We live in a world where ‘nothing is for FREE‘, I was once told. While this may be true, when it comes to improving your mental health there are a number of avenues and activities available to you, and they don’t cost a cent. Just your time!
In this article, I will explore some FREE options that you can utilise to assist in improving your mental health, or at least to give yourself a bit of time-out from the stresses of life.
Mental Health Plan referral from your Doctor/GP
From personal experience speaking to your Doctor/GP is a great start, and an avenue that can possibly open up some free assistance for you straight away.
If you feel you can talk, even a little bit to your Doctor, please do so, and ask them if you qualify for a ‘Mental Health Plan’. A mental health plan allows for your Doctor to provide you with a referral letter that gives you access to the services of a Psychologist for around 4 x visits, and sometimes up to 10 visits.
How does this work? Well it is heavily subsided by the government and in some cases, you will get your visits for FREE!
The next step is to do a bit of research and locate a Psychologist that you are comfortable with, and also one that may be able to just accept the subsidised payment from the government as a part of your mental health plan.
FREE sessions with a Psychologist may just be the kick-start you need to get your mental health back on-track.
Back-To-Basics = Family Time
I know that I spend so much of my day either talking on my phone or surfing the net on my phone/iPad/Laptop trying to keep up with what is happening on social media.
In 2016, we took our first overseas family holiday where we did a full round trip of New Zealand’s beautiful South Island. Why am I mentioning this when this article is about ‘Improving your Mental Health for FREE’?
Well, forget that we went to New Zealand and consider the fact that I left my mobile phone behind in Australia for the whole 2 x weeks we were away. For a full read of that article click on the following link ‘Holidaying for Mental Health’.
You don’t have to go on an overseas holiday to leave your phone or iPad behind. Try little trips or activities with your family, loved ones or animals such as:
- A walk around the block to your nearest park or a walk on the beach or in the bush;
- Playing in the back yard;
- Building Lego’s with your children or working on a car or motorbike;
- Any type of physical work where you can utilise a ‘little helper’, even if the little helper makes the task take twice as long;
- Simply turn your phone or other electronic device off, put it away and go and do something with someone you love.
Something that I found out by doing this is that the world will not end, Facebook/Instagram/Twitter will all still be there when you get back, and your kids, family, friends, or animals will appreciate your full attention for once.
I am sure that we all know that exercise is good for our mental health, so this is nothing new. But don’t think you have to pay money to go to a gym to do some exercise.
Exercise is FREE, we are only bound by the constraints of our mind when it comes to thinking of how and where we can exercise to improve our mental health.
Whether it is running up and down a set of stairs at the local shopping centre multi-level car park or running laps around the streets where you live, exercise is an option that is always available to us all.
Remember, intense exercise is great for releasing those endorphin’s that help you feel a whole lot better!
Most importantly exercise costs nothing, it is FREE.
Relaxing the Mind, Body, and Soul
These are three of my favourite things to do and they are FREE, FREE, FREE.
Ocean Gazing – If you can access the ocean or even the water in general than this is a great way to relax your mind. Simply find a quiet spot, sit down and stare at the ocean for about 45mins.
Studies have shown that the ocean has some amazing calming properties, particularly when you are able to stare at the waves rolling in. Forget the studies if you like, I can personally vouch that this is something that I do, and it is very calming. And yes, all electronic devices need to be turned off to get the best out of this free activity.
Yoga – Put simply, Yoga is amazing! It is not only a fantastic exercise in itself, but it is so good for getting back in touch with your inner-soul via breathing techniques.
The best thing is that Yoga doesn’t have to always cost money! Yes, it is great to go to a class run by a professional Yoga instructor, I know I have done this myself in my article ‘Yoga for Mental Health’.
Basic free Yoga positions and short classes can be easily accessed on-line using Google, yes Google is your friend when it comes to sourcing FREE stuff.
Meditation – The same as Yoga, Meditation is a great way to relax your mind, body and soul but once again it doesn’t have to cost money.
There are several phone apps out there like Headspace or Calm that let you access 10 x free Meditation sessions for free on your mobile device.
If you only have a desktop computer then once again use my favourite friend, Mr Google!
If you don’t have your own computer or access to the internet, then book a free session at your local Community Centre or Library. When you book your session ask them if they have a headset or headphones that can be used for FREE.
Then use your FREE computer session to Google ‘FREE Meditation’ and you are on your way to relaxing you mind, body and soul – For FREE!
I hope this article has assisted you in finding new and FREE ways to improve your mental health.
If you have any others FREE ways to improve your mental health I would love to hear about them. Either leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further articles on Mental Health head to Healthy Mind Healthy Future.
Stuart Rawlins | Healthy Mind Healthy Future
Strategies to improve your Mental Health