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Since the pandemic, mental health in Australians has declined.
It’s not a surprise when you look at the constant media barrage of fear.
Anxiety disorders now affect 1 in 6 or 3.3 million) Australians, followed by affective disorders (such as depression), and substance use.
October is Mental Health Month and we want all women to be empowered to deal with stress and anxiety and, when needed, to seek medical or psychological help.
If you want to take some preventative health action, try out 8 tips.
- Practice mindfulness. Sounds complicated. It’s not. Mindfulness is just about focussing on one thing at a time and, by that, we do not mean directing all your attention to a worry. We mean being present in the moment which, let’s face it, is the only thing we can be sure we have. Deal with now, and the future will take care of itself.
- Set boundaries and stop being a people pleaser. Doing everybody else’s job, or always sorting other peoples’ problems, will drain your energy and test your resilience. An exhausted person is a person less able to cope physically or mentally.
- Clear your life of people who are energy drainers, narcissists or constant complainers. They are barriers to good mental health.
- Don’t begin your day with your phone, especially looking at a newsfeed. Better ways to set yourself up for success – music, exercise, or positive thinking. Take a nicer way to work even, where there are less crowds and more scenery.
- Give an overactive brain something to do. Games, or hobbies, can help you get into a state of “flow” where you are not focussing on whatever makes you anxious. Listen to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s TED talk about flow
- Feed your brain. A healthy diet, low in stimulants such as caffeine, sugar and additives in processed food, can help you stay calm.
- Interact with Nature, whether that’s a lunchtime walk, gardening, hiking, or even indoor plants. The natural world can provide us with psychological reinforcement.
- Ask for help. See a health practitioner if you need medical or wellness support. Or ring a helpline such as Beyond Blue if you need to talk out what's happening for you.