Keeping mentally healthy is about caring for how you feel, building your confidence and your self-esteem. With good mental health you are more able to develop positive relationships, work to achieve your goals, make good life choices and maintain your physical health. It is also important to understand that good mental health is about learning how to respond to the normal ups and downs of life, and seek support when you are struggling
A good place to start when looking to improve your mental health is to think about how you approach problems. You could choose to ignore the problem, or hope that someone else fixes things, but the best approach is to teach yourself to solve problems in a more organised way. Using your problem-solving skills, you can identify the problem, think of a few different ways to approach it, consider the pros and cons of each possible solution and find a solution you want to try. This process can also help you to see that if one solution does not work, there are other things you can do.
Learning how to relax or manage stress is another part of keeping mentally fit. To begin, you need to understand what you are feeling and why, and then, look at what you can do to manage any difficult feelings. Some people find talking about their feelings helpful, some use relaxation techniques or join a yoga class, while others listen to music or hang out with friends.
Having a regular sleep pattern can also improve your mental health because without sleep, it is harder to concentrate, make decisions and cope with stress. To have a regular sleep pattern means trying to get up at the same time each morning, try to avoid too much caffeine or alcohol in the late afternoon, don't nap during the day, keep physically active and relax before bed.
These are just some of the many things that you can do to improve your mental health. Keeping physically active, developing new skills, and relaxing and enjoying your hobbies are others you might try. It's about finding what works for you.
beyondbluecan offer you, and those around you, information about maintaining good mental health and wellbeing. If problems arise, beyondblue can also help you to find the information and support that you need. There is information online (www.youthbeyondblue.com) or you can contact the beyondblue Support Service by phone 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or online at www.beyondblue.org.au/get-supportfor web chat (3pm – midnight) or email responses within 24 hours.