​20/08/16 Noel Molloy, Mental Health Nurse                                       

Melbourne has just been voted the World’s most liveable city for a record sixth time; its great being a Melbournian! However, we live in such a fast paced world that such titles can mean little in our day to day lives as we push ourselves to take as much as we can out of our days, at work, school, university and social life. What does it leave for us? A work-life balance can be just one of those phrases that we throw about in conversation, but means little in the reality of our daily life. Take some time to think and ‘take stock’ of your life. Ask yourself, is your lifestyle controlling you, or are you managing your lifestyle?

These days, we are told not to do a whole range of things; perhaps the answer is moderation with a few adjustments.  Essentially, put some time aside for yourself. Do something positive that you haven’t done for a while, painting, drawing, reading, knitting, go for a walk. Increase your activity levels, go for (another) walk, join a gym, do some gardening. At work take some time out to meditate during your breaks, listen to a relaxation tape; there are plenty of free meditation apps available on line. Make a habit of not using of smart phones, tablets and computers in the last hour before you go to bed. Try to get to bed early one night a week to catch up on sleep. 8 hours sleep a night is enough, don’t oversleep.

Eat breakfast, try not to skip meals, eat smaller portions of food and try to include more vegetables and fruit in your diet. Restrict take-away foods, especially foods that are high in fat, salt, sugar. Drink water instead of sugary drinks and not use so called diet soda drinks as a replacement. Increase the number of alcohol free days per week and restrict alcohol intake when you do drink. Limit tobacco usage.

Plan a regular date night with your partner, without the kids in tow – get the children a babysitter! Plan regular breaks/holidays.

Small changes in your life can bring the changes that you need for improved mental and physical well being

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