I've seen the "Look up" advertisements on a couple of buses recently so I decided to find out what it was all about. The Look Up movement is based on research by neuroscientist, Dr Fiona Kerr. We spend so much of our lives looking down that we miss out on really living. The Look Up campaign encourages us to put down our phones and look up, to engage with the environment and those around us. According to their website, "scientists have discovered looking up is good for our brains, our bodies, our relationships, and our shared experience of the world." You can find out more at www.lookup.org.au. I took the photo above on my morning walk today. Before you reach for your phone, look up!
Spending some time alone each day helps you to unwind and reduces stress. Life can get hectic and noisy so it's important to slow down and take a break from it all. You can create a cozy spot in your room to hang out or get out of the house. My favourite things to do during "me time" are to read, write, get crafty and listen to music.
Gratitude is an important aspect of being happy and resilient. Think of someone you're grateful for. Why not make a card, write a message of thanks and send it to them. Not only will it brighten their day, but it's good for your mental health too. You could make a card for:
Keep an eye out for an easy DIY watercolour card video on Thursday!
Today is R U OK Day so we've designed this great R U OK? Journal PDF. Fill in the contact form below and we'll email it to you pronto. Perhaps you could do it with a friend and talk about your responses.
2020 has been a difficult year. Let's face it - it sucks! You might be struggling mentally and emotionally due to Covid-19. You might be in isolation, your family might be struggling financially or tensions at home might be high, you might miss seeing grandparents or family or friends, you might have missed out celebrating a birthday or a family holiday. You might just feel down because of all the bad news in the world at the moment. You are not alone.
If you are struggling, talk to someone about it - your parents, an aunt, teacher, chaplain or other trusted adult. You may also need to see a counsellor or psychologist. There are people out there who can help you through this difficult season. I'm seeing a counsellor next week as I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed and blue.
If you're in Australia, here are the national crisis numbers:
Lifeline: 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 or suicidecallbackservice.org.au
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636 or beyondblue.org.au
Headspace: 1800 650 890 Free online and telephone service for 12-25 year olds
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 A free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.
A 2019 study found that spending at least 20 minutes a day outside can lower your stress hormone levels. If you spend more than 20 minutes outside your cortisone levels will be even lower. I know it's winter in Australia and a bit cold and wet but wear a parka and take an umbrella. Go with a friend if you need extra motivation. Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com.
June is Mindful Month at Smiling Mind. You can sign up for free at https://www.smilingmind.com.au. All you have to do is complete a short survey (2 questions). According to the Smiling Mind website, some of the benefits of mindfulness include:
The Butterfly Foundation has an interesting article on eating disorders and Covid 19. The stress and changes in routine brought about by Covid 19 can lead to a significant increase in eating disorder thoughts and behaviours. Butterfly Helpline Manager, Juliette Thomson, said, "eating disorders thrive in isolation so it's critical to stay connected with family and friends. Social media (when used appropriately), video calls, and phone calls – all play a part in making sure we stay connected. Set a time every day for a video call with a group of friends. Try to limit your exposure to news, and even then only at set times of the day, and only follow reputable sources. Practising mindfulness and engaging in journaling, meditating, chatting with friends, and other activities you enjoy can be extremely helpful during this challenging period."
The Butterfly Foundation has a helpline you can call - 1800 33 4673. Their website has resources about body image and eating disorders - https://butterfly.org.au. Did you know that it is estimated that 4% of Australians are currently experiencing disordered eating (https://www1.racgp.org.au). There is help available - a trip to see you family doctor is the first step. As a recovered eating disorder sufferer I can assure you that there is life after disordered eating.