Mental and emotional health is a vital part of wellbeing. 'There is no health without mental health", says Professor Jane Fisher, the Jean Hailes Professor of Women's Health at Monash University. 'Take the time to focus on the positive and the things you can do to boost your mental health and sense of wellbeing."
Close relationships are one of the most important protective factors for mental health, says Prof Fisher. "Nourish good relationships, be committed to them, and get professional help to address destructive or negative relationships if necessary."
To build new connections with people who share your interests, you could contribute to activities and projects in your local community or join a voluntary organisation, choir, mother's group, etc.
Poor physical health or ongoing health conditions can limit your ability to do things, and can affect your mental health. Have regular health checks, and try to be as physically active as you can – There are many free or low cost activities that can keep you active, such as walking groups and community gardens, and these can also give you a break from everyday worries.
Every day, try to find something that gives you a sense of reward or achievement. It might be a simple thing like preparing an evening meal, putting a new plant in the garden, or contributing to a project at work.
If you have any concerns about your mood, mental health or physical wellbeing, don't be afraid to ask for help. Share with a friend, or seek professional help.
Prof Fisher will talk about the importance of mental health at midlife in the free webcast event -Fifty Shades of Midlife – menopause, mood & more' on 31 October. Book now at www.jeanhailes.org.au/webcast2012
Published with the permission of the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women's Health
Tollfree number 1800 151 441 for women seeking further health information www.JeanHailes.org.au