Time to focus on mental wellbeing
Focusing on increasing our mental and emotional health is just as important as looking after our physical health.
Mental Health Awareness Week is a reminder for us to review our wellbeing, and take time to do an emotional ‘warrant of fitness’.
Mental Health Awareness week focuses on the five ways to wellbeing with this year’s theme being ‘Nature is Key’.
Good mental health has a positive impact on our physcial wellbeing and life satisfaction.
With improved mental and emotional health people are able to navigate the challenges of life with more capability and have the reslience to cope better when faced with difficulties. Ongoing increased stress levels have a long term impact on people which at times can develop into into debiltiating illness such as anxiety and depression.
Counselling or Talking Therapy is a well researched intervention that helps people to with stress, depression, anxiety, work challenges, grief and loss, substance abuse and addictions, life changes, relationships with family, friends and work colleagues, trauma, abuse, bullying, domestic and sexual violence.
Try some of these healthy mind habits to corporate into daily life which supports mental health: Spend time outside - take a walk and savour the moment, listening to the birds, being aware of the surroundings.
Slowing down and taking a few breaths, this will activate your parasympathetic nervous system, your calm down system decreasing your stress levels. Relationships and communication - Check in with how you speak to yourself and others. Do you come from a place of kindess and respect? Are your being your own best friend?
Learning skills and strategies in communication is helpful for everyone.
Parenting can be especially challenging and it can be useful to get support. Ensure you are getting enough sleep, going to bed early enough and taking a break from electronics for at least one hour before you go to sleep. Healthy work habits - decreasing stress by ensuring you take your breaks, reviewing your work load, increasing the time you spend with your colleagues talking in a positive way. Try implementing random acks of kindness at your workplace. Mindfulness - mindfulness means paying attenion in the moment, without judgement. Noticing the sounds, the smells,the sensations in your body and the thoughts going through your mind.
Mindfulness helps to decrease stress and increase positive neural pathwaysin the brain. Try 10 minutes a day for a month. (APPs to try out are Smiling Mind, Headspace, Stop Breathe Think) Gratitude - starting a gratitude journal. At the end of each day write down ‘3 Good Things’.
Three things you noticed during the day that you felt thankful for such as - a morning cup of tea, a sunshine day, a smile from a colleague, blossom on the tree etc.
Find an counsellor registered with NZ Association of Counsellors to talk about getting an mental and emotional warrant of fitness.