(Modified and Used with permission Dr Paul Looney)
- If you want to optimise your mental health following a traumatic injury,
the followingrecommendations may assist you.
- Be patient with yourself.
- Over time, small changes can produce big results
- Research shows aerobic exercise to be effective in preventing & treating depression and anxiety disorders.
- Exercise helps to reduce anger & irritability
- You need at least 20 mins of cardiovascular exercise, three times per week
- Exercise helps with maintaining your healthy weight, sleep, alertness & energy
- Eating a well-balanced diet has a great benefit to mental health, as the body is designed to function best when its needs are met
- It is important to feed your body regularly and maintain a healthy variety and balance to your diet.
- Research shows breakfast to be a critical meal.
- Avoid ‘empty calories’ or ‘junk food’ – highly processed foods high in sugar, white flour, fats, & excessive caffeine.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Multi-vitamin – improves your overall health
- B- complex – helps with energy, anxiety, depression
- Fish oil – omega 3 fatty acids - is good for brain & heart health
- Melatonin- natural sleep hormone
Keeping A Journal
- Write down your thoughts, feelings, and patterns of behaviour. Has been shown to boost your mental health
- A person who journals has increased self-awareness & may be able to better release regret, frustrations & worries
- Keeping a journal can positively integrate your negative experiences
- Regularly making a gratitude list will improve your mood
- Individuals with strong faith and spiritual discipline can enjoy more contentment and joy
- Faith and peace can grow through participation in a spiritual community, by prayer, meditation, reading inspiration or religious texts and by being in nature
- Discovering what you really enjoy and incorporating it into your daily routine is of great benefit
- Finding a way to express one’s self through a creative outlet has been found to enhance life satisfaction and helps to minimise symptoms & episodes of mood disorders
- Drawing, painting, gardening, writing poetry or prose, playing a musical instrument, cooking and interior design are a few examples of creative endeavours
- Utilising your gift will give you a sense of self-worth and satisfaction as you express yourself creatively
- Appreciating beauty is important
- Stress and burnout will paralyse and rob us of our self-worth. By helping another you will feel more valuable.
- We may be tempted to withdraw from relationships just when we need to press in and build friendships
- Send a card to someone, pick a flower, make a meal for another. Focusing on another takes the pressure off yourself.
- Have a mentor, be a mentor
- Having a sense of direction & purpose in life is very important in maintaining a healthy attitude, especially in times of adversity.
- Writing your goals will help you overcome huge obstacles and achieve them
- We tend to set short term goals too high and long-term goals too low
Rest & Retreat
- A day of rest each week is vital to avoid burnout, & twice a week can be hugely restorative
- Try and get away for a personal retreat twice a year for several days to renew and reconnect with your soul