Health & Wellness Wellness Wednesday

5 ways to improve your mental health today

June 6, 2018

It’s time for our monthly link up for Wellness Wednesday and this month we are sharing our tips on Mental Health Care.  We take time to look after our physical health but sometimes we forget that our mental and spiritual health is just as important.

May was Mental Health Month and I participated in the Mindful in May Challenge and also shared some ideas improving our mental health.  I’m sharing some of these tips again in case you missed the post.

In this busy world we live in, where so many demands are placed on our time, it is easy to feel stressed and anxious. Today,  I would like to share 5 ways you can improve your mental health today.  REMEMBER:  IF YOU ARE FEELING DEPRESSED OR NEED HELP, PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR OR TALK TO SOMEONE.

5 ways to improve your mental health today

1. Make daily movement a part of life

Studies have shown that regular exercise helps not only with our physical health but also our mental and spiritual well being.

I’ve decided to ditch the word ‘exercise’ because it can have a negative connotation and sounds more like a chore.  Falling in love with an activity which gets you moving each day for at least 30 minutes will do wonders for your mental health.

If you love what you do you are more inclined to stick to it.  I love to run and I know that if I have a problem, or I feel ‘low’ a run or walk in the fresh air will clear the mind, get the endorphins (happy feelings) going and makes me fell happier.

2. Take time out for relaxation and fun

Ensuring that you have time out for yourself to enjoy what you love is very important.  There are so many ways to relax our mind:

  • Read a book
  • Watch a movie
  • Catch up with family and friends
  • Go for a walk
  • Watch the ocean and follow the rhythm of the waves lapping the shore
  • Bushwalking and enjoying the sounds of nature
  • Sitting in the sun
  • Appreciating a sunrise or sunset
  • Listening to music
  • Physical exercise – even though you are moving you do feel relaxed mentally after exercise.
  • Yoga
  • Tai chi

Choose something you enjoy and can become engrossed in so you aren’t thinking about your problems for a while.

3. Be Mindful and Present

  • Mindfulness brings you ‘in the moment’
  • Helps you to clear your mind,
  • Teaches you to forget about the past or future and just appreciate the moment you are experiencing.
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Helps to slow down your thoughts
  • Helps you to focus
  • Aids relaxation
  • Improves immune system

4. Be Social

Staying connected for good mental health is important especially as we age. Keeping in touch with friends and family gives us the opportunity to talk, share our problems, enjoy a laugh or even helps take the focus off our problems and we can take time out to enjoy the company of others.

5. Disconnect from technology, enjoy some sunshine and get back to nature

Technology appears to have taken over our lives and most of us feel naked without our smart phones. Taking some time to disconnect from the world and sit or walk in the sunshine helps to life your mood.  Getting back to nature by going to a park, bushwalking or sitting by the ocean has a calming effect.  Try disconnecting for at least one day a week and see what a difference it makes to your general mental health.

What is one thing you can do today to help you improve your mental health?

5 ways to improve your mental health today

 

 

A quick update on my Wellness Goals

  • 12 weeks alcohol free – this has been a great achievement for my husband and I
  • Running – In training for the 34km Bloody Long Walk which I hope to run
  • Weekly yoga sessions
  • Weekly weight session

I’ve managed to tick each of these and am maintaining my wellness goals for 2018.

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30 Comments

  • Reply Retirement Reflections June 6, 2018 at 09:51

    Hi, Sue – Thank you for these great tips. I especially agree that we need to constantly remind ourselves that DAILY movement is essential — especially as we age. We all know how easy it is to put things off for tomorrow. I also like your reminder about giving ourselves regular technology breaks. I plan to take a big technology break this summer.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 6, 2018 at 13:54

      Hi Donna, yes it is easy to put things off but also easy to forget that our mental health and well being is as important as our physical health. After the problems with my website I really do need a technology break that is for sure! xx

  • Reply Miriam June 6, 2018 at 11:27

    Wonderful tips here Sue. I love my daily walk with Harry, even though the mornings here are icy. Well done on achieving your fitness goals so far. 🙂 xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 6, 2018 at 13:28

      Thanks Miriam and yes a daily work does wonders for our mental health. The mornings are not icy in Brisbane but you definitely can tell Winter is on the way! Have a great week 🙂 xx

  • Reply leannelc June 6, 2018 at 12:12

    This ties in well with the old ABC (Act Belong Commit) for mental health Sue – it’s all about balance isn’t it? Reminding ourselves that we need to be healthy in all aspects of our life if we want to stay well.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 6, 2018 at 13:31

      I haven’t heard of ABC Leanne but it is so true. Balance is the key and if we aren’t in balance I believe it is our mental health that suffers first. 🙂 x

  • Reply Candi Randolph June 6, 2018 at 20:26

    All of your tips are so important, I think we can keep our mental health and outlook at it’s peak if we engage all 5 regularly. I have to make myself slow down, step away and refresh sometimes, but I know it is essential to my health, both emotional and physical. You’re doing great with your goals!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 7, 2018 at 09:51

      Hi Candi, like you I’m always going at 100mph and need to take a step back now and then. My new grandson has provided that with lots of cuddles of the last few days. Thanks for the supportive comment re goals fingers crossed I’ve got it in me to do the 34km and run it all the way. Have a great week!

  • Reply patwdoyle11 June 7, 2018 at 01:03

    I’m falling short on the daily movement right now…and can actually feel the stress building in my body. Sigh. Luckily I’m doing some of the other stuff – from connections (virtual and IRL) to yoga – which is helping, but I know I need to get moving more. And our weather the past few days has been wonderful for it. (another sigh) One element that helps me with my mental health is journalling everyday; in fact, I think it’s one of my best tools!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 7, 2018 at 09:49

      Hi Pat, don’t be too hard on yourself sometimes our bodies just don’t want to play. You will get back into things and just be kind to yourself xx

      • Reply patwdoyle11 June 7, 2018 at 23:51

        thanks Sue… I do tend to be hard on myself and I need to her that!

        • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2018 at 09:01

          I think we all tend to be hard on ourselves, Pat. xx

  • Reply Natalie June 7, 2018 at 01:04

    Well done with your wellness goals, Sue! I’m on the same page with you on the five tips, and have made them part of my life. Have a fabulous week!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 7, 2018 at 09:46

      Thanks Natalie I’m working away at the goals. I hope you have a fabulous week also. Take care xx

  • Reply Jennifer Jones June 7, 2018 at 11:48

    I agree with all of your tips Sue. Today I’m planning to take an hour out just to read. That’s such a luxury for me as I usually read at night. For me, reading is important for my mental health .

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 7, 2018 at 12:45

      Good for you Jennifer. I love curling up with a good book during the afternoon. At the moment I’m reading The Wife Between Us which is compelling.

  • Reply overthehillontheyellowbrickroad June 7, 2018 at 23:50

    I think disconnect from technology is a big one! It gets harder to do as well!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 8, 2018 at 06:26

      Hello! Yes, I agree technology is the biggest problem I have. It is so hard just to take time away from it and not feel that the world is leaving you behind. Have a beautiful day x

  • Reply Lee MacArthur June 8, 2018 at 15:09

    I love mixing my movement with other things. Today, I explored the new addition to a mall and I spent two hours just having fun exploring all the shops.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 8, 2018 at 16:33

      Hi Lee, that is a great way to keep moving isn’t it? Sometimes people don’t realise that you don’t have to go to the gym you can find movement in everyday activities. Did you find anything you liked at the shops? Have a great weekend x

  • Reply Julie Feleo June 9, 2018 at 03:02

    Great list! Movement is critical for me and the shift in mood is noticeable when I’m not running. A tip I like is to think of play. When we were kids running or riding a bike were thought of as playing. Simply shifting your thought from chore to play can make a difference!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 9, 2018 at 04:44

      Hi Julie! Welcome and thanks for stopping by to comment. I love your idea of ‘play’. I replaced the word ‘exercise’ with ‘movement’ because to me exercise always sounds like a chore. Play sounds so much like having fun. I’m running for at least 21km this morning so I will need to keep telling myself I’m playing LOL:) Have a great weekend x

  • Reply Victoria June 9, 2018 at 08:22

    I am constantly reminding myself to stay in the moment, I am a work in progress. Congratulations on maintaining your goals.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2018 at 08:49

      I think it is always a WIP, Victoria. I don’t always practice what I preach but I do try to consciously think about it and if we keep trying it will become a habit. Have a great weekend x

  • Reply mommyhon333 June 9, 2018 at 10:58

    Great tips you shared!! Bravo to you and your husband for 3 months alcohol-free. What a grand accomplishment. Please pass along my congrats to your hubs, too!

    And living in the moment is another good goal. Hard for me at times not to worry but trying to be more aware of the times when I am grinding my teeth with worry and anxiety.

    Both yesterday and today, I enjoyed time in our troubled pool. Swam but also took time to just watch the sky above me, the water beneath me. Very relaxing. Allowed my mind to just wander. Going to try very hard to just leave my phone alone most of the day and catch up on texts at dinner time. And going to get back to unplugging by 9:00. Wish me luck.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2018 at 08:47

      Hi Leslie, yes Mike is doing so well with the alcohol free and can’t believe we have been AF for 3 months. I also find it hard to live in the moment but your swimming pool might be the answer. Just allowing your mind to wander can be so relaxing. Have a great weekend xx

  • Reply Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski June 12, 2018 at 03:52

    Daily movement is always important to me. It really clears my mind and helps me feel more relaxed afterward. I don’t know if I can unplug for an entire day but try to take long breaks and get away from my computer.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 13, 2018 at 06:45

      Hi Rebecca, I agree unplugging for an entire day is not easy but even if you do it for a few hours it certainly is beneficial to our mental health. I need to include daily movement, if I don’t I can get a little irritable 🙂 Have a beautiful week. xx

  • Reply Jennifer June 12, 2018 at 04:38

    All of those are so important. Being social is something that as people age they start to pull back from as they get into routines. But it’s so important to bust out of routines that stop you from socializing and enjoying the company of others (not just your spouse.) My mother will be 99 in August and she still speaks to friends that she’s had since high school.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 13, 2018 at 06:47

      I’ve read about your mother before Jennifer and she certainly is an inspiration! I totally agree that whilst we love being with our partners, we must also have a circle to socialise with. It brings not only friendship, but new ideas and thinking. Have a great week and thanks for stopping by xx

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