I was reflecting on the previous post and wondering whether we only look after ourselves and attend to our wellbeing when it is threatened or there is a crisis, or do we invest in preventative care and even actively try to enhance our wellbeing.
For quite some time now we have been exposed to regular campaigns about looking after our physical health. Two that spring to mind are “Slip, Slop Slap, Seek and Slide”, and “Life. Be in It”. I see people wearing sunglasses, sometimes wearing hats and applying sunscreen. I also regularly see people walking and jogging along the streets, and gyms look busy with people leaving all red and sweaty. It seems many people do invest both money and time in caring for themselves physically.
More and more we are seeing advertising addressing mental health. From my memory they seem to address stigma, providing education about mental illness, its prevalence, and encouraging people to get support. I can’t recall any that provide direction for mental health self-care. If you can recall one that does, please let me know. I suppose “Life. Be In It” could also be seen to help our mental wellbeing as we know that exercise is known to be one of the best things we can do for our mental health and is particularly helpful for depression. I believe this ad was focussing on reducing obesity though.
Reflecting and being grateful for even the smallest things is also known to enhance our happiness, as is living in-line with our values, and using our strengths.
There are some basic things we can all do to enhance our mental wellbeing and even build our resilience to inevitable demands and stressors. Much of what we do for our physical wellbeing also helps our mental wellbeing, such as exercising, eating well, and regularly getting a good night’s sleep. Other things that are beneficial is taking time to relax – most of us are task driven and high achievement is revered in our society but many people find they are more focused and productive when they ensure they take time to slow their mind down and relax regularly. Many of us have lost the art of relaxing so purposefully including meditation or practicing being present in the moment, noticing our surroundings and truly experiencing them is useful. Reflecting and being grateful for even the smallest things is also known to enhance our happiness, as is living in-line with our values, and using our strengths. Ndepinatsata