When we become overly worried or stressed, certain physical reactions can happen in our body. For many one of the first things to change is the rate of your breathing, leaving you feeling agitated, keyed up and unable to relax.
Although this response is necessary in a fight or flight situation when you have something physical to fight or run from, it isn’t generally very helpful when you can’t outrun worries and thoughts.
Take a moment right now and allow yourself to be guided into deep, even and soothing breath work or if you have a few more minutes and a safe space free of distraction, try meditating.
How does this make you feel?
While stress is a natural and temporary state of being, ‘over-doing it’ for a prolonged period of time can completely drain you until you’re no longer feeling like yourself. If you’re feeling that way, you might be experiencing burnout.
Symptoms of burnout can be emotional as well as physical, including stress, anxiety, nausea, headaches and feeling fragile. People experiencing burnout might withdraw from important relationships or begin to fall behind at work or study.
It’s affecting more Australians than ever before and it can lead to increased symptoms from pre-existing mental health conditions, so it’s important to learn how to spot it – and know what to do if you think you’re beginning to feel burnt out.
One of the best ways to protect yourself against burnout is to listen to your body and mind.
If you’re beginning to feel burnt out, take this week to:
Try them all or try just one!
When things aren’t going your way, a negative outlook can quickly take hold. Intentional gratitude – acknowledging and celebrating the good things in your life and actively thanking the people around you – is one of the best ways to boost your mood and improve your mental wellbeing.
The benefits of gratitude can be as simple as a smile spreading across your face (or the face of the person you have thanked!) but can also include:
The best thing about a gratitude mindset is you don’t need special tools or training to start. You can begin to be grateful anytime!
If you’re interested in beginning an intentional gratitude practice, take this week to:
What’s the meaning of life? We can’t answer that, but you can ask yourself, ‘what is the meaning of my life?’
Finding deeper meaning is a very personal, individual journey. It involves sitting quietly with yourself and asking what your core values are – the things you want to base your life on.
Core values can include:
You can begin to find inner meaning anytime! It’s a personal journey and starting small is perfectly fine.
If you’re interested in deeper meaning and what your core values might be, begin by identifying your core values. They might be on the list above or something else entirely. It’s up to you!
If you have someone in your life who is suffering from a mental health condition, it can feel natural to do whatever you can to help them. You’re inclined to drop everything, especially when it feels like an emergency.
But when you have mental health concerns as well, that can really take a toll on your mental wellbeing. And even if you don’t, as the plane analogy shows, you can’t help others if you’re not getting enough oxygen yourself.
Loving and supporting someone doesn’t mean neglecting yourself.
If you want to support a friend, partner or family member experiencing mental illness in a way that’s healthy, sustainable and authentic, begin by practicing self-care and setting strong boundaries around what you will and won’t accept.
Our brains process tens of thousands of thoughts a day, some helpful, some unhelpful. If you’re finding these unhelpful thoughts are becoming more common than helpful ones, it might be time to try defusion.
Defusion is a practice that asks us to defuse from (as in, not get attached to) unhelpful thoughts that don’t serve us – feeling, acknowledging and labelling them before stepping away and focusing on more helpful things.
Understanding your own thoughts can be a key step in defusing from painful or scary thought patterns that, oftentimes, simply aren’t true.
Reminding yourself that it is just a thought creates distance between you and your thoughts and allows you to think about them with curiosity rather than hearing them as facts.
A feeling of secure connection with the key people in our lives is one of the four pillars that support mental health.
But these relationships don’t grow and stay strong and healthy by accident: it takes conscious, consistent effort, trust and, sometimes, healthy conflict.
Challenge yourself to reach out to someone today. Maybe you could reach out to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and check in. Or perhaps there is a tough conversation you’ve been putting off having with a loved one. To help you navigate those conversations, make sure you check out our resources below.
Looking to the future gives us a sense of purpose, something to work towards. When we set meaningful goals for ourselves and begin to make progress, we get a sense of achievement that can build self-esteem and wellbeing.
Your goals don’t need to be big or ambitious to start off with – try some smaller goals first and, as you practice, you’ll find yourself aiming higher and higher.
Challenge yourself with some small goals, like sorting out your sock drawer, getting out of bed at a certain time, cooking a meal for loved ones or getting out of the house for a walk.