By Natalie Bascur
Life is tough, and often the struggle is all too real, but our vulnerabilities don’t make us weaker, they teach us to be strong while circumnavigating the challenging journey that is life.
With studies showing that 1 in 5 Australians experience mental illness each year, and yet only 45% seek professional help, it is time to smash the stigma surrounding mental wellness and acknowledge the courage and strength that it takes to say ‘Yo, life’s feeling a little down and dirty, y’all’.
Here are our 8 positive steps forward to self-love:
1 // COMMUNICATE
Communication plays a vital role in health and wellbeing and should be ongoing. Call a loved one you haven’t spoken with in awhile to touch base or organise a coffee date with a friend.
2 // SEEK HELP
Getting help early can make all the difference and it is important not to suffer in silence. Access to support and reliable information can change your life. The Black Dog Institute has tips on where you can start.
3 // EDUCATE YOURSELF
Take the time this week to familiarise yourself and gain a better understanding of mental health issues.
4 // HELP OTHERS
Help others this week with a kind word or action that lifts them up, and inspire and encourage around you (you never what they may be going through). Be the best mama, friend, wife, daughter, sister and colleague you can be, not just this week, but each week of the year.
5 // NURTURE YOUR SOUL
Remember the importance of self love, and don’t forget to take regular mama me time out for yourself. Even if it’s a walk, a phone call with a friend, a cuppa before everyone is awake or a date night with the girls!
6 // MAKE CHANGES
Don’t turn away help, there’s no shame in needing a pair of extra hands to help around the house or with watching the kids. Even an hour once a week for yourself to do anything you want will be beneficial.
7 // GET ACTIVE
Get some exercise each day, such as a walk with the pram, swimming or Pilates. It has been shown to have a positive effect on your mood.
8 // BE KIND
Be kind to yourself. Life is a challenge and no-one is expecting you to be Superwoman.
If you are feeling low, reach out to someone. There are also plenty of organisations that are there to help you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You are NOT alone.
For 24/7 help:
Lifeline 13 11 14
Kid’s Helpline 1800 551 800
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636