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Tips on how you can take care of your mental health if you have a disability (or even if you don’t)!

Now more than ever people are talking about mental health and becoming more open to the fact that it’s an absolute necessity that we take care of it. No matter what age, gender, disability or what… we are all human, and we all have a mind!

AFL Football players are opening up to their mental health struggles, people are openly talking about it on podcasts, creating Facebook groups to help one another and new support businesses like yoga or meditation places are frequently opening up. Finally, it feels like Australians are breaking down this stigma because the statistics are alarming… according to Beyond Blue, one in six Australians is currently experiencing depression, or anxiety or both. The chances are that if you’re reading this blog post, you have either experienced it yourself, are experiencing it at the moment, or know someone who is. Gone are the days where you just needed to take care of your body and heart by exercising and eating well. Your mind is the most powerful tool in your body and must be taken seriously. Just like how different foods suit different bodies to make you healthier, different activities and exercises suit different minds, it’s just up to you to be able to tune into what gives you that sense of calmness in the mind. We spoke to our blogger Alice Waterman and resident at Briarholm, about how she takes care of her mental health. Alice is a strong young woman in her mid-twenties who knows herself very well and does a remarkable job on taking care of her mental health. She reminds us all that we all have a mind that can drive us crazy here and there, but it can be managed by doing simple things in life that help distract your mind and make you feel calm.We asked her for some tips and tricks that might be able to help you or someone else you know…

Alice’s Top Tips to Take Care of Your Mental Health

  • It’s important that you take care of your mental health every day... even if you are a happy person!
  • One of the problems that I have with my mental health is when I know that most of my friends have a boyfriend or girlfriend, but I get over it by doing things that I enjoy such as reading, talking to my friends and talking to my nurses.
    (TIP: Do not compare your life to other people’s lives)
  • I like seeing my friends because we talk about anything we want to and we go out to the movies, have lunch or play games.
    (TIP: Be open to people, it helps us to connect more.)
  • I like reading my comic book because it makes me feel happy when I have had a long day.
    (TIP: Tune into a good book that YOU want to read, not what you think you should read.)
  • I like playing card games and playing board games because they make me feel happy and they help me forgot about my worries.
    (TIP: Make your mind busy with things outside of your life that get you thinking differently.)
  • I like seeing my nanny every Saturday mornings because she reads to me and I like spending time with her.
    (TIP: Lock in regular catchups with your family.)
  • I like watching DVDs with my friends as well because we can talk about the show or movie that we are watching.
    (TIP: It’s ok to get lost in a fictional character’s life every once in a while)
  • I like going for walks with my nurses because I like getting out of my house.
    (TIP: Change up your environment and notice the little things on your walk. This is also called meditation walking.)
  • I like going into the city and trying out new foods like Thai and Chinese, and having my favourite bobble tea.
    (TIP: Try something new in your city, especially a different culture.)
  • I like spending time with my mum and dad when we go to see a movie.
    (TIP: Movies with family are always a good idea!)
  • I like going on ghost tours to learning about the Adelaide history of the old times.
    (TIP: Learn something new that has always made you curious about.)
  • I also like going to dessert shops as I like eating sweets foods.
    (TIP: Have a sneaky treat every once in a while, it’s totally ok!)
  • I like going to concerts to see different singers and listen to the music.
    (TIP: Music can change your mind so quickly, listen to what makes you feel calm or energised.)
  • I like going to the beach and going on walks and having ice cream from different ice creams shops.
    (TIP: Head to the beach, even in the winter, it does incredible things to your energy.)
  • I like going on long trips to the hills and different places around Adelaide.
    (TIP: Go for a drive, stare out the window and marvel at the beautiful nature around you.)
  • I like going to Adelaide zoo and the zoo in the hills.
    (TIP: Spend time with animals!)
  • I use social media to share good news stories that make myself and other people feel good. I think it’s important that you do not use social media to put down other people and hurt their feelings.
    (TIP: Use social media to improve your life - not bring you down.)
  • I like going to the garden in the city because I like looking around in them.
    (TIP: Nature, nature, nature!!)
  • For my final point I would like to say you should talk to someone if you are feeling sad or down.

I believe that it is important to look after your mental health every day because if you do not you may end up at risk of letting it spiral out of control where it will be difficult to get out of. There are so many things you can do that will help you now and help you for the future.

***

We hope Alice’s tips come in handy and remember, if you need it, support is always there from friends to family to Beyond Blue and more!

Beyond Blue is available for you 24/7 if you need them, call 1300 22 4636 or chat online with their friendly support team: https://online.beyondblue.org.au/Webmodules/chat/InitialInformation.aspx


Read our previous blog post about the benefits of meditation for people living with a disability.

Want to know more about Alice? Read her story here.


 

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