9 in 10 Australians do not have a high enough level of resilience to protect them from depression and anxiety, according to recent findings of the 2021 National Resilience Index by Hello Driven.
Being overweight along with any common health conditions (also associated with weight) can increase risks of depression and anxiety.
It’s a 3-way relationship: anything that can be done to (1) improve mental resilience will improve (2) mental health and help improve (3) your weight and health.
After nearly 2 years of chaos, lockdowns and isolation from COVID-19, it’s easy to understand why many people may feel that their mental resilience is at an all-time low. Also, by spending more work hours at home, many have gained “COVID kilos”.
Mental resilience is our ability to bounce back after experiencing a set-back or going through hard times. Life is not always going to go our way and so our ability to get through these tough times and to come out the other side a stronger person is a great place to be in.
“We must get comfortable with being uncomfortable”.
These last 2 years have taught us that listening to the news and following social media is a recipe for doom and gloom. Perhaps by switching off more, or at least reducing your access to both these negative interruptions in your day will allow your mind to focus on more positive outcomes and actions.
Be aware that news and social media can be addictive, as they give you dopamine hits.
It’s now your time to focus on your weight and health, being kind to yourself and those you love, getting back to basics and doing “simple” not “hard”.
Being proactive with what you eat and drink is one of the most important things you can do for your weight and your mental health, along with getting some daily activity and getting 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night.
Some other tips to become more mentally resilient include:
Surround yourself with friends, family, and work colleagues to give you support when you’re feeling low. You may belong to a group or club, or have neighbours that you enjoy having a regular chat with as part of your support network. There is power in practicing daily gratitude. A good start may just be saying “thank you” and “I appreciate you” more often.
What gives you joy and pleasure?
If you have a pleasurable activity or hobby that absorbs you and makes you feel good this can have a strong protective effect. It allows you to focus in the present on something that is positive and uplifting.
Strategies for letting go and slowing down
Our minds tend to work in overdrive so look at ways to find how to calm the voices inside your head and reduce worry and anxiety. These could include meditation, breath work, yoga, stretching, listening to calming music, playing an instrument, nature, workouts, sport, beach walks or gardening.
Despite the kitchen being a problematic area for some, even cooking can bring relaxation.
Your health is your wealth
Your physical health and your mental health are connected. Ensure that you eat well, get daily activity and movement, have good quality sleep, take a morning walk for sunshine to get your natural dose of vitamin D. These will all contribute to a better mood.
Do not make big decisions when you are tired, stressed or run down!
Reducing stress is worth it
Identify what are your stress triggers. It is said that the 4 main causes of stress are money, work, poor relationships, and poor health. What makes you angry or sad? Listen to your emotions and observe your reactions. If you can identify what brings on a stress reaction and have some simple strategies in place to help, these will reduce feelings of overwhelm.
Visualisation is the practice of imagining your future self. Who do you want your future self to be, do and have? Use one or more of these visualisation techniques:
- You may use a vision board for inspiration and place in a visible place where you see daily.
- Writing in a journal and reading it morning and night might work better for you.
- Practising visualisation through guided meditation on awaking or before you go to sleep, or both.
Remember – Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise.
Build brain power with protein
Adequate protein in all meals and snacks can help balance blood sugar levels and stabilise moods. Protein keeps you satiated so reduces hunger and cravings between meals and helps your body deal with stress.
Think about the choices you’re making now and ask yourself “Are your daily choices moving you towards growth and freedom or are they moving you towards pain and suffering?”
If you would like some help with your weight, health and building resilience our 8 week online program may be just what you’re looking for. Click on the Lose Weight Now button at the top of the page to get started.