With Mental Health Week now officially upon us, there’s never been a better, nor a more important time to promote the importance of investing in your own health and wellbeing. According to Beyond Blue, over 3 million Australians are living with depression and anxiety, an alarming statistic to say the very least. But before we go any further, we want you to stop to take a moment to think about what these staggering figures really mean… these aren’t just any old people. It’s your loved ones. Your mother, your sister, your cousin, your best friend, your co-workers and your old school friends. We need to make a change! So we chatted to the wonderful women from Girls Getaways, an organisation that helps women find balance in their chaotic lives, who shared 5 ways to take care of your own mental health.
1. Spend time with your support network
It’s proven that time spent relaxing with friends dramatically reduces stress and anxiety, which can then lead on to depression and other mental health issues. Modern society puts us under so much pressure with work and general demands of life, so it’s vitally important that we allow our minds to switch off, relax and laugh with our loved ones.
2. Reconnect with your inner self
Studies by Harvard Medical School in the US and around the world have found that Yoga and meditation help to reduce stress and anxiety by modulating stress response systems. Controlled breathing, relaxation exercises and stretching all have a positive effect on the body and the mind. If you’re too nervous to join a local class, try doyogawithme.com or a meditation app like Calm.
3. Go on a date with yourself
Spend quality time with the most important person in your life, and remind yourself how much you love you. Take yourself to a restaurant you’ve been meaning to try, get lost in a bookshop or go on a solo movie date (no one can judge you in the dark). It’s important to remember the things that make you happy. You don’t even have to leave the house… it could be as simple as making a cup of tea and committing to sitting down with your favourite book or magazine for an hour or so. How many of us neglect spending time with ourselves in favour of the busyness of work and our social lives? Spending time alone, writing in a journal, being at peace with ourselves and resting and rejuvenating, is so important in preventing emotional and physical burnout.
4. Take time out
Whether it’s a day trip for some solo pamper time, a weekend away with your love or a couple of days away with the girls, no one can deny the soulenriching benefits of breaking with your normal routine and leaving behind the stress of everyday life for a little while. Stress is one of the main catalysts of anxiety and depression. According to the Australian Psychological Society (APS) in 2014, 64 percent of Australians reporting that stress was impacting their mental health. APS will release the results of their fifth annual survey about stress and wellbeing in Australia, during Psychology Week 2015, from 814 November. So what better way to combat stress than kick back, take time out and spend nourishing time away from the daily grind with your nearest and dearest?
5. Reach out
Remember, depression and anxiety are not weaknesses; they’re mental disorders and the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain that can be brought on by things like stress and grief. If you, or someone you know, isn’t managing well, it’s vital to reach out for help. Visit beyondblue.org.au, contact your GP for a referral or call Lifeline a 24-hour free hotline – on 13 11 14.
This article was brought to you by Girls Getaways your destination to escape, indulge, relax.
For more information, please visit www.girlsgetaways.com.au