that has made me feel happiest, calmest, and best about myself is being around loving people. Like everyone else, I need time by myself to do work and chill on the computer. But when blah feelings kick in, nothing gets rid of them like spending time with people who bring positivity.
8. Join in, participate, and connect
Some of the best times I’ve had were when I built up the moxie to go do that thing I was invited to but was thinking of skipping because I couldn’t be bothered. Putting in the effort to join in can be surprisingly rewarding.
9. Exercise your body and mind
Ah yes. That one where your body has to move from the couch. I was afraid it would come to this. In all honesty, I actually find exercise so energising. Even if I don’t go for a run, a short walk is a powerful way to unblock your head and feel more focused and grounded.
10. Seek advice and support when you need it
There are so many services available if you don’t feel like you can talk to your friends or family about things you are experiencing. Do a Google search for walk-in centres near you, or for free, anonymous hotlines you can call to chat with a professional. You absolutely never need to feel alone. There is always someone else who has been in your exact same position. I’m sure you have at least one friend who is a good listener and will open their arms to you. Do you have someone in mind? Give them a call. Meet up for coffee and talk to them.
Now that I’m finished writing about this postcard, I’m mailing it to my dear friend who I think will appreciate it. I love that this campaign makes it so easy to share the love!
What’s Your Promise?
I am going to make a promise to myself. Something small and simple that I know will make a long term difference to my mental wellbeing. Something I should never have stopped doing in the first place!
What promise will you make? Follow this link to submit and share your promise. You can also get inspired by talking a look at the Promise Wall. Over 9,000 people have shared their mental health promises!
I would love to see your promise if you would like to share it in the comments section. Well done, you, for doing something positive to care for yourself. Now share this with someone else!