Mental wellbeing encompasses how we feel emotionally, physically, psychologically and socially. We all have our own level of mental wellbeing, which can be influenced by a range of factors including genetics, personality and day-to-day interactions and experiences. The shared environments in which we are born, grow, learn, work, play and live also affect our mental wellbeing.
Having high levels of mental wellbeing doesn’t mean feeling good all the time. Life has ups and downs, and all people experience difficult or painful emotions like sadness, worry and frustration. Being able to acknowledge and understand these emotions is a key component of mental wellbeing, helping us to cope when times are tough.
It’s not about chasing perfection. It’s about finding your own way to okay.
Take the time to explore and experiment
There are lots of things within your control, that can help to protect and build your mental wellbeing. We are all different, and the things that work for others may be different to the things that work for you. Take the time to explore and experiment, until you find what works for you.
The Mental Health Commission acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of this Country and its waters. The Commission wishes to pay its respects to Elders past and present and extend this to all Aboriginal people seeing this message.
We recognises the individual and collective expertise of those with living and lived experience of mental health, alcohol and other drug issues and or suicidal crisis. This also includes those who love, and have loved and care for them. We value the vital contribution they make by sharing their unique experience to achieve better outcomes for all.
Trying new experiences and learning new skills can help improve the cognitive functioning of your brain. It’s also just a good way to keep things interesting when you’re feeling bored with your usual day-to-day.
Find a new podcast to listen to
Take on a DIY project
Give gardening a go
Try a free online course
Take up a new hobby
Read a non-fiction book
Watch a documentary
Connect with others
For some people, connecting with others feels like second nature. For others, it can feel intimidating. There are lots of ways to help feel connected, in a way that works for you. You might even brighten someone else’s day too.
Plan a boardgame night with friends
Reach out to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while
Spend some quality time with your pet
Call or FaceTime instead of texting
Smile at a stranger
Give someone ‘the wave’ while driving
Join a group or class on a topic that interests you
Connect with nature
Spending time in nature can improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress and increase feelings of relaxation.
Eat a meal outdoors
Get up early to watch the sunrise
Go for a walk near a beach, river or lake
Check out a bush trail in your local area
Go swimming or snorkelling
Make a veggie or herb garden
Goals and routines
Some of us thrive on routine, while others find them harder to stick to. Routines don’t need to involve planning out your whole day, week or year and keeping to a strict schedule. Small things, every day (or most days) are just as important.
Start your day with a nutritious breakfast
Explore a ‘de-stress’ activity before bed
Set yourself a personal, financial or academic goal or challenge
Try meal planning, or cooking with a new ingredient
Dedicate time during your week for self-care
There is growing evidence that participating in the arts is good for our mental wellbeing. But you don’t need to be an artist to get creative.
Teach yourself knitting or crochet
Learn some new photography skills
Paint by numbers
Visit an art gallery, museum, or see some live music
Watch a movie or documentary
Listen to a different genre of music
Try a new recipe
Do something you enjoy
Every now and then, we all need a reminder to slow down and rebalance. Give yourself permission to spend time just doing the things you enjoy.
Reconnect with an old interest or hobby, or try something new
Catch up with friends, or spend time by yourself
Listen to your favourite music or watch your favourite movie
Allow yourself time to relax
Spend time with animals: play with your pet, visit a zoo or aquarium
Stay in the present
When life is feeling busy, it can help to slow down and focus on the present.
Organise a distraction/screen-free meal with friends or housemates
Watch a sunset or do some stargazing
Embrace time alone
Spend time outdoors in nature
Do a self-care activity: have a bath or watch a movie
Try a mindfulness activity or guided meditation
There are lots of ways to give, and get something back. Getting involved in something you’re passionate about can also help you connect with new like-minded people.
Volunteer at an animal shelter, at a community event or for a charity
Get involved in a cause that matters to you
Join a sporting or hobby club
Give a meaningful compliment
Exercise for a cause
Move your body
The link between exercise and mental wellbeing is well known, but exercise doesn’t always need to mean hitting the gym, going for a run, or spending lots of money. Find ways to move your body that suit you.
Go for a long walk with a friend, or your dog
Check out an outdoor gym
Join a sports team
Walk, ride or catch public transport to work or uni