RELATIONSHIPS, DIET & EXERCISE GUIDANCE

As part of a holistic approach to managing your experiences with anxiety, depression, OCD and phobia – maintaining healthy relationships, an intake of healthy food and regular exercise will create noticeable benefits and improvements to your ongoing mental state. We've outline a few points below, which may seem obvious at first, but it's worth reminding ourselves from time to time.

Relationships

If you are in a relationship, a partner who understands your condition and supports you is vital. As always, discussions with partners regarding your condition should be approached as an open and positive conversation. Accept that often the people around you won't have a complete understanding of your symptoms or their causes. Education, information and patience will be your most powerful tools to help them help you. If your partner struggles to understand your condition, you can refer them to the section above on Whānau / Family, or they may wish to take part in one of our workshops for Whānau / Family. See more here.

Abusive relationships or partners who have substance abuse issues should be avoided if possible. If not, they should also seek help. Drug Alcohol Helpline: 0800 787 797

Shine, help for domestic violence: 0508 744 633

Diet / healthy eating

It may seem obvious to some, but a healthy balanced diet can have significant effects on your general mood and have a positive impact on your recovery. Fresh fruit and vegetables making up your 'five-a-day', fresh home cooked meals and healthy drinks will significantly help your recovery. An excess of fast food, fried food, high sugar content snacks, highly processed foods and alcohol should be avoided. If your diet currently contains many of these foods, try a healthier diet for just few days and you will likely experience a positive change in your mood and mental state. A guide to healthy eating as it relates to mental health issues can be downloaded here and is provided by MentalHealth.org.nz.

Exercise

Often it can seem like the easiest most relaxing thing to do when you experience anxiety, depression or other mental health issues is to stay indoors, or lie on the couch with a film. But research has shown that even moderate exercise produces 'endorphins' – or in other words the brain's natural 'happiness' chemicals. 

Regular exercise at a level you feel comfortable with is important and can play a big part on your journey of recovery. Find an activity that you enjoy, which could be as simple as running, walking or tennis and you will soon notice the benefits. For more advice and information regarding exercise and mental health issues, you can download a PDF provided by MentalHealth.org.nz