Managing Your Mental Wellbeing

Good mental wellbeing goes beyond just feeling happy every day. You should also be able to thrive and realise your potential. If you keep yourself physically healthy, your mental wellbeing will also improve. There are three aspects of mental wellbeing you can manage for yourself, these are connections with others, mindfulness and purposeful activities.  

Connecting with Others 

Spending time with your family, social circle or people in your community can help strengthen your mental health and wellbeing. It can make you feel more secure and give you a sense of purpose. When you feel down, you may want to avoid others completely. However, it is during these times that you should go out of your way to connect with others. Positive connections can lower anxiety, alleviate depression and raise self-esteem. Even if you are an introvert, you still need social connections in your life. 

Practising Mindfulness 

Practising mindfulness means training yourself to be more self-aware. It is about experiencing your body and your emotions in the moment without any judgment. When you practise mindfulness, you simply let your thoughts come and go without lingering on any of them. This helps free up the ‘mental clutter’ that worries you every day. Since it is about focusing on the present, it will help you from obsessing over the past and worrying about the future.  

Participating in Purposeful Activities 

Purposeful activities can be your work, a hobby, volunteer opportunities or anything else that gives you a sense of purpose. 

Work is one important source of purpose. Going to work can improve your self-esteem, establish social connections, enhance your financial security and allow you to contribute to society. 

Perfect work-life balance is difficult to achieve, so it is up to you to decide which aspects you need to focus on more. 

Managing Physical Health  

The three key areas of physical health are physical activity, diet and sleep. Living a healthy lifestyle can help to reduce the risk of disease, improve your immune system and increase your lifespan. Your physical health is also linked to your mental wellbeing, so taking care of yourself physically will help you in other aspects of your life.  

Maintaining a Balanced Diet 

Having a healthy diet means eating the right amount of nutritional food and avoiding too much unhealthy food. Managing your diet properly also helps you maintain a weight that is considered healthy for your age and height. 

The Australian Dietary Guidelines (2013) is a comprehensive guide that can help you figure out techniques for managing your diet. The key guidelines from the document are:  

  • Guideline 1: Choose nutritious food and drinks that meet your energy needs 
  • Guideline 2: Drink plenty of water and eat a wide variety of foods, specifically vegetables, legumes/beans, fruits, grain, lean meats and dairy 
  • Guideline 3: Limit the intake of foods with saturated fat, added salt, added sugar and alcohol 

Getting Enough Sleep 

Sleep is essential for the cells in your body to be repaired and the information in your brain to be consolidated. Lack of sleep can make you less productive and influence your mood. The sleep-related habits you have are referred to as sleep hygiene. Examples of good sleep hygiene involves going to bed at a consistent time and avoiding caffeine close to bedtime.  

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