When it comes to our mental health, while it can be difficult to find the motivation, regular exercise can help alleviate stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression and other mood orders. Yet, despite countless research proving its effectiveness, exercise is the most under-prescribed treatment for mental ill-health!
How did you wake up today?
Was it full of beans and ready to take on the world?
Or was it feeling kind of miserable, like your tank was close to empty?
Perhaps you’re mad at yourself.
For not getting the lawn mowing done over the weekend or not getting your work finished because you’re too easily distracted.
Perhaps you’re feeling a bit lonely.
Left out by friends or unsupported by family. You may be dwelling on mounting bills or the fact that you’re not in the best shape at the moment. Or perhaps you’re just feeling pissed off and want to remain undisturbed by life’s demands and opportunities.
The reasons for feeling down can be multifaceted and difficult to determine
If you feel depressed for two weeks or more, please seek the advice of your GP or Allied Health Professional to rule out or treat underlying biological factors. They may suggest consulting a mental health professional to help in negotiating the changes life throws at us or the cheaper alternative to therapy, antidepressants, which can help to adjust the underlying biology.
Mental health benefits of getting outdoors and exercising
Not only is it cheap and accessible to all, but it also provides both sunlight and the release of hormones which are well documented in having profoundly positive impacts on our mental health. Personally, I’ve developed a toolkit of strategies that I use when the black dog starts nipping at my heels that includes running, yoga, and hanging out with/confiding in understanding friends.
The Black Dog Institute provides some great advice on how exercise can help alleviate symptoms of depression including:
- increasing energy levels
- improving sleep
- distracting from worries and rumination
- providing social support and reducing loneliness when done with other people
- increasing a sense of control and self-esteem
You are not alone
There is always someone who’ll listen and help you keep safe
If your life is in danger, please call emergency services by dialling 000.
Counselling and Support (24/7)
If you need support call one of the following numbers:
- Lifeline Australia – 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
- MensLine Australia – 1300 78 99 78
- Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
- Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
- Veterans and Veterans’ Families Counselling Service – 1800 011 046
A burden shared is a burden halved
Got a niggling feeling that someone you know or care about it seems a bit more agitated or withdrawn lately?
Perhaps their behaviour seems different from normal?
Or they just don’t seem to be their usual self.
Trust your gut instinct and act on it
A simple conversation could save a life.
R U OK has a website full of information on something we can all do, stay connected and have meaningful conversations. We don’t need to be experts – just a good friend and a great listener. So, if you notice someone who might be struggling – start a conversation!