Written by Luci Keeley, Project Coordinator at Bright
You might have noticed that October was Mental Health Month, giving us all a chance to pause and take a look at how we’re travelling with our mental wellbeing.
It’s been a tough few years with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, global conflict, inequality and the climate crisis – not to mention the stress of everyday life! No wonder some of us could do with giving our mental health a bit of TLC.
At Bright, we’re passionate about mental health and that’s one of the (many) things I love about working here. We’re so passionate in fact, that we created Headstart – a mental health navigation tool connecting people with local service providers and information specific to their needs. It lists local mental health and alcohol and other drug services that are free or low-cost and delivered face-to-face. Check it out!
When I’m thinking about my own mental wellbeing, I find the analogy of ‘filling your cup’ to be so helpful.
When my cup is full, I’m better able to handle those everyday stressors (like the huge meltdown my toddler had in Coles). When my cup is on the empty side, life can start to feel overwhelming.
Here are a few things I try to keep in mind when my cup needs a refill.
Put down the to-do list
Letting go of my to-do list and making some time for the things I know bring me joy can be hard to fit in, but I know I’ll feel the benefit of it. Catching up with friends, reading a good book with a coffee, or binge watching something awesome like House of the Dragon, are all activities that are guaranteed to top-up my cup.
Be kind with yourself and others
Mental health is often surrounded by misunderstanding and prejudice. We can all contribute to changing this by challenging the language we use and busting mental health myths. Way Ahead has some useful information and resources on how we can help to normalise taking care of our own mental wellbeing, and that of those around us.
Connect with where you’re at and get some support
I really like these research-informed digital tools and apps from Black Dog Institute. They’re useful if you’re not too sure on how you’re feeling, or could use a couple of tools to help you build better mental health. Best of all, they can all be done from home with a cup of tea in hand. Win!
It’s OK to not be OK
More than two in five of us will experience a mental health issue at some point in our lives.* So remember, if you’re feeling that your cup’s drained more often than it’s brimming – that’s totally normal and you’re not alone. If you are struggling, it’s always good to check in with your GP, someone you trust or a mental health professional and get help if you need it.
If you, or someone near you, feels in immediate danger please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24 hours a day).
*Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing 2020-21