Updated: Feb 17
For many of us, life seems to have hit a slump. There is stress surrounding employment, worries about the future, worries about finances, the kids are home from school, and isolation feels like a never ending train ride going nowhere. Sometimes things feel like it's all too much.
Mental health disorders are a very common issue. Many Australians experience a mental illness in any year with depression and anxiety being the most common.
What can it look like?
Withdrawing from close family and friends
Relying on alcohol and sedatives
Not doing usual enjoyable activities
Unable to concentrate
'I’m a failure.'
'It’s my fault.'
'Nothing good ever happens to me.'
'Life’s not worth living.'
'People would be better off without me.'
Tired all the time
Sick and run down
Headaches and muscle pains
Loss or change of appetite
Significant weight loss or gain
If you or a close family/friend recognise these symptoms, in addition to seeking support, there are things you can do right now.
Exercise to boost your mind, body, and mood.
Exercise is a proven intervention that improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and improves self-esteem and cognitive function. It has been found to alleviate symptoms such as feeling worthless and withdrawing from social interactions. Simply moving our bodies has brain inducing changes. Scientists propose it helps by increasing in blood circulation between several areas of the brain and hypothalamus, which controls circulating stress hormones in the body, mood, and motivation.
The hardest part will always be starting to exercise, or even being bothered to do anything! But don’t beat yourself up too much about this, the very fact that you are reading this may mean you are thinking about doing it. And that is a WIN in itself. Change always begins with the thought.
Starting small is always the best and it doesn’t have to be complex or hard!
Start by simply walking for 10-20 minutes and day. Track your steps, track how long you walk for and celebrate that you achieved something! Sometimes you may not feel up for it, you may continue to struggle, but keep persisting each new day and you will see change!