Here at the Melbourne Freshwater Place Wellness Medical Practice, the importance of personal mental health and well-being is a top priority for our practitioners.
In accordance with the World Health Organisation (WHO), we firmly believe that “Mental health is an integral part of health; indeed, there is no health without mental health.”
Supported by multiple studies by WHO, The BMJ, and Medical News Today, poor mental health is directly linked to many negative health issues, including, but not limited to: increased risk of health from cardiovascular disease, cancer, higher risk of heart disease and stroke, and startling level of weight loss and gain.
Being able to cope with the stress of day-to-day life, maintaining the stability of personal relationships, and learning and applying skills necessary for everyday life are things that should not be taken for granted.
When living with poor mental health, tasks as simple as doing the groceries, organising paperwork, or getting up for a shower in the morning can be an emotional workout in of themselves.
While there is no immediate cure for poor mental health, there are a few key elements in your life that have been proven to dramatically affect your mental well being, even from the smallest, to the largest of scales.
How to Look After Your Mental Health
Adopt a Healthy Diet
We’ve all heard of the ‘2 fruit and 5 veg’ rule of thumb, and it isn’t all that far from the truth.
As old hat as it may be, these decade upon decade old rules have survived this long for a reason. Your brain, the centre of the problem, thrives on a healthy balance of natural vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
Arguably, the Mediterranean diet is considered to be one of the healthiest diets in the entire world, consisting of primarily beans, nuts, cereals, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and seafood, it has an extremely low level of meats, sugary foods, saturated fats, and artificial colour, flavours, and preservatives.
Simply having a healthy, natural diet provides better cognitive function and mental health.
It is recommended to spend around 15-20 exercising daily to maintain a healthy physical, and mental wellbeing.
This doesn’t necessarily mean long and boring laps around the block, or even expensive weekly visits to the gym.
Exercise can be anything as simply as going for a walk, acclaimed doctor states that “Walking is an inexpensive, low risk and accessible form of exercise, and it turns out that combined with nature and group settings, it may be a very powerful, under-utilized stress buster.” So think outside of the box next time you take a moment to reboot your mind with a bit of exercise: walk your dog, do a bit of gardening, practice Tai-Chi in the park, or wipe the dust off of your Wii Fit Trainer disc.
Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore.
Establishing a Sleeping Pattern
Whether your sleeping pattern is a solid 9 hours of sleep a night, a midday nap to balance out your nightly 5 hours, it is important to maintain a sleeping pattern regardless.
Your brain needs those hours to recharge and produce important brain chemicals dedicated to everyday function.
People who have a good sleeping routine and get enough sleep are proven to have higher concentration levels, increased energy, and a better memory – all things essential to maintaining good mental health.
A structured routine, even for sleep, is guaranteed to work to improve your mental health.
Simply setting, and sticking to, a strict routine for when to wake up and go to sleep, will help set and keep your body clock in motion, making the process of resting and resetting your mind feel all that much more natural.