October is when we celebrate and acknowledge Mental Health Month in Australia. The theme for this year is ‘Tune In’ which is all about being present in the moment, increasing awareness of yourself and contributing to what your community needs. At Co.As.It. we believe strongly in the importance of ‘Tuning In’ to our community, and supporting each other’s mental health. Here are some strategies, from our Co.As.It. mental health team, about how you can ‘Tune In’ too!
‘Tune In’ to the present moment by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is about being aware of what is happening around you, engaged and connected with the world. Oftentimes, we are distracted by worries, negative thoughts or overwhelming feelings. By practicing mindfulness, we stop listening to the chatter in our heads and start focusing on where we are and what we are doing. You can practice mindfulness by using the 5-4-3-2-1 technique, where you pay attention to 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. The Headspace App is another great way to train your mindfulness skills.
‘Tune In’ to yourself by spending time acknowledging your thoughts and feelings. A great way to have this self-reflection is by journaling, deep breathing and connecting with nature. If you are feeling overwhelmed, then taking some deep breaths can be very helpful. Follow this video from Beyond Blue for a demonstration on how to breathe deeply to calm down. Another way you can ‘Tune In’ to yourself is by starting a new hobby or project. If you would like to brush up your Italian skills, consider joining one of our language classes!
Finally, to ‘Tune In’ to your community, you can try contributing to something that impacts your local area. You could volunteer with our Co.As.It. Community Visitors Scheme (CVS), reach out to your neighbours, ring an old friend or cook a meal for someone. Simply by checking in with friends, asking if they are okay or offering a helping hand, you can contribute to improving the mental health of your community.
During mental health month and this period of coming out of lockdown, let’s remember to ‘Tune In’ to the present moment, ourselves and our community. If you would like information about our free counselling services please CLICK HERE.