Mental health is a crucial component of overall health and wellbeing; mental health struggles and mental fitness can significantly impact our everyday life, including work, personal relationships, and study.
Looking after our mental wellbeing is just as important as looking after our physical wellbeing. Good mental health allows us to be fully present with our family, friends, and community.
Anyone and everyone can improve their mental wellbeing and overall health this World Health Day with a variety of options to participate individually, with loved ones, or in a community group. Our 5 ‘Ways to Wellbeing’ are part of an evidence-based model providing effective strategies to improve mental health and wellbeing. These are integrated into all our activities, events, and programs so that first responder families discover the benefits of incorporating simple, sustainable lifestyle changes into their daily life. Try out some of these ideas for this year’s World Health Day:
Visit a friend, family member, or loved one. Humans are wired for connection, forming and strengthening bonds with loved ones is an important part of the path to mental fitness and can take a protective role in maintaining wellbeing through increased feelings of joy, security, belonging, and self-worth.
Get active by going for a walk, joining a team sport, or signing up for a group fitness class. Being active contributes to overall wellbeing and aids in quicker recovery from physical and mental stress. Movement plays a major role in maintaining mental fitness by helping us cope with challenges, increasing energy and confidence, improving mood, and enhancing our sleep quality.
Read a book, pick up a musical instrument, or your craft scissors. The adult brain can rewire itself through learning. Challenging our minds with new skills, approaches, and information can increase our knowledge and improve strategic thinking skills, building confidence, a sense of purpose, and the capacity to recover from challenges and stress.
Take a moment for yourself. Being in the present moment is a great way to gain perspective, improve response and recovery times, and reduce stress. Presence of mind (‘mindfulness’) has a range of benefits in building mental fitness, including greater self-awareness, increased adaptability, and the ability to better recognise how and when to seek help.
Donate your time or support to a local community group. Acts of kindness help us build connections, strengthen support networks, and increase confidence and the ability to cope with challenges and change. Altruistic behaviour releases endorphins and boosts happiness for ourselves as well as the people we help.