Mental Health is about what’s going well – not the problem.
In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety.
The World Health Organisation defines mental health as a “State of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
According to Beyond Blue, “Research shows that high levels of mental health are associated with increased learning, creativity and productivity, more pro-social behaviour and positive social relationships.” Furthermore, Australian Department of Health has found “exercise reduces the risk of anxiety, depression, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other health issues. Sedentary behaviour, on the contrary, is associated with poorer health outcomes, including an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.”
One of the main anxiety triggers for Australian adults is the stress of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For me, eating well and keeping up the exercise is a priority. However, I try not to let feelings of failure take hold if I can’t manage to get my workout done. I try to schedule an hour of brisk walking in 3 times a week in the early morning. By concentrating on my surroundings and my breathing, I turn my walks into a mindfulness exercise.
Like many other women, I am juggling many things all at once. A family, two businesses, trying to balance a healthy lifestyle, clients and product updates – to name a few. In addition to this, I am continuing with my Italian language lessons. I feel I tick the “creativity” box with my beauty business. I experiment with makeup for client applications, tutorials or just having a play with the products in studio.
I make a conscious effort to maintain healthy relationships with friends and I regularly (about once a month) attend meetups in the hope of making new friends.
To have a fighting chance of managing the demands of life, I prioritise and diarise my day/week. Breaking it down into doable chunks means I have a better chance of fitting everything in that I deem essential and even make time for ‘doodling’.
Doodling is a healthy mental break as opposed to alcohol, cigarettes or gambling. Stress and Wellbeing in Australia states that people who report higher levels of anxiety, depression and distress are more likely to gamble, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol and take recreational drugs. For me, doodling is playing a game on my phone, browsing my social media feeds, doing a crossword or even just day dreaming.
We would love to hear about your innovative methods of achieving a high level of mental health in the comments.