5 ways to banish the blues!

5 ways to banish the blues!

As Keith Urban says, “Life is a rollercoaster, you’ve just gotta ride it.” But what happens when you feel stuck, locked in and overwhelmed that you can’t get off? Life’s not always an easy ride and we all feel blue sometimes, but how do keep going through the low times and keep the blues at bay?

Exercise

Almost 70% of Australian adults are not exercising regularly. We have all said to ourselves ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘I’m too tired’ when it comes to exercising. However, according to Health Direct, exercise not only benefits your physical health but your mental health too. Exercise helps to release those ‘feel good hormones’ like endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood. It also helps to pump blood to your brain, which allows you to think more clearly. Regular exercise doesn’t mean you have to pound the pavement to get your body moving – for 30 minutes a day a walk around the block, running after the kids at the park or even doing the housework can get your body moving and heartrate up to start pumping out a pick me up.

Sleep

Sleep can sometimes be seen as a luxury, especially when you’re a new mum, extremely busy or running around after children. However, it is not a luxury. It is actually essential in order for our bodies to heal and prepare us for the day ahead. Who hasn’t had a foggy brain, felt the need to reach for coffee or tried to snooze a few too many times after a poor night’s sleep? This can actually be your body’s way of letting you know that it is having trouble functioning. So, how can you try to make sure you are getting enough shut eye (7-8 hours per night)? As much as you can, try to make a bedtime routine – maybe it involves turning off all electronic devices at a certain time, or having a cup of tea after the children are asleep or running a nice, hot bath or shower. If you can, try to avoid working before bed, avoid caffeine in the evenings and try to create a routine that you can generally stick to.

Eat well

Beyond Blue explains that food plays a vital component in not only maintaining your physical health, but your mental health as well. Your mind needs regular nourishment to help it to maintain well-being, so fill up on foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, walnuts and soy beans, and eat plenty of complex carbohydrates, like wholemeal bread and oats, fresh fruit and vegetables. It is also helpful to drink plenty of water and limit foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol.

Stay connected

The psychological and health benefits of socialising are well documented. But it’s very easy when you’re feeling blue or your life seems overwhelming to shy away from interacting with anyone you don’t absolutely have to. But, just because it’s easy, doesn’t mean it’s helpful and sometimes staying away from people can actually make your mood worse and make you feel more isolated. Socialising doesn’t mean you have to organise a big day out. Sometimes even just a cup of coffee or 5-minute phone call can help you stay connected and lift you up.

Ask for help

It is ok to ask for help if you are struggling. Sometimes, this might be finding someone close to you to talk to and to help support you – having someone to listen or even just be by your side can make a world of difference.

However, it is also important that if you are having trouble coping to speak to someone you trust such as your GP or doctor for extra support – this is one of the reasons why it's importance to have your own GP. You can also contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 to speak with someone straight away.



Sources:

Health Direct Sleep
R U OK?
Beyond Blue Who does it affect?
Exercise and Sports Science Australia Almost 70% Aussies not doing enough


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