40 Ways to care for your mental health

40-Ways-to-care-for-your-mental-health

As non-profits gear up for World Mental Health Day on October 10, now is the perfect time to consider how you can best take care of our own mental health. We all have our ups and down when it comes to our mental health, and this is often impacted by what’s going on in our lives and the world around us.

So how has your mental health been lately? Are you sailing along contentedly, or do you feel the weight of a thousand different expectations on your shoulders? Maybe you’re doing well for the most part, but you’ve sensed a shift in your mood since politics has taken over your social media? Or perhaps you feel isolated and lonely, and asking for help seems like a big step.

Wherever your mental health is at, this World Mental Health Day is your invitation to take stock of your wellbeing and have permission to care for it. This coming week, Australian charity Headspace is asking their supporters to answer the question: What puts you in a good headspace?

We’d love you to answer the same question. If you’re not sure, think about what makes you happy. When was the last time you felt most alive? And what helps you to relax and feel positive? You can find out more about Headspace’s Headspace Day campaign and fill out your own placard for social media here.

If you’re struggling to get started, here are 40 ways you can put yourself in a good headspace and care for your mental health.

  • Read a good book or watch a feel-good movie
  • Journal or colour in
  • Join a team sport
  • Go for a walk outside
  • Run or workout
  • Treat yourself to a delicious snack
  • Make a healthy (and yummy!) smoothie or juice
  • Go out for coffee
  • Take a ten minute break
  • Deactivate your social media
  • Catch up with a friend
  • Go to the beach
  • Go hiking
  • Turn off your phone
  • Try to bake something new
  • Try a new, healthy food
  • Go on a day trip
  • See a counsellor
  • Call a helpline or email them online
  • Write a letter to someone and never send it
  • Try a new hobby
  • Make a new friend
  • Go to a wildlife park
  • Ask someone to help you out
  • Take deep breaths
  • Meditate
  • Learn something new
  • Listen to music
  • Pat an animal
  • Book a holiday
  • Take a nap
  • Go to bed early
  • Cut back on alcohol and drugs
  • Learn about something new
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Read blogs online
  • Watch funny videos
  • Practice Mindfulness

Do you want to care for your mental health?  Would you like some support or guidance as you try these different strategies? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

This comic communicates the reality of depression perfectly

This-comic-communicates-the-reality-of-depression-perfectly

It’s not always easy to express how we’re feeling, especially when we are experiencing depression or are going through periods of grief. Thankfully, creating art gives many of us an outlet when it all feels like too much.  And that’s why we love this amazing comic by the artist Iguana Mouth.

Lots of people have drawn ‘mental illness’ over the last few years in an effort to explain it to their friends, but few people are able to capture the complexity and heaviness of it like this artist. Take a look at the comic below, and see if you can relate.

While this comic is dark, it is also a great reminder that depression passes, and our most difficult moments pave the way to a fuller and more meaningful life.

Next time you feel isolated, try drawing, putting on some music or meditating and wait for the feeling to pass. And show this comic to a friend—they don’t need to fix you; it’s just ‘being’ together in the moment that makes them easier to get through.

Do you feel isolated or depressed?  Do you struggle to explain how you are feeling? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

Nine great World Suicide Prevention Day resources

Nine-great-World-Suicide-Prevention-Day-resources

It’s overwhelming to think that we lose 400,000 people every year to suicide. But we can all take small steps in our own lives to bring down the numbers and better support people in our community who are struggling.

World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is this Sunday, September 10, and it provides us with an opportunity to talk about this oft-taboo issue and how it impacts so many of us. A great way to start is by educating yourself on the issue and speaking about it with a friend or a counsellor.

Here are nine great resources you can check out this WSPD. Not only will they inform you, but they will give you advice on the warning signs, how to help a friend, the best places to seek help and, highlight events going on locally and online that you can participate in.

This World Suicide Prevention Day, we are glad you are here.

  1. Suicide Prevention Australia
    Suicide Prevention Australia is the national peak body for the suicide prevention sector in Australia. Their official website for WSPD provides you with resources to print out and share with your community. This year’s theme is ‘Take a minute, change a life,’ and SPA have a terrific calendar of local events so you can connect with people in your own community who are advocates, survivors and loved ones of those gone too soon.
  1. Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” video

When US singer Logic performed his song “1-800-273-8255,” at the MTV Music Video Awards, the world was enthralled with his moving and beautiful tribute to people struggling with suicide. The name is taken from the number of the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and calls went up by 33% after he released the song in April. You can watch the video here and share it online via YouTube (Content warning: some images in the video may be triggering).

  1. To Write Love On Her Arms

Every year, TWLOHA run a World Suicide Prevention Day Campaign, and this year the theme is ‘Stay. Find What You Were Made For’. Over the US National Suicide Prevention Week (September 10-16) they will release new content online to create conversation around suicide prevention, and encourage people to seek help and, above all, stay.

  1. Stay. Find what you were made for’ video.

To correspond with their WSPD campaign, TWLOHA have released a powerful video, encouraging people to stay. Supporters, celebrities, athletes and musicians all make appearances on the video, telling the world why they have chosen to stay and what they were made for. If you want to begin a conversation about suicide prevention but don’t know where to start, this is the perfect video to share with your family and friends.

  1. ‘I’m Listening’

This new radio based campaign brings together some of the biggest names in music: Metallica, Logic, Krist Novoselic (Nirvana), Halsey, Jack Antonoff (Bleachers), Khalid and more. Organised by Entercom, a two hour radio broadcast will take place on September 10 at 10am ET, and artists will share their own stories, talk about how to help family and friends, discuss how to navigate discussions around suicide prevention and mental health, and provide help and resources.

  1. Hope Movement

This Aussie charity is running a week-long campaign for WSPD called ‘You Will See The Morning’. Head to their website for daily content, free downloads and learn how you can take action in your own community to help prevent suicide.

  1. R U Ok Day?

Suicide Prevention Charity R U Ok? Have been convoying round Australia over the last six weeks, engaging with people and educating communities on how to approach the much needed ‘are you okay?’ conversation when we notice a friend struggling. Finishing on September 14 for R U Ok? Day, they have a slew of great events you can attend, as well as some fabulous resources on their website that will inform and empower you to seek help, or help a friend.

  1. Out of the Shadows by Lifeline

Australia’s primary suicide hotline, Lifeline, runs the Out of the Shadows walk every year to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day. The walk raises awareness, remembers those we’ve lost, and unites people with the common goal of erasing suicide once and for all. You can plan your own walk and find resources here.

  1. Watersedge Blog: On Chester Bennington and how to identify someone at risk of suicide

Earlier this year, we published a blog about the death of musician Chester Bennington. We know that the suicide of public and much beloved people impacts communities around the world, and in this blog we gives you some advice on how to identify if a loved one is struggling, and how to take action around this.

Are you struggling with thoughts of suicide? Have you lost a loved one and find this time of year particularly difficult? Please call 000 or 911 in an emergency or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.  For crisis hotlines in other countries, visit Hope Movement’s International database here. 

Your G.P. and/or a Professional Counsellor can give you the additional support you need. For a FREE 10 minute consultation as to how we can help you, ring Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 or you can book an appointment press Book Now to book in our online diary.

17 ways to become more successful

 

Success. We all want it, but how do we get it? Most people measure success in money and status—but success is about a lot more than this. It is about being physically, mentally and emotionally healthy, establishing good relationships, and living with a sense of fulfilment.

If you want success in life, this terrific infographic by entrepreneur MaryEllen Tribby gives some great hints on where to start: for instance, did you know that that by exercising a sense of gratitude, you will achieve more in life?  In the same way, people who are constantly critical and have a sense of entitlement will struggle to gain much traction in the work place—and their personal relationships won’t be very healthy either.

Professional supervision and mentoring is a great way to uncover your strengths and weaknesses so you can learn how to best harness them in life. Whether you want success in business, relationships or health, a solid supervisor will show you how to set achievable goals, observe your your life holistically and encourage you to embrace these tips.

Take a look at Mary Ellen’s 17 indicators of successful people below, and then browse through the traits of people who are unsuccessful. Where do you fall on the scale?


Do you want a mentor or supervisor so you can take another step towards success? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

 

10 Amazing Self-Care Charts You Need to See

We always talk about self-care—after all, how are you meant to live a full and meaningful life if you don’t take care of yourself? But we know understanding self-care can be a bit overwhelming. Add to that, when you search the term on line, thousands of lists, inspirational quotes and ideas come back to you, suggesting you practice it a certain way.

The most important part of self-care is understanding how it best works for you. Some people may find journaling therapeutic, while others would prefer to sweat it out at the gym—and that’s okay.

We’ve found some of our favourite self-care charts from the Internet and curated them for you below. Take a look and see what strategies and ideas work for you, then give yourself permission to rest. Self-care is important, and this is your invitation to practice it today and everyday.

1.

Credit: Fiorenza Rossini

2.

Credit: Michelle Lynn Studies

3. 

Credit: Sacred Self Love

4. 

Credit: Pure Wow

5.

Credit: Brianna Fae

6. 

Credit: My Naked Ego and Viva La Me

7. 

Credit Blessing Manifesting

8.

Credit: Blonde and Ambitious

9.

Credit: The Truth Practice

10.

Credit: The Truth Practice

Do you want to slow down and take care of yourself? Would you like to learn more about self-care? Here’s what you need to do: Call Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. To make an appointment, go to BOOK NOW.

Seven Lies ‘The Bachelor’ teaches us about Relationships

Seven-Lies-The-Bachelor--teaches-us-about-Relationships

There’s something captivating about reality TV, and when it comes to The Bachelor (or The Bachelorette), we seem to be drawn in to these ‘real’ stories of love and lust more than ever. While some people watch The Bachelor for the drama and cat-fights, many watch it because we want to see a love story unfold.

Ultimately, we want to see the quintessential, attractive ‘good guy’ find his soul mate, and this tends to justify his means of finding them. But did you ever pause to think about the lies The Bachelor tells us about relationships? Here are seven lies to be mindful of next time to tune in. Remember, reality doesn’t always equal real.

  1. The perfect partner exists

Even with 22 potential partners at his disposal, The Bachelor will never find the perfect partner. Why? Because no one is perfect. It’s easy to miss someone’s flaws when we first fall for them, but after awhile our idiosyncrasies, differences and emotional baggage come to the fore.

The Bachelor does a great job of editing these ‘imperfections’ out, making us believe that once we’ve found the ‘one’ everything is smooth-sailing. But no one is perfect; so don’t expect your partner to be. Instead, love them for who they are, and support each other as you grow and change.

  1. Relationships are always romantic

Multi-million dollar yachts, cheese platters and designer dresses—The Bachelor is the ultimate recipe for romance. In fact, every date seems to be bigger and better than the last!

Every relationship needs some romance in it, but expecting it all the time (especially on such a grandiose scale) is not normal by a long shot. Healthy relationships ride out the seasons of romance, the mundane moments and navigate any conflict that arises. Don’t expect your partner to always have a red rose for you, but remember to add a touch of romance in every now and then. It’s good for you both.

  1. Love has a timeframe

Every season of The Bachelor begins with the question: Will our hero find the woman of his dreams and get engaged? And after 3 months of dating on-and-off (and with a bunch of other women in tow), the answer is nearly always yes. There is a proposal, an engagement ring, and the press report they’ve broken up within the next year.

The Bachelor works on the idea that love—and marriage—has a time frame. But in reality, it’s impossible to be ready for such a huge step without truly knowing who the other person is in real life. Some people fall in love and form a long-term commitment seemingly quickly, for other people, it takes months and years of getting to know each other.

Don’t pressure each other into a long-term commitment early—give your love time to develop so it has a chance to endure long after the puppy-love is over.

The-Bachelor-Australia-S5-Ep1-Matty-and-the-Top-20-Bachelorettes

Bachelor Matty Johnson is looking for love on this year's The Bachelor. Image courtesy tenplay.com.au.

  1. You have to change for true-love

Any relationship requires compromise and sacrifice, but on The Bachelor we see this taken to a whole new level. Instead of meeting the Bachelor and seeing if they’re compatible, the women will strive for his attention and affection, modifying their behaviour, conversations and appearance to please him.

If a person is worthy of your life-long love, they need to accept you for you. They will be naturally drawn to your personality and find you attractive inside and out. Don’t modify yourself to become what you think they want. Just be you. You can’t build a healthy relationship on anything else. 

  1. There is a dominant player in every relationship

When it comes to finding ‘the one’, the Bachelor has the ultimate power. He can offer roses to whomever he chooses, kiss who ever he wants, and select whatever woman he wants in the season finale. In real life, a relationship is two-way.

Unlike The Bachelor, a healthy couple will each have equal say over their status and future. No one is more powerful than the other, and each work to make their partner happy—while remaining true to their own identity and self-worth.

  1. Love just happens

Love seems easy on The Bachelor. There’s a spark between the couple the first night, and on each unfolding date they grow closer until their engagement at the finale. In real life, love doesn’t just happen like this. Sure, when you first fall in love these feelings can sometimes seem sudden and out of the blue, but lasting love requires work.

You have to make time for love, and this requires intentionality. Unlike reality TV, dates aren’t set out for you, and they certainly don’t come scheduled. So make a point to set aside time for dates, conversations and generally just being together. Life doesn’t stop, so make your relationship a priority each day.

  1. People stay the same

The Bachelor promotes the idea that no one changes; who you are, and the person you fall in love, with will always remain the same in values, appearance and demeanour. In three months we don’t necessarily change all that much, but over three years or 30 years, any couple will tell you a lot of change happens.

Life circumstances, crisis, conflict and general development happens to all of us over time. When you make a long-term commitment to someone, you’re not just committing yourself to who they are now; you’re choosing to navigate the future with their changing-self as well.

This is why long-term relationships need a solid foundation—not just a TV series, to build a future on.

Are you looking for love and need some support? Are you experiencing conflict in your relationship? Call Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. To make an appointment, go to BOOK NOW.

On Chester Bennington and how to identify someone at risk of suicide

On-Chester-Bennington-and-how-to-identify-someone-at-risk-of-suicide

Photo credit: Jonathan Denney

When news broke that Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington died by suicide last week, tributes to the iconic singer poured out online. And whether we lose someone who is beloved on a global scale, or a member of our community, the ripple effects of such a tragic event often lead to questions like “What could I have done?” and “How could I identify the signs they were struggling”?

In light of this, we wanted to share a previous blog with you, giving you five questions to ask someone you believe may be at risk of suicide. We hope this equips you to help your family and friends if you are concerned for their safety. 

Five questions to ask a loved one at risk

It can be scary to ask a loved one if they are at risk of suicide. There is a stigma within society that insists asking someone about suicide attempts, thoughts or plans will perpetuate the act of suicide—but this is simply not true. In fact, asking someone if they are struggling, and giving them the opportunity to share their pain with you, can actually alleviate the risk of the behaviour occurring.

If a friend or loved one has been acting uncharacteristically, either withdrawing from people or acting irrationally and stepping out in risk-taking behaviour, then you may need to ask them if they have thought about suicide.

Other indicators they are thinking about it are unexplained injuries, death or self-harm related content being posted on their social media, increased substance abuse, previous suicidal thoughts or attempts and a sense of hopelessness.

Here are five questions that will help you assess the risk of a loved one carrying out the act of suicide.

  1. Have you had any suicidal thoughts?

The presence of suicidal thoughts doesn’t mean a person will act on them—but it is still essential you know they are there. Suicidal thoughts will often perpetuate and can become more vivid as a person feels a greater sense of hopelessness.

Asking them this question doesn’t imply they want to suicide. Actually, finding out when the thoughts began and how prevalent they may be allows you to understand the weight of what your friend is experiencing.

  1. Do you have a suicide plan?

Asking a loved one if they have a plan in place to carry out the act of suicide is essential. If they do have a plan to suicide, either a carefully constructed and well thought out plan, or a fleeting idea of what it would look like, you know they are high risk and immediate action needs to be taken to care for their wellbeing.

A person who has a set time and place for the act of suicide, and who has begun putting their affairs in order (writing letters, cancelling registrations etc.) is at extremely high risk of carrying out the act of suicide.

  1. Do you have access to any weapons or means of suicide?

A person who has already acquired a weapon or means of suicide is at serious risk. Other people who know weapons or tools are available in their work place or at a friends or relatives place are also in danger.

If your loved one has access to a weapon, ask them how regularly this occurs, if they have considered how they would access it and the likelihood of this.

  1. Have you felt like this before?

Understanding if your loved one has struggled with suicidal thoughts in the past will help you to support them and keep them alive.  Ask if they have attempted suicide in the past, or thought about it. See if they have previously harmed themselves, and if they’ve created a suicide plan in the past.

If this has occurred in the past, the risk for your loved one increases, but this does not mean they won’t be open to help.

  1. Why have you chosen to stay alive?

Up to this point, your loved one has made the decision to stay alive. Irrespective of their struggles, they have chosen to remain. When people have suicidal thoughts, they resist them for any number of reasons: their love for family and friends, obligations, fear, the hope that things will change.

Take this reason and run with it. If a person is afraid of dying, they don’t want to die—they are likely exhausted and don’t know how to fight anymore. If family or friends is their motivation, remind them of the profound love they experience and the future events and moments they want to witness. If obligations are keeping someone alive, ask them what these mean and how they affect the people near them.

If a loved one answers yes to one or more of these questions, they need further help. Please call 000 or 911 in an emergency. If they are experiencing thoughts of suicide, or you are concerned for their wellbeing, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.  For crisis hotlines in other countries, visit Hope Movement’s International database here.

Your G.P. and/or a Professional Counsellor can give you the additional support you need. For a FREE 10 minute consultation as to how we can help you, ring Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 or you can book an appointment press Book Now to book in our online diary.

How one father explains mental illness and parenthood

How-one-father-explains-mental-illness-and-parenthood

Comics about mental health have been making the rounds on social media for the past few years, and artists like Toby Allen and Gemma Correll have changed the way many of us talk about mental illness. Now there’s another artist to add to the mix—but with a point of difference.

Toronto based teacher Chris Grady is the creator of Lunar Baboon, a series of comics depicting his everyday life. His comics are simple and sweet, showing the moments he interacts with his wife and kids. Notably, they also poignantly depict his struggle with mental illness.

In an interview with The Mighty, he explained that he began drawing to cope with his own struggles.

“After the birth of my first son, I was going through a really hard time. I wasn’t sleeping and started getting really depressed and found myself in a dark place. I needed something different, I was having a lot of negative thoughts and I needed a place to put them so I started drawing in a moleskin notebook and it’s taken off from there,” he said.

From comics about cheeky interactions with his son, to honest encounters with his wife, and brave attempts to find humour as he lives with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, there’s something instantly relatable about Chris’s work. What’s more, it shows how to healthily communicate in family relationships and what we can do to support one another.

To see more of Chris’s work, visit LunarBaboon.com. His book Lunar Baboon: The Daily Life of Parenthood is out now.

Are you a parent? Would you like support so you can manage a mental illness? Here’s what you need to do: contact WatersedgeCounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

How to stress less and find happiness

How-to-stress-less-and-find-happiness

It’s hard to get through a typical day without experiencing stress, right? From money concerns to worries about work, 7 out of 10 of us feel extremely anxious or stressed each day.

When we’re stressed, we experience physical fatigue and tend to take out our concerns on others. We see it damage relationships and create tension in ordinary situations. So how do we beat stress? The fact 85% of what we’re stressed about never happens is a great stat to comfort us when we’re agitated, but it’s not always easy to let stress ‘roll of our back’.

The great news is that there are some simple ways to reduce stress in our every-day life. Talking to a friend or colleague, seeing a counsellor—even putting a pot plant on your desk can all help to re-establish your own well-being. Add some exercise, meditation or fun activities into your schedule and you’ll also begin to feel less stressed.

Take a look at this infographic by Happify and see what methods you can use to reduce stress in your life. Let us know your favourite relaxation techniques in the comments!

How-to-stress-less-and-find-happiness-infographic

Are you stressed? Would you like to break free of your anxiety and worries? Here’s what you need to do: contact WatersedgeCounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

 

How the Enneagram leads to self-discovery

How-the-Enneagram-leads-to-self-discovery

We’re big fans of the personality theory of the Enneagram at Watersedge and are always on the look out for new resources to learn more. This week we discovered a podcast and book we can’t wait to share with you.

In episode 4 of the Shauna Niequist podcast, Shauna interviews priest and author Ian Cron about the Ennagram’s ability to aid in self-discovery.

Ian just released a new book titled The Road Back to You: An Enneagram journey to self-discovery, and he chats to Shauna about the basic elements of each type, how they influence culture and people across the world, and why knowing ours can enhance our spirituality.

Whether you’re a newcomer to the Enneagram or a long-time follower, have a listen and find out some new and interesting things about the fascinating theory and what it means in your own journey to self-discovery.

Insert link/audio: https://relevantmagazine.com/podcast/s01-episode-04-ian-cron/ 

You can purchase The Road Back to You: An Enneagram journey to self-discovery by Ian Cron now.

For more details on The Enneagram, head to our Enneagram page for free downloads on each personality type. You can also see our blog on the basics on the Enneagram in relationships here.

Do you want to know more about the Enneagram? Would you like to better understand yourself and the people around you? Here’s what you need to do: contact WatersedgeCounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.