2. Start consistent physical exercise
It may seem contradictory to what I said above, but physical health is crucial for a healthy mentally. Physical exercise doesn’t need to be the gym or running, it could be cycling to work, joining a local sports team or walking on the beach. I started surfing a few years ago and it’s changed my life. Getting up early in the morning a few times a week and getting my endorphins going, whilst gaining a new hobby with new friends has drastically improved my mental health.
Research suggests that Yoga is also an effective treatment for anxiety and depression. Luckily there is no shortage of Yoga studios in Australia. It might help to try comfortable eco fitness gear like Vege Threads.
Here are also some great tips about planning physical activity from the UK mental health charity MIND.
Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash
3. Journal daily
I’ve always thought writing down your feelings was a trap for potential embarrassment but actually, it’s quite liberating. Talking to someone about mental health is really important and journaling can be just as effective. It can be used as a form of meditation each morning, writing down your thoughts from the day before and the day ahead.
The Huffington Post in a recent article claimed that journaling daily could improve emotional intelligence, self-confidence, communication and creativity. It can also be useful to spot patterns of personal behaviour and track goals.
“Journaling brings you into that state of mindfulness; past frustrations and future anxieties lose their edge in the present moment.” Thai Nguyen to HuffPost, 2017
4. Find a new hobby
A new hobby doesn’t have to be fitness and there are many activities out there to try that are beneficial for mental health. Last year I took up photography, gardening and fashion illustration classes and they all made me feel great. Picking up a new hobby or volunteering can bring a sense of achievement, self-awareness and a new social circle. They can also be really helpful to take your mind off the stress of work or life.
In an article with Psychology Today, Dr Jaimie Kurtz, a professor of psychology at James Madison Univeristy, recommends that everyone should find a new hobby as we’re not really that busy. “Perhaps you could reach out to a new organisation: a community choir, softball team, or book club.”