Lifestyle

Eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and avoiding harmful levels of alcohol and other drugs can help you keep your mental health on track, manage symptoms of depression and anxiety, and improve your overall wellbeing.


Woman looking through bicycle wheel spokes

 


 

Exercise

We all know that exercise is one of the most important things we can do for our health and wellbeing, but sometimes even with the best of intentions, exercise often slips to the bottom of the list.

Exercise has not only been shown to be effective in treating mild to moderate depression and anxiety, it is a proven method for combating stress. 

Exercise isn’t just going to the gym or going for a run. There are many ways to become more active; alone, with others, with a trainer, classes, sports groups, outdoor activities, walking or riding to work – experiment and find what works best for you.

It can also be a great way to meet new people and help make social connections – another valuable way to help maintain good mental health. 

"I feel amazing when I'm in a garden or I'm running because nothing comes in and nothing goes out. It's really a helpful and effective thing to do to stay well."

Katie


 

Relaxation

lady walking to work

There are many types of relaxation techniques. Simple breathing exercises are easy to do anywhere at any time, only take a few minutes, and can be used as often as you need. Progressive muscle relaxation, visualisation, meditation, mindfulness, arts and music, being in nature, and gentle physical activities such as yoga and Tai Chi, can also help you manage your stress levels and keep your wellbeing on track. 

Spend some time thinking about the positive things that help you to relax. It may be useful to make a list of what works for you so you have it on hand when you need it. 

 

Remember that it could be something as simple as having a bath, reading, gardening or watching a movie. It's important to take time out for yourself to do something you enjoy. It may also be just putting away electronic devices for a set amount of time to get away from the outside world and any pressures or demands, or spending time with family or friends.

 

 


 

Sleep

Sleep is crucial to our quality of life. Poor sleep– or sleep deprivation – can impact our health and immune systems and can substantially affect our productivity and safety.  

There are a number of practical strategies for improving sleep habits:

  • Reduce or eliminate caffeine, nicotine and alcohol
  • Stick to a regular sleep pattern – even on weekends
  • Cut out naps, which can interfere with your quality of sleep
  • Exercise, particularly early in the day
  • Ensure you have a comfortable sleeping environment
  • Ensure the temperature in the bedroom isn’t too warm – cool  conditions help you get to and stay asleep
  • No phones, TVs, work or laptops in the bedroom
  • Try to relax and slow down at least 30 minutes before going to bed. Give your body time to relax and prepare for sleep
  • Look for ways to lessen the impact of shiftwork on your quality and quantity of sleep.

There are apps available that might assist with improving your sleep.

 

Learn more