Jean Hailes Women’s Health Week, held from 5-11 September this year, is a national health campaign for women, girls, and gender-diverse people held annually. We take a look at how you can prioritise your mental health with three easy steps you can incorporate into your day-to-day routine.
Everyone’s mental health varies during their life, yet statistics show an alarming rate of women will experience mental health issues in their lifetime.
According to Beyond Blue, around 1 in 6 women in Australia will experience depression at least once in their life and 1 in 3 women will experience anxiety.
It can be hard to incorporate prioritising mental wellbeing into the ever-evolving list of daily tasks and checklist items. However, it’s important to take simple steps to avoid feeling overwhelmed, which could lead to more significant mental health challenges down the track.
We’ve put together some of our top tips to help women prioritise mental health – it may be easier and less time consuming than you think!
Tip One: Spend time in the great outdoors!
Many of us can relate to the peaceful feeling one gets when spending time outside, particularly among natural spaces such as a park or the beach. But just how long, or how frequently, should you spend time outdoors to reap the benefits?
Research shows the answer is around 120 minutes a week. This could mean just 20 minutes per day, although it could be adapted to suit individual lifestyles.
Have you got a park nearby you enjoy taking the dog to? Or how about organising your next ‘coffee-and-catch-up’ to be outdoors rather than at a café?
Tip Two: Move to your own schedule, and in ways you actually enjoy
It’s not exactly a secret that moving your body increases dopamine levels (aka the feel-good hormones). But like maintaining a positive mental health, exercise routines can ebb and flow. Sometimes there’ll be enough time and energy for that 50-minute jog, and at other times just a simple walk around the block.
If you are struggling to find time to exercise, why not try to make it part of the daily commute? Whether it is a walk or ride to the shops, work or school, finding ways to incorporate movement into your daily routine can help take some of the pressure off.
New to riding for your commute? You can check out our simple guide here.
Or what’s more – if you can, find ways to move that you actually enjoy. If you love bike riding but hate running, what’s the point in forcing yourself to take part in both activities? A lot of our members ride purely for enjoyment – there are so many ways to move your body that doesn’t have to feel draining or unenjoyable.
Tip Three: Reach out to your loved ones
It’s not always easy to ask for help when you need it. While you often wouldn’t think twice to assist someone you love, it can be twice as challenging to accept support when you’re not feeling so great.
But as the age-old adage goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. Or at the very least, it may seem like less of an issue than it was before. Having a simple shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen to can make all the difference. In return, you may be opening the doors for an open and honest conversation with the ones you love.
Asking others if they are okay is important; being able to ask for support in return is equally necessary.
These are just some simple tips to prioritise mental health – all three of which can be ticked off by riding a bike with a mate!
Join us for Jean Hailes Women's Health Week!
We believe getting active every day is vital to leading a happier and healthier life. That’s just one of the reasons why we’re encouraging women and girls to head out for a pedal this Women’s Health Week.
We'd love you to join one of our free social rides, activities and more around the country or ride your own way!
Plus, if you register for one of our social rides or your own local ride, you'll go in the draw to WIN a free six month membership at Fernwood Fitness!
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