At the start of the year many of us set goals to improve our health, whether it is to eat healthier, be more active, or finally start doing something that we know is good for us. But now that we are well into 2019, it is normal for the enthusiasm of January to wear off and for you to notice yourself slipping back into old habits.
You are not alone – 55% of Australians believe mental well-being is an essential part of mental health. At any given time, over two million Australians are living with anxiety and more than one million are living with depression. Unfortunately, more than half of those experiencing a mental health condition don’t seek help. Using the tips below we urge you to try these tips today.
#1 Define a weekly goal to focus on
Instead of aiming to “eat healthier”, define this goal in terms of a behaviour you can easily visualise and keep track of. For example, “cook a vegetable-based dinner twice a week’. Instead of aiming to “exercise more”, try “walk around my work building before having lunch on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays”.
#2 Remind yourself of the ‘why’
Finding greater meaning behind why you want to achieve something will help concrete the goal in your mind. With this, you can focus on the journey and small milestones that will lead you to where you want to be with the constant reminder of the bigger picture as to why you are pursuing something.
#3 Connect with people around you and reach out for support
having someone hold you accountable for what you want to achieve always makes it easier to stay on track. You now owe it to them as well as yourself to achieve what you set out to. Why not set up a time with a friend or family member once a week to discuss how you’re going and if you need help – what they can do it to assist.
#4 Don’t let slip-ups set you back
don’t try to be perfect! Instead, focus on engaging in the positive health behaviour as often as you can. If you experience a slip-up, treat each next opportunity as a fresh start.
#5 Keep track of your progress
Keep a tally of how you feel you’re progressing towards your goals, remembering that some goals will be ongoing. Try a journal or or a more visual reflection that maps out your progress on a poster. Seeing gradual progress increase over time can help you stay motivated to stick with the changes you are trying to make.
#6 Seek help and remember you’re never alone
If you don’t have close family members, a network of friends or a GP you can talk to, there are others who will listen to your concerns and help you. The trained mental health professionals who staff the beyondblue Support Service are there 24/7. Additionally, Our team of dedicated Allied Health Professionals have many years of collective experience helping employees and employers across a wide range of industries to achieve a better quality of life through targeted mental health support. See more here.
Please note that if you are feeling distressed, or need help or assistance immediately, Lifeline is available to help you by phoning 13 11 14, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.