Queensland Mental Health Week – Take Time for Mental Health
We all need reminders about how to keep mentally healthy – am I right? Well lucky for us, Queensland Mental Health Week (QMHW) is an annual event that is organised to shed light on the different ways we can take care of our mental health and reach out to those who need support. This year mental health week occurs between 5 and 13 October, and it’s a perfect time for everyone to boost their mental wellbeing. And this year’s theme is a winner – Take time – for mental health.
This theme is absolutely perfect for this day and age. It’s so easy for us to get caught up in our busy lives and neglect our mental health. Whether it’s a busy job, family, finances – the list goes on! Life can be relentless.
Prioritise your self care
“I don’t have time” is probably the most common response when you ask someone what they’re doing to look after themselves. But think about this, an hour a day is less than 5% of your day. If you wait until you have time, you’ll never have it. Make time. Make it for yourself, your health, and your happiness. Because once you do, you’ll be a better version of yourself. And trust me, you’ll thank yourself because now you’ll be able to give 100%. Abraham Lincoln said it best, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. Think about how you can sharpen your axe.
Top times to Take Time
Here are our top 5 tips to help you take time:
- Book it in and make it non-negotiable. Treat yourself like any other appointment that you somehow find time to attend. You’d think twice about rescheduling that meeting with your boss wouldn’t you?
- Don’t fall into “justifying” talk. When someone asks if your free or can do something for them or with them, don’t feel like you have to justify yourself. Simply say “Sorry I have a prior appointment” or “Oh I’m busy then, how about [insert date and time here]”.
- Notice and acknowledge the uncomfortable feelings….and do it anyway! Those feelings we mentioned earlier….those horrible ones of guilt, embarrassment and shame. It’s incredible to notice these and to then realise the feelings shouldn’t stop you from still doing what you need to do. I HATE needles – but I know that blood test the GP asked me to get is important, so I go and do it. It’s the same with taking time for our mental health, it should be essential for us to look after our brain the way we look after our bodies.
- Tell yourself you are worth it! Say “I am worth it!”. Now repeat this 5 times. Do that everyday for the year and you might start believing it! Our minds are a funny thing. We can actually convince ourselves of something by repetition. Usually, people have negative internal thoughts processes where they tell themselves they DON’T deserve to take the time. It then becomes so easy to believe this. We want to reverse that mindset.
QMHW is an opportunity for people to come together to raise awareness about mental health, what they do to take time for mental health, and for mental health providers to promote their services. Have a look on the QMHW website for local events during the week to meet new people. You can also join in on the social media challenge and go into the prize draw. Post a photo of what you do to take time for mental health, be it a cup of tea, or a hobby, and hashtag the photo with #QMHWTakeTime. Here’s some more info:
https://www.qldmentalhealthweek.org.au/qmhwtaketime-instagram-challenge/. The Psych Professionals will be exhibiting at the Brisbane Mental Health Expo, so come on down and say hi.
Create lasting change
Queensland Mental Health Week is the perfect opportunity for us to focus on taking time to focus on our mental health and wellbeing. Use this week as an opportunity to put taking time on the radar, to support yourself and others to be healthier and happier. Most importantly however, for whatever you implement during Mental Health Week, make sure this becomes the basis of real and lasting change. Don’t just make a change and take time for Queensland Mental Health Week – take time for mental health for life.