How do you take care of your mental health?
A big part of taking care of my mental health since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder is feeling the feelings rather than fighting them and knowing it's ok not to be ok.
I still have my ups and downs, but I'm more aware of my mental health now and how to take care of it.
I have learnt that wellness is every day, and I need to keep working on my mental health and make time daily for the things that make me happy. Some of the key parts of my mental health recipe are surfing, exercising, talking about it, kindness and surrounding myself with good people. Being part of the OneWave community and focussing on helping others has helped my mental health big time. I also need to take my medication daily and get regular check-ups from the neck ups from mental health professionals.
Why do you think it's important we talk about mental health?
Everyone has mental health, which is 100% as important as our physical health. The challenge with mental health is that you often can't see when people are going through tough times, and sometimes it's the people you least expect suffering the most. The happiest, kindest people who are always looking out for everyone else.
The critical thing is it starts with talking. If we share our stories and are completely honest about how we feel, it opens the door for our friends to do the same.
It lets people know they are not alone and that it's ok not to be ok and ask for help. Then we can help connect people up with professional support.
Favourite self care activity?
Surfing, for sure. It's the best escape and the funnest thing ever! But if I can’t get in the ocean, I find any exercise helps free the funk.
Favourite quote, song lyric or mantra?
Win the morning, win the day! Whether going for a surf, running or having a coffee with a mate, I'm always a better, happier human if I do something positive before work.
A message to someone struggling?
Life is really hard sometimes, but you don’t have to go through it alone. The moment I realised it’s ok not to be ok was when I started to get some hope back. There are so many people out there who want to help, you just need to reach out. Tell someone you can trust and go and talk to your local doctor and get a checkup from the neck up. It’s hard to see right now, but you will be surprised at how many people feel like you. So take it one day at a time, keep talking and get in the ocean as much as you can. If you can’t get in the ocean, any exercise always helps clear my head.
If you could have 'a moment with' your younger self what would you say to them?
I honestly didn't know what mental health was at school. I wish I knew that being happy doesn't mean you have to be happy 100% of the time. It's ok to feel shit sometimes, it's ok to feel sad, and there is always someone you can talk to about it. No one told me when I was growing up that I always had to be happy. For some reason, I put this pressure on myself. I've learnt that you have to feel sad sometimes to appreciate what happiness really feels like. I've also learnt that you should treat yourself like you treat your mates.