Good mental health during the pandemic

At least one million Australians sought mental health support since COVID-19 began changing our lives. In Victoria, one of the most strickly controlled lockdowns was put in place to control infection. Enfornced isolation and other difficulties saw a surge in the use of mental health services, with a demand for services rising over 60 percent. The importance of looking after our mental health during this difficult time has been shown to be very important.

Even with eased restrictions on family and public gatherings, travel and holiday celebrations are likely to be smaller affairs.

Zoom and online meetings have become the norm in business and in the workplace. Virtual get-togethers have replaced many family occasions as well.

During the holiday season it is important to make these virtual get-togethers fun and meaningful. Cook and prepare meals together, open gifts at the same time and think of ways of making that online experience as meaningful as possible.

After such a longtime spent indoors and with fewer opportunities to spend time outside and meet with family and friends, making the most of holiday get-togethers is especially important.

Plan an outdoor excursion with family and friends. That way you will all get plenty of exercise and activity.

When spending time alone over the holidays, don’t let it turn into a repeat of self-isolation and risk depression. Make the most of the outdoors. Spend time doing your favourite outdoor hobbies or take up new outdoor hobbies. It’s easy to go hiking or walking or explore parklands and national parks. Even being open to new experiences like that helps avoid depression.

Life, COVID and mental health

So much of our daily life has drastically changed during 2020.  The changes have come quickly too. When COVID emerged, the changes it made to every aspect of our lives and society were quick and often confronting.

Anxiety suddenly became something that affects us all. For those of us already suffering from anxiety, the last few months have been very challenging.

Being in lockdown in a place like Melbourne in Australia, where the ability to go outdoors was severely restricted. Like most people, being able to go out for social, recreation and other reasons is so normal that when it can’t happen, we feel like we have lost control.

When a situation is beyond our control, it is essential to focus on what we can control. Most of us have routines. If the amount of time we can spend outside becomes limited, it really helps to rethink the situation from one where you feel trapped and not in control to one where establishing a routine can give that feeling of control. Concentrating on our mental health as an important part of a daily routine can do that.

Having a routine can bring about a change of attitude to the situation too. A positive attitude. Being positive about the situation and understanding it as a situation that improves as well as overwhelms will help us in our routines. Stay focused on informed health reports too and follow their guidelines. Knowing that you are doing something to reduce infection spread boosts our feelings of being in control.

Mental Health Month in unprecedented times

October is Mental Health Month, with World Mental Health Day taking place on 10 October each year. The World Mental Organization uses Mental Health Day to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and the initiates that support mental health.

The day provides an opportunity to discuss what is being done, what needs to be done and raise specific mental health topics on a global scale.

2020 has been a challenging time on so many levels and has seen an increase in anxiety and depression.
Anxiety can take several forms as a mental illness condition. While we can all have feelings of stress, worry and uneasiness by a confronting situation, an anxiety disorder causes much higher levels of anxiety.

The global effect of COVID-19 on people’s anxiety has been significant. In Australia, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problems. In Australia, people experience some form of anxiety more than twice the rate of depressive problems. Around one million adult Australian experience depression, while over two million have anxiety.

Depression related issues are also a significant problem in their own right.

2020 continues to be a challenging time for Australians. Health and mental health facilities continue to operate and it is important for all Australians to still think about their physical and mental wellbeing. Retreat South is an Australian Service Excellence Standards (ASES) accredited provider of mental health-related treatment. During this time, Retreat South is still here to help you with your well being. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you take control of your mental health and wellbeing.

How to Beat Depression, Anxiety and Stress with Garden Therapy

The therapeutic benefits of garden and natural environments have been well-known for centuries.

We have a number of gardens at Retreat South as well as the natural surroundings. Our gardens provide a tranquil environment for you during your stay. They also support many of the therapeutic, treatment and rehabilitation processes. Our treatment and activity rooms are set among the gardens and can even be treatment areas.

At Retreat South we use proven therapies as part of our client’s individually tailored programs. In addition to psychology our team bring together a number of therapies.

Our location in Victoria’s South West countryside allows us to use that location to provide another effective therapy.

Garden based therapies have shown to be beneficial in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other stress related conditions. In recent years ‘garden therapy’ has been proven to be an effective treatment for the stress recovery process. Recent studies involved participants performing a stressful task. One group read indoors and the other gardened outdoors for 30 minutes. The group that read still felt stressed, while the gardeners no longer felt stressed and even had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Here in Australia, researchers are finding many links between parks, gardens and natural settings have a positive benefit on depression and anxiety.  There are benefits in other areas too. One study found people in their 60s found who regularly gardened had a 36% lower risk of dementia than the non-gardeners. So gardening activities can be a way of maintaining good health throughout life.

Call us today to talk about how we can provide you with a treatment program for stress, anxiety, depression.