The current lockdowns across Australia may have left many feeling overwhelmed as we rebalance work, family, and other life responsibilities. In the past, our home has typically been our sanctuary, where we can retreat and unwind at the end of a busy day. However, during this era of snap lockdowns and restricted activities, we suddenly find ourselves confined to our homes. Only being able to leave the home for essential services, and exercise being limited during this time, it is no wonder that our physical and mental health needs some extra attention.  

With children back in the classroom and many of us returning to the office, it is important to continue to invest in our own wellbeing and mental health. This starts with reclaiming our homes as places of rest and relaxation. 

So, here are a few changes that you can make straight away in your own home to improve your mental health and general wellbeing.

Mind your Mind

Mindfulness has become a buzz word of late but taking time out to connect and listen to our bodies can have a significantly positive impact. For some, this might mean meditation or breathing exercises during a short break from your work. Alternatively, it could be as simple as getting up from your sofa, armchair or desk and stretching for a few minutes.  

Switch off from Technology

When working from home, it is so easy to switch from the computer to the TV, iPad or phone. It’s so important to give ourselves a break from technology and take some much-needed time away from screens. There are many proven health benefits from unplugging technology for a while such as improved sleep, reduced stress, and being less distracted and more present with friends and family. Not to mention that screen-time generally comes with being sedentary. Putting down the device gives you back some of that lost time to go for a walk, do some yoga or an at-home HIIT class, all of which has a positive impact on your wellbeing. 

Create some Space

There’s a reason that Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up was so popular during lockdown.  There is so much joy and calm to be discovered when decluttering rooms or storage areas in your home – the kitchen cupboards, garden shed and even the sock drawer. While surprising for some, decluttering has a calming effect which can improve your mood and general outlook. So, if you missed out on this popular trend during lockdown, put some time aside for a ‘good tidy’ and you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel (and how great your space looks).

Power up with Plants

Bring nature inside. House plants or indoor herb gardens are a great way to inject some life into your home, as well as making your home look great! You’ll find plenty of advice and inspiration online for greening up your home, from low-maintenance house plants to elaborate indoor gardens. 

Good Night, Sleep Tight 

Sleep is essential for our physical and mental health and development. Without enough good quality sleep you can feel constantly tired and lethargic. According to the Sleep Foundation, there are four key areas that need to be addressed to help get a good night’s sleep. These include creating a good environment for sleep, ensuring the right bed, mattress, pillow, bedding, lighting and temperature. They also advise to be careful with the consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and to avoid eating late in the evening before bed.

Healthy Diet, Healthy Mind

Cooking’s not for everyone, especially after a busy day of zoom meetings or running after around children. But by simply choosing healthy ingredients and snacks, you can make a world of difference to your wellbeing. For example, try a simple tray bake where all the ingredients including meat or fish, vegetables, herbs, and spices are all cooked together at the same time in a roasting tray. To boost your mental health, focus on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and green leafy vegetables. 

Remembering to take care of your mental wellbeing is just as important as all the other precautions we are taking to keep us all safe.