Looking after your wellbeing
Wellbeing is about how you think and feel about yourself, your relationships, and your life. Some people prefer to talk about it in terms of mental health, mood, or emotional state. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may use the term social and emotional wellbeing, or talk about feeling strong in mind, body, and spirit.
Just like your physical health, at times your wellbeing can get knocked off balance and need some extra attention. When that happens, it’s important to know how to spot the signs early and take action.
Looking after your wellbeing is an ongoing process.
Are you under 18?
It can be hard or scary to reach out to someone about how you're feeling, but it's important to talk about what's going on. Get tips for young people on how to reach out.
Things that influence your wellbeing
Wellbeing is not about the absence of illness or always feeling happy and upbeat. It's normal to have ups and downs. In fact, you can feel healthy, strong, and positive while also having a diagnosed physical or mental illness.
Your wellbeing is influenced by many things, such as:
- your connection to Country, culture, religion or spirituality, upbringing, and life experiences
- what’s happening in your family, community, school, or workplace
- your financial situation
- your relationships and sense of belonging
- societal attitudes
- getting enough exercise, sleep, and nutrition
- spending time with friends, and
- taking time to enjoy yourself.
There are many things in your life competing for attention, so looking after yourself can be hard to prioritise. The key is finding the right balance to help you thrive.
Tips for maintaining your wellbeing
There are simple things you can do to get started and stay on top of your wellbeing.
Physical activity doesn't have to be exercise. It could be anything you do in your day-to-day life – such as running errands or doing housework. If you have physical limitations or a condition that makes physical activity harmful, or difficult, talk to your doctor to find out what kind of physical activity is right for you.
If you’re undergoing hormone therapy, don’t skip regular check-ups, making sure your hormones are in a good place can go a long way to improving mood.
Your sleeping patterns can affect how well you feel throughout the day. There are lots of things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep, from changing the amount of light in your room to keeping a sleep diary.
Eating well helps to fuel your brain and manage your emotions. It reduces the risk of physical health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. It also helps to improve your mental health, sleeping patterns, energy levels, general health, and wellbeing.
We all need a sense of connection. People who develop positive and meaningful connections are happier and healthier. They could do this by spending time with friends, kin, and community, joining a sports team, connecting with Country, going to a place of worship, or offering to help someone. Staying connected can build a safety net for your physical health and overall wellbeing and help to keep you healthy.
Spending time on an activity that you enjoy can improve your mental health and wellbeing. It is a great way to unwind from your daily routine – whether it's learning a new skill, doing something outdoors, reading, or doing something musical or artistic.
Being part of a community can have a positive effect on your mental health, or social and emotional wellbeing. Community involvement provides a sense of belonging and connectedness. It can also offer extra meaning and purpose to everyday life.
Feeling safe and secure is important for positive wellbeing. Many factors can influence your sense of security at home, in your community, and in your workplace. This includes financial stability, having a safe place to live, job security, supportive friends, and warm relationships in your family and community.
We all need support from time to time. Connecting with family members, friends, healthcare professionals, or peer support when you’re having a tough time can make a big difference.
Keeping on top of your mental health and wellbeing
It’s important to take time out to do whatever you can every day to help you flourish and live well. It’s also important to be able to recognise when you might need some additional help and take steps to find it.
Take the first step
You may want to sleep better, think more positively, or worry less. Or maybe you think you should see a mental health professional. Whatever your goals are, the Head to Health quiz can guide you to support services and resources suitable for you.