“Managing my physical health is closely tied up with looking after my mental health.”
Physical health and mental health are strongly connected. Taking care of your physical health is scientifically shown to improve mental wellbeing, and vice versa. If one declines, the other can be affected too.
A balanced diet, proper sleep, and cutting down unhealthy habits such as smoking, alcohol, and drugs are some of the key physical health factors that can promote mental wellbeing. Some of the things that can affect mental wellbeing are stress, working too much, and being too inactive.
Studies are showing more and more that a holistic approach to health – linking physical, social, emotional, and mental health – is necessary for mental wellbeing. This approach also helps a great deal with managing and recovering from mental illness.
For more information, take a look at our pages on food, sleep, and being active.
A closer look
Hydration plays a crucial role in physical and mental health
Exercise stimulates chemicals in your brain that improve your wellbeing
Recreational physical activity improves mental health
People with mental illnesses are more likely to smoke
Exercise helped me cope. I got on my bike, I ran, I did exercise classes. I found it such a great release. It was lovely to get out in the fresh air, and to calm my mind.
Keeping myself centred and balanced is crucial for my mental health. I'm careful about what I eat and drink, try to fit in some 'me time' regularly, and I find swimming quite meditative. When my little girl has her swimming lesson, I do a few laps. Our physical and mental health are so wrapped up together.
Playing footy is a huge part of my life. It's the only time I can properly feel my emotions and regulate them because I know it's something I'm good at. That's a big outlet for me. I get to clear my head and distract myself from what's going on in my mind.
You might find online and phone-based mental health resources helpful. Some suggestions are below. You can find more with our Search tool.