We hear a lot about physical fitness and its importance for good health. Mental fitness is just as important, in fact, physical and mental wellbeing are closely related. Mental fitness and emotional wellbeing allow us to recognise our strengths and abilities, to cope with the stresses of life, to build strong relationships and to contribute to our family and community. It means we can enjoy life.
Staying physically and mentally fit is a goal for all of us.
The following simple strategies can set up good habits to help build confidence and resilience and get more out of life.
- Set goals and enlist a peer or family member to help monitor your progress
- Aim to be active every day
- Enjoy a balanced diet and limit alcohol intake to low risk drinking
- For your general health, do not smoke
- Develop good sleep habits
- Learn a new skill, interest or hobby
- Connect with others; join in community activities such as volunteering
- Set time to do things you enjoy such as going to the beach or having a coffee with friends
- Mindfulness, an awareness technique, can help with negative thoughts and emotions
- Consider strategies to relax and unwind, such as yoga or meditation.
Seeking help early is important.
It is a way of empowering yourself, not a sign of weakness! Talk to your GP to determine what support you need. He/she may recommend psychological support or counselling, or in some cases, medication.
Answering the following questions may help you to decide if you need to seek help:
- Have you felt sad or depressed most of the time lately?
- Have you been feeling anxious or had distressing thoughts most of the time lately?
- Have you had trouble working or meeting your daily responsibilities?
- Have you had problems in your relationships, or trouble taking care of the family?
- Have you increased your use of alcohol, illicit drugs or prescription medications?
- Are you having trouble sleeping?
- Are you having trouble eating, or have you gained weight recently?
- Are others concerned about you?