As a wise philosopher once tweeted, “everything happens so much”: the past few years have been an onslaught of bad vibes and exhausting news, so it’s not surprising that we’re all more aware of the importance of our own mental wellness.
It’s pretty clear that we’re all in need of ways to help ease the burden and look after ourselves mentally. That’s where mental wellbeing comes in — it’s how you deal with your emotions, stress, and build resilience to difficult situations.
While Instagram graphics around self-care can be helpful and we all know some basic practices to help ourselves, it can be hard to implement into our day-to-day lives, which is why we’ve come up with a checklist, inspired by QLD Health’s mental wellbeing initiative.
Have you had enough water?
We’re going to start with something that on the surface, seems simple, and yet when overlooked can have pretty crappy consequences not just on your physical health, but mental wellbeing too.
Water has been shown to have natural calming properties, and there are proven benefits from remaining hydrated, such as alleviation of anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as other undesired mental states, all directly related to dehydration. This makes sense, your body needs water, and when you don’t have enough of it your brain starts sending all sorts of signals to motivate you to find some. So, have you had enough water today?
You are what you eat. Cliche, I know, but cliches are cliches for a reason. We can pull all the studies in the world to prove that eating like crap makes you feel like crap, but I’m sure you already know this inherently.
How do you feel after eating a nice nutritious, filling meal? Now compare that feeling with the feeling you have after knocking out a full family size bucket of KFC.
Look, every now and then it’s totally fine to treat yourself, it’s actually healthy! But if you start to make treat days a thing every day, you’re gonna feel bad both physically and mentally. And that sucks, so eat right and eat well!
Had enough sleep?
Point numero three is once again related to our physical wellbeing, and that’s because our physical and mental wellbeing are one and the same. The body is the foundation, and if you’re not looking after it, everything else will crumble. Sleep plays a massive role in how you feel and perform day to day. Neglect it at your peril!
There are a myriad of ways to practically go about improving your sleep, from limiting your screen time before bed, to sticking to a regular sleep schedule. If you’re struggling, the Queensland Health website has some great tips on how to get better sleep.
Have you bitten off more than you can chew?
Burnout is very real, and most of the time it is a result of good intentions. We take extra shifts at work, we go to gatherings we don’t feel up to attending, we give so much of ourselves in so many different situations because we don’t want to disappoint those we care for.
But ultimately, if we keep shoving ourselves lower and lower down our list of priorities, and don’t take the time we need to refresh and rejuvenate ourselves through quality ‘me time’, then we’re bound to suffer the disastrous effects of burnout.
Remember, taking time for yourself and setting boundaries is not selfish, in fact, it’s one of the least selfish things you can do! You help those you care for most by ensuring you’re the best you possible, and the only way for that to happen is if you look after yourself and take time to do what you love.
Check out the Queensland Health website for a treasure trove of information and resources that can help you get on top of your mental wellbeing, so you can be the best you possible.