RMY21: Positive lifestyle choices

Duration15 minutes
Learning ObjectivesTo understand that positive lifestyle choices and changes have a very significant impact on your mental health.
Tools/materials for the PresenterRural Minds Youth PowerPoint – Positive lifestyle choices
Lesson ComponentsThere are many factors that impact our physical and mental wellbeing.
Sleep
Sleep regenerates the body and the mind. Developing and maintaining positive sleep habits is fundamental to good mental health.
See Sleep.
Diet
The human body is like any system. If you put poor fuel into the system, you won’t get the best performance. Eat plenty of unprocessed foods, including two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables each day. Drink at least two litres of water each day and limit sugary soft drinks and energy drinks.
Exercise
Exercise releases endorphins, the feel good hormone. Regular exercise also improves your sleep and can help you regulate your weight.
Socialise
Humans are social animals – we are designed to interact with each other. Spending time with other people outside of school or work is very important for good mental health.
Time out and relaxation
Taking breaks to relax and recharge is not an option – it is an absolute must.
Learn to say no
You cannot be everything to everyone. Learning to say no can be empowering and allows you to manage how many things you have on your plate. This ensures that you can achieve the correct balance in your life.
Monitor your mental health
Use the Mental Health Continuum to track your mental health every two weeks or so. If your mental health rating is improving, try to
identify what is causing the change and keep doing it.
On the other hand, if your mental health rating is dropping, think about what decisions and lifestyle choices you can make to create positive change.
Know where to get help if you need it
It is critical to know where you can get help if/when the need arises. Think about which friends or family members you can rely on and keep a list of local and online supports.
The sooner assistance is sought, the faster the recovery will be. Knowing who you can turn to and where you can go for help saves valuable time.
Key messagesMany lifestyle factors have a significant impact on our mental health Small, sustained changes across these will have large impact:
» Sleep
» Diet
» Exercise
» Socialise
» Time out and relaxation
» Learn to say no
» Monitor your mental health
» Know where to get help when you need it
ReflectionWhat are some lifestyle changes can you make to have a positive effect on your mental health?
Lesson Content
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