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5 ways to prioritise your mental wellbeing

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Almost half of the women who completed the 2018 Jean Hailes Women’s Health Survey said they had been diagnosed with depression or anxiety by a doctor or psychologist.

Society is getting busier, and so are we, so it’s even more important now to take time to prioritise our personal wellness for overall wellbeing. 

On World Mental Health Day (October 10), we share our top five tips on how to promote positive mental wellbeing in your everyday life.  

1. Get your body moving

We know how important exercise is on our physical health, but moving your body is just as important for your mental health. Research has found that exercise alters the chemical activity in your brain, particularly happiness-inducing serotonin and endorphins. Your energy levels, mood, concentration and alertness can also be increased through regular exercise. 

2. Eat a balanced diet

Deakin University’s Food and Mood Centre have found that a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, with a high intake of vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, fish and limited processed foods can reduce the risk of some mental disorders. On the other hand, eating food that is processed or high in fat or sugar can increase that risk.

3. Dedicate time for you

With so many competing priorities in our life, it can be hard to find that magic seven-letter word: BALANCE. Although it’s crucial to make time for yourself every day to refresh and do something that you love. This could be going to the gym, reading a book, meditating or any other activity that calms you and makes you feel good.

4. Live in the present

In today’s world, we’re more connected than ever online through our social network. Although sometimes this connectivity can have negative side effects. Research has found on average we are opening our phones over 200 times a day. That’s a lot of scrolling! So be sure to monitor your usage and take time to prioritise screen-free time in your day.

5. Prioritise sleep

Sleep is such an important part of our wellbeing. It’s crucial for our brain function, as when we sleep our brains process information. Research has also shown that regular lack of sleep can lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression. Aim to get at least 8 hours of shut-eye a night, and for deep sleep avoid using screens in the hour leading into bedtime.

If you or someone you know needs support with mental health, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au