News

Tips for staying mentally healthy

26th August 2020

Recently we have all noticed significant changes to the way we live our life. Whether you feel disconnected from friends and family, have lost your job or have had to take a break from doing the things you love. Times of crisis and uncertainty, like a global pandemic or an MS diagnosis, can impact on our mental health.

People with MS can experience emotional changes during diagnosis and when experiencing a relapse, or changes in their symptoms. Emotional changes can also be a common symptom of MS. These feelings are normal.

Emotional changes may come and go, but it’s important to notice if how you’re feeling is starting to impact on your relationships, your work or how you take care of yourself. People tend to focus on their physical health and neglect their mental health. But staying mentally healthy and taking care of yourself is essential for overall health and wellness.

Being mentally healthy means that you are able to enjoy life, cope with the normal stresses of life, set and fulfil personal goals, and build and maintain healthy relationships. There are many things we can all do to take care of our mental and emotional health.

Be mindful

While we can’t control what’s happening around us, we can control how we respond to our experience. Mindfulness is about being completely present in the moment, fully aware of yourself and your surroundings. A simple way to be mindful is to stop what we are doing for a moment, take three deep breaths and notice what’s going on for us. When you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings and body sensations, you’ll be able to better manage them.

Do something you love every day

Going for a walk, listening to music, reading a book or taking a bath. It’s important that we make time to do something for ourselves. You’ll be surprised at how making time for the things we enjoy and unwinding can leave us feeling happier and more positive. This might be just the right time to try a new hobby or learn something new.

Rest

If you experience fatigue as a symptom of MS, it’s important to factor regular rests into your day. Fatigue can affect your mood, but some people find it helpful to get into a routine of resting at the same time every day. Getting a good night’s sleep can also help to improve fatigue throughout the day.

Connect with a friend

When you’re feeling down, it can help to connect with people who make you feel good. Having a good support network of close friends and family can help to boost mental health and wellbeing. Catch up with loved ones with a phone call, video chat or a text. When you feel safe to do so, catch up for a coffee. Keeping in touch with people who matter to us is the best thing we can do to protect our mental wellbeing.

Keep a healthy routine

A healthy body is critical for a healthy mind. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise can do wonders for improving your mood. Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym or playing sport. Try going for a walk, swimming, hydrotherapy or yoga.

Ask for help

Sometimes people want to help but don’t know how. So, tell family and friends what you need. If you notice you are really struggling, you can call any of these numbers:

  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
  • KidsHelpline 1800 551 800
  • MensLine Australia 1300 789 978
  • Northern Territory Mental Health Line 1800 682 288

Sources:

  • openyourworld.sa.gov.au
  • MS and your emotions: Understanding and dealing with your feelings, Multiple Sclerosis Society, UK
Back to News stories
Tips for staying mentally healthy