While our lives are returning to a new kind of normal, there is still a cultural stigma around depression and anxiety. This is why it’s so important we keep the conversation going and checking in on family and friends, even during the good times.
Finding a balance in the push and pull of real life has its challenges, but there are simple ways to grow our connection within our immediate and wider community. One step to take is to set a goal to build on your friendships by spending regular, quality time with your friends. And don’t forget to then track your gratitude of these mood-boosting connections with others in a written journal.
Here are three more easy ways to maximise your own mental health and those around you:
1. Boost the outdoor connection.
Studies suggest spending time outdoors has a restorative effect on our mind. Joy lives in nature, after all! So, get off the grid. Leave your phone at home and unplug from constant emails, alerts and other distracting interruptions. It’s really important to clock off, so allow yourself the right to disconnect.
2. Boost the love connection.
Write a letter or cook a meal together. For friends and family afar the arrival of a surprise care package full of meaningful items can really brighten their day. It’s the same when they receive a letter of appreciation pointing out what you love about them most. Preparing a nutrient-dense dinner based on a Mediterranean diet - think salmon, sweet potato and salad with an antioxidant-rich, berry-based mocktail - nurtures our inner wellness, too.
3. Boost the community connection.
Volunteer. Feeling like you are helping to change someone’s world will give you purpose. This can help you feel motivated and build your self-esteem, plus you’ll meet locals in your wider community and foster that sense of belonging to a place.
Australia Post believes that ‘when we connect, we feel better’. Go to auspost.com.au/mentalhealth to learn more about their commitment to mental health.
Beyond Blue provides free information, advice and support to help all people in Australia achieve their best possible mental health. For more information, visit beyondblue.org.au