Look, I’m not going to sit here and talk about what we’ve all collectively gone through the last couple of years — and what we are still going through. We are all well aware. Things have not been fun!
The key to getting through, shall we say, trying times, is to be strong in ze ol’ noggin. But how does one do that? How are we meant to be okay inside when everything is so not okay on the outside??
Never fret! We’ve compiled a little list of ways to build mental resilience, ‘cos lord knows we all could do with a little help.
Look after your body!
Think of mental resilience like a pyramid, and at the very foundation is your body. If you’re not making sure you have the basics down pat, you’re not going to be able to be the best you. So get active, eat well, and get enough sleep. Do those things, and you’re golden, baby!
Take your ‘me time’
Life can get busy, and we can have a tendency to feel guilty about taking time away from our work and life commitments, and from the people that need us. But taking some time for yourself doesn’t mean you’re being selfish, it means you’re making the time to be a better you — not just for you — but for everyone you care about.
An investment in your own mental wellbeing is one that benefits literally everyone you come in contact with. So if we want to push that concept to its extreme, you taking time for yourself, will literally make the world a better place. You deserve the best possible you — but more importantly — the world deserves the best possible you.
And hey, “me time” can look different for everyone. Whether it’s laying back with a book or a show you love, working up a sweat at the gym or on a run, or heading out about town to a gig or gallery — “me time” is your time to do whatever nourishes your soul.
Heck, your version of self care might also include looking outside yourself and reaching out to others, whether it’s people you know like friends and family, or strangers though volunteer work — whatever floats your goat!
It’s never too late to take up a new hobby, learn a new skill, play some new games, or meet some new people. Life is all about learning and growing — and that sweet endorphin rush that comes with it.
Remember, the brain is just like a muscle, the more you use it and challenge it, the more it grows. So whether you take up yoga, pick up a paint brush, or download Duolingo to try your hand at Italian — keeping your brain fit and active will not only have an incredibly positive impact on your mental health, but your professional and personal life too.
Aim for kindness & connection
Call your family! Call your friends!! Tell them you care about them. Reach out, spread joy, be the change! Life can get so busy and chaotic that it can be easy to take for granted just how many special people we have in our lives. Take time to nurture your relationships, let the people you care about know you care on the reg.
And as we’ve touched on previously, fostering connection doesn’t have to be with those you already know. Community groups, sports teams, your local library — there are so many opportunities to meet new people and nurture new relationships. Maybe try starting your own cult? Wouldn’t that be fun!
If you can do just one simple act of kindness, you’ve won the day. You’ve done it, you’ve actively made the world a better place. I know this kind of talk is approaching corny motivational poster territory, but life is all about how you frame it. Make kindness your goal, and you will spread and thus attract kindness.
When was the last time you felt the grass between your toes? If you can’t remember, do it now! “Grounding” not only helps you be present in the moment, it has all kinds of wild benefits like improved sleep and happiness. Plus, it feels nice.
Time has a tendency to just roll the hell on, and the older you get, and the busier you get, the quicker it goes. So take some time, whenever you can, to take in your surroundings; to take in the moment. Your current reality will one day be a pleasant memory, so make some mental notes, really absorb it. Breathe in the fresh air, listen to the sounds of nature, and marvel in the splendour of the great outdoors! Older you will thank you.
For more resources and info on how to keep on top of your mental wellbeing, head to the QLD Health website.