Support yourself

Self-help techniques are a great first step to dealing with issues that might be troubling you. AT-Ease has a range of tools to make it easier to get started and live to your life's full potential.

Time to read: 6 minutes

 

About self-help

Self-help is an important part of recovery for anyone concerned about their mental health and wellbeing.

You don’t even have to be diagnosed with a mental health issue to benefit. If life is overwhelming you, there are steps you can take to regain control.

Many self-help habits and strategies are common sense and you probably know them, and may have even used some of them. But when you're stressed, it can be hard to find the time and motivation to reset yourself.

With practice, they will become second nature. The first step is to make a plan.

Have a plan

  • Download the High Res app and get to know the tools on the app.
  • Be realistic. Don’t try to do everything at once: start with one or two techniques that look the most helpful to your situation.
  • Develop a plan with realistic goals for the week. At the end of the week, review your progress and modify your goals if necessary. Use your successes as a guide for the following week's goals and plan.

Diet

Diets are easy. Just eat healthy meals, right. Done! If only it were that simple!

The reality we all know is that healthy eating isn't easy (to put it mildly).

But unhealthy eating makes life harder. A poor diet increases your stress levels which can make even small problems harder to deal with. So getting your diet in order is worth the initial struggle. Healthy eating affects your whole life.

If you have medical complications related to diet, talk to your GP or dietician about achievable and safe diets. Some dietetic services are available through DVA.

Read more about improving your diet.

Being active

Becoming more active - especially in the early days - takes effort.

Being active can mean exercise, but can also mean hobbies or activities you find enjoyable but may not have done for a while.

When you’re struggling a bit, it’s easy to focus on problems and stop doing the things that you used to find enjoyable. Especially if you have physical injuries.

Even though you might not feel like doing your hobbies or other activities, being active is important for your mental and physical health.

Exercise is also vital in effectively managing stress. Exercise helps you relax by burning up chemicals like adrenalin that hype you up. Mood, confidence, concentration and sleep all improve with exercise.

Take action

Exercise

Exercise is easier when it becomes a habit; part of your everyday routine.

Read more about making exercise part of your daily routine.

If you’re having trouble motivating yourself to get active, get the physical activities app

Sleeping better

Problems are bigger and harder to deal with when you’re tired. Getting a good night’s sleep can help you overcome the challenges you’re facing because you'll be able to think more clearly.

There are a lot of reasons you may not be sleeping well. You might be lying in bed worrying, or have developed some bad habits like having too much caffeine late in the day (or late night social media!)

Take action

Improve your sleep

The first step to getting better sleep is to identify why you’re not sleeping well.

Get the Healthy Sleeping app to analyse your sleeping habits and start improving your sleep.

Setting goals and solving problems

If you are having difficulty dealing with a problem, it can cause stress and get in the way of achieving your goals. It may also result in disrupted sleep or 'comfort' eating. The Problem Solving tool on the High Res website can help you work through problems and put the best solution into action.

Take action

Problem solving

Solving problems is a skill, but when life is stressful it can be hard to find the brain space to analyse a problem clearly.

Use the Problem-Solving tool to work through the problem step-by-step and find the best solution.

Helpful thinking

The way we think about ourselves and the things that happen to us affect how we feel and act.

Unhelpful thoughts can make you feel overwhelmed by the world or hopeless. It sounds strange but people often don’t think about how they’re thinking, so unhelpful thinking becomes normal for you.

With practice, you can teach yourself to think in more helpful ways – thoughts that help you deal with the situation and improve your mood - rather than make a situation feel worse that it is.

Take action

Change how you see a situation

Our mood is a consequence of our thoughts. Use the Challenge Your Thoughts tool to challenge and reassess unhelpful thoughts.

Managing reactions

Certain situations can trigger distressing reactions that affect our mood, health, decision making, our ability to get things done and our relationships with other people. Learning skills to manage these reactions can improve self-confidence, relationships and health. They can also reduce our reliance on unhelpful ways of coping, like drinking too much or avoiding situations that make us anxious, stressed or angry.

Take action

Slow down your breathing

The Controlled Breathing tool will teach you to manage stress and feel more in control.

Manage your emotions

If you are overwhelmed by strong emotions, it’s difficult to think clearly and get things done.

Follow the instructions in the Managing Emotions tool to identify your emotions, regain your composure, think about your situation and decide on a helpful course of action.

Develop a personal resilience plan

Improving your resilience will help you to manage stress and perform well under pressure.

Use the dashboard on the action plan to help you plan how to build your resilience.

Building support

Having people around you to support you through tough times is really important.

You might feel like your friends and family don’t understand what you’re going through, or that hanging out with mates from your old unit brings back too many bad memories.

Everyone needs time to themselves now and then, but being isolated for too long isn’t good for you. It might feel strange to start with but you can build up your social connections so that you have a few different people or groups that you can turn to for different types of support.

Take action

Build social connections

Having good social support helps you to feel better and cope with stress.

Use the Social Connections tool to identify the people in your life who can offer you support and the different kinds of support they can offer.

Additional self-help for people with a mental health problem

The High Res website has a range of self-help resources to improve the wellbeing of people with and without a mental health problem.

If you have been diagnosed with a mental health problem you might also find online treatment tailored to your particular mental health problem helpful. If you decide to do one of these online treatments, discuss it with your GP or other mental health professional.