Mental health & loneliness
Almost half of all Australians aged 16 to 85 will experience mental illness at some point in their life. The most common conditions are:
- Affective disorders, especially depression
- Substance use disorders, particularly alcohol consumption
The feeling of loneliness can be extremely consequential in one’s life, to both physical and mental health. In older adults, loneliness has a significant impact on mental health and well-being. Research has found 1 in 2 older adults report feeling lonely at least once a week.
The team at Club Active has put together a few suggestions to help improve your mental well-being if you are living in an isolated situation due to the global COVID emergency, or if you are simply feeling a bit low in motivation. You are not alone in this lockdown, as we all #StayHome and #StayHealthy, don’t be afraid to reach out to your local club for any guidance!
Learn some easy ways to boost your mental health during lockdown:
A study has found that inducing sedentary behavior even in healthy people can INCREASE DEPRESSION in as little as 7 days! Create a daily routine for your regular movement including an aerobic and strength component. Exercise is beneficial for clearing your mind and is great for increasing your energy levels throughout the day. Exercise is also proven to lower your risk of dementia. Try going for a brisk walk at the same time each day, or utilise some at-home equipment you might have, or try some home exercises using body weight as resistance for a strength workout. We have a few great tips for working out at home here.
Benefits of exercise for your mental well-being include:
- Improved sleep
- Decreased stress levels
- Improved mood
- Increased energy & reduced lethargy
- Improved self-esteem
Include some healthy meals to improve your energy levels and immune health. We all feel a bit low if we experience high or low sugar crashes throughout the day due to what we are consuming. Try cooking up some new recipes that are full of nutritious whole grains, proteins, vegetables, and fruits to keep you focused throughout the day. Limit foods that are high in saturated fats, oils, and sugars. PLUS, cooking from home and can be a fun activity, get creative!
3. Virtual social interaction
Keep in touch with family and friends – nothing better than a good catch-up over the phone or video call. Schedule some quality time to have a yarn, laugh, or storytime with your favourite people each day! Reconnect with some old friends you haven’t previously had time to visit or see that might also need a chat, a lot of people feel lonely during this time – don’t be afraid to reach out to your loved ones!
4. Goal setting
Now is a great time for a little re-set and re-focus! Why not clear your mind and set some short-term or even bucket list goals for this year and next year. Write them down! It’s a good way to keep track of what you aim to achieve, and you will feel accomplished as you tick them off. Keep your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely). Some examples might include:
- Learn to cook 2 new dishes by the end of this week.
- Complete 3 online exercise classes per week during the lockdown.
- Start a new home exercise program before lockdown ends.
- Learn 1 new skill per week, whether the skill is relevant to cooking, arts and crafts, being able to say 1 sentence in a different language etc!
5. Brain Games
Challenge yourself with something fun to do and include coordination or brain games. For example, start a jigsaw puzzle or board game, read a new book, complete a crossword or word search. All of these activities are great for maintaining and improving your memory and cognitive thinking! Creating a good level of stimulus to your brain can help improve mental health, prevent cognitive issues, and boost your overall mood and energy levels.
6. Art & Crafts
Got a pair of brushes, paint, and canvas laying around? Now is the time to get creative. What about some wood? You could make the easel for the piece to go on. Get creative at home whether it be painting, knitting or even up-cycling some furniture at home!
Struggling with your mental health? Please call!
Club Active can offer further advice on physical activity and healthy eating to improve your mental health or well-being from our team of exercise physiologists, physiotherapists or dietitian! If you’ve got questions regarding how to stay fit and healthy whilst in lockdown, or how to modify your exercise program for your home, please contact out friendly team!
Download the Club Active Fitness App and Workout from Home. We’ll see you back at your local Club Active hub soon!