Good mental health is an every day thing. It’s about being aware and notching up simple daily practices that help keep your mind in good shape so you can get on with doing the stuff you love.
Sleep on it.
After a good night’s sleep, you have more energy, focus and motivation. Try to re-balance your “body clock” with a regular sleep routine – similar bedtime each evening, similar wake-up time each day. Ditching post-lunch caffeine and banning your phone and device from your bedroom after dark can all help you get a solid night of slumber.
Eat like you mean it.
Eating well can help with setting up good sleep patterns, boosting energy levels and improving your general health and wellbeing. Your mood is connected to your appetite and your food intake. That horrible feeling after a junk food binge speaks for itself! Your brain and body both function better when they have the right fuel – a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veg.
Physical activity (even a walk around the block) can help relieve stress and frustration. Getting active is a distraction; it can take you back outside the chatter in your head, and connect you with people and places around you. Find a physical activity that feels good for you then get out and enjoy.
Control alcohol and drug use.
Using drugs or alcohol to work through a tough patch may seem like a fix, but it’s temporary at best. Drugs and alcohol are a leading cause of harm and can trigger mental health problems, rather than help. Reduce your use and enjoy feeling healthier.
Relax, chill out, kick back.
Try intentional relaxation like breathing techniques or progressive muscle relaxation that you can do anywhere anytime to help overcome stress. Try this one right now: put your hand on your diaphragm to feel the movement of your breaths. Breath in slowly for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 2 seconds and breathe out slowly for 6 seconds. Repeat.
More IRL, less online. Get out and spend real time with your mates. Join a sporting club or a community group. Connect with real people, enjoy each other’s company and support one another.
Get help when you need it.
Some challenges are too big to handle on your own. Sometimes you need more support, beyond your family and friends. You’re not alone; there is help all around you. Scroll to the bottom of this page for links to people who can help. The sooner you get help, the sooner you’ll feel better and back on track.
If Read the Play has been to your sporting club, have a chat with your Player Wellbeing Officer about simple ways you can live healthier every day.