Move, chat and meditate this World Mental Health Day

SWSLHD are urging residents to make exercise a daily priority.
SWSLHD are urging residents to make exercise a daily priority.

South Western Sydney Local Health District Mental Health Director Dr Claire Jones is encouraging residents to make exercise, connecting with friends and mindfulness a daily priority.

In the lead up to World Mental Health Day on October 10, Dr Jones said these three behaviours are proven to have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing.

"In the case of exercise, it's been shown to help with sleep, boost serotonin levels, which helps to control moods, and increase our energy levels,'' Dr Jones said.

"Social connections can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression and boost selfesteem while mindfulnesses can give us a greater sense of calm and help us to be less reactive to situations.''

Dr Jones said some of the long-term impacts of stress included sleeping problems, depression, anxiety and cardiovascular disease.

"The human mind likes predictability and certainty. When life gets stressful, some simple daily routines and structures can make a big difference to how we think and feel. Routine is more important than ever at the moment,'', said Dr Jones, who added it is crucial to remain vigilant about mental wellbeing despite the pending easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

"For Mental Health Month this October, we're being encouraged to 'Tune in to our mental health'. We're being encouraged to be aware of what is happening within each of us and in the world around us.

"If we notice we aren't tracking as well, we should take steps to practise some extra self-care such as relaxation and doing something that brings us joy.''