Your physical and mental health

Healthy male fitness coach

Your physical health

There are many things you can do to look after yourself.

Eat well

There’s strong links between what we eat and how we feel. Your brain needs a mix of nutrients to stay healthy. Healthy eating also helps prevent chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer and ensures you stay in good shape.

A balanced diet includes:

  • Lots of different fruit and vegetables
  • Wholegrain cereals
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dairy products
  • Oily fish
  • Plenty of water.

Move more

Low levels of physical activity, including sitting at a desk for a long time, can lead to preventable disease and workplace injury.

Studies show that one hour of movement a day such as walking, swimming or cycling can undo the damage caused by long periods of sitting.

Exercise also reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety, boosts your self-esteem, helps you concentrate, sleep, and keeps your brain healthy.

Break up your day by using your down time to get some form of physical activity.

Smoke Free

Smoking is the single largest cause of preventable death in Australia. Exposure to environmental smoke or second-hand smoke also causes harm.

The NSW Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 bans smoking in a wide range of public places in NSW, including areas of professional, trade, commercial, and other business premises. Check the smoking regulations at your workplace.

For smokers who are trying to quit and want help, your workplace may offer support or you can contact the NSW Quitline.

Drugs and alcohol

We often drink alcohol to change our mood, but the effect is temporary. Drinking isn’t a great way to manage difficult feelings.

Due to different ways that alcohol affects different people, there’s no standard amount of alcohol that’s safe for everyone. There will always be some risk to your health and social wellbeing.

You can minimise risk by:

  • Setting limits for yourself and sticking to the them
  • Starting with non-alcoholic drinks and alternating them with alcoholic drinks
  • Drinking slowly
  • Eating before or while you’re drinking.

The harmful consumption of drugs and alcohol can impact workplace safety. Your workplace may already have a drug and alcohol policy as well as programs supporting employees to address high-risk alcohol consumption.

As an apprentice or trainee, you must not be affected by alcohol or drugs while you are at work.

If you are taking prescription medication, make sure you’re aware of any side effects that may hinder your work activity.

The Alcohol and Other Drugs Information Service provides free 24/7 phone counselling, support, referrals and information for those affected by alcohol or other drugs. Phone: 1800 250 015.

Mental health

Good mental health helps you have better relationships, productivity and physical health and you feel as if you’re part of a community.

Poor mental health can cause distress, impact relationships and day-to-day functioning, and is connected with poor physical health.

What does good mental health look like?

  • Positive emotions: all things considered, how happy am I?
  • Engagement: do I take an interest in my work and other activities?
  • Relationships: are there people I care about who care about me?
  • Meaning: do I feel what I do is valuable?
  • Emotional stability: do I generally feel calm and peaceful?
  • Optimism: do I often feel positive about my life?
  • Resilience: am I able to bounce back when I’m challenged?
  • Self-esteem: do I mainly feel positive about myself?
  • Vitality: do I generally feel energetic as I go about my day?

What can you do to improve your mental health?

Mindfulness

Focus on your present emotions and thoughts in a non-judgemental way. By noticing your thoughts and feelings, you can question whether they're helpful and then encourage thoughts that will enable you to make the most of a bad situation.

Remember, no one's happy all the time.. That's why it's important to focus on aspects of your life you can control. Listing three things to be thankful for at the end of each day can help you view your life differently.

Keep in touch

Your friends and family make you feel connected and cared for. It's not always possible to catch up face-to-face, but you can give them a call or chat online.

Ask for help

We all have bad days when we get tired or overwhelmed, especially when things don't go to plan.

If you're continually struggling to feel happy, cope with everyday life, find meaning or feel connected to others, you could be experiencing one or more of the following:

  • Personal crisis
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Stresses from work, family or society
  • Abuse and trauma
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

Help is available

The earlier you seek support, the better.

Beyond Blue

  • 24/7 support service for depression and anxiety
  • Phone 1300 22 4636
  • Chat online: 3pm – 12am / 7 days a week

Lifeline

  • 24/7 personal crisis support and suicide prevention
  • Phone: 13 11 14

Mental Health Line

  • 24/7 speak with a mental health professional
  • Phone: 1800 011 511

WayAhead

  • Mental Health Association NSW
  • 9:00-5:00pm / 5 days a week
  • Phone: 1300 794 991 for issues relating to general mental health
  • Phone: 1300 794 992 for support on anxiety disorders

Mental Health Association NSW

  • 9:00-5:00pm / 5 days a week
  • Phone: 1300 794 991 for issues relating to general mental health
  • Phone: 1300 794 992 for support on anxiety disorders

Headspace

  • National Youth Mental Health Association
  • Phone: 1800 650 890

eheadspace

  • Confidential, free online counselling service


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