Taking care of our mental health is just as important as our physical health if we want to be happy and feel well within ourselves!
Your mental health influences how you think, feel, and behave in daily life. It also affects your ability to cope with stress, overcome challenges, build relationships, and recover from life’s setbacks and hardships.
What does strong mental health look like?
- feeling content with life
- a zest for living and the ability to laugh and have fun
- self confidence & high self-esteem
- the ability to deal with stress
- having a sense of meaning & purpose
- being able to learn something new and adapting to change
- the ability to build and maintain fulfilling relationships
- having a balance between ‘work’ and ‘play’
- the ability to ‘bounce back’ when we experience adversity, trauma, or stress
Missing some of these things can make us feel ‘bleh’, down, and unhappy.
How can we improve our mental health?
- get moving regularly – movement is essential in fueling strong mental health. Get out & about for a walk, or get the blood pumping with a workout. You’ll get those feel good hormones going!
- Make time to relax, and manage your stress. This is very important! find something that helps you feel good and PRIORITISE it regularly. Workout, meet up with friends, watch a movie etc.
- Eat a balanced diet. We all know that food is medicine! We need to fuel our bodies with nutritious foods for it to function optimally, and for our brain to be happy!
- Prioritise sleep. This can definitely be a hard one with kids. Try to get to bed early, keep your devices out of the bed, and catch up on sleep when you can.
- Do things that help give you purpose. This is a huge one for many mums. Once we have kids, a lot of us feel like we have no purpose other than to take care of the kids and clean the house everyday. We lose who we are, and our connection to society. Social connection is KEY. Getting out for regular catch ups with friends, and/or getting back into some sort of work around others, helps us to stay connected.
When we’re feeling low, we typically don’t have the motivation to keep these things going.
Make sure to acknowledge any feelings you have, then pick yourself up and make a plan. Write it out, make sure it’s manageable, and stick to it like you would an appointment or meeting!
Trust the process and you WILL start to feel good!
If you find you are really struggling, there is so much help out there! Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
The Mental Health Foundation NZ has some fantastic resources and can get you in touch with the right people. Take a look here