Taking care of your mind is just as important as eating well and being active. Find out how building healthy habits can improve your headspace.

Tips for staying active to support your mental health

  • Find an activity you enjoy. Whether it’s walking with friends or joining a sporting team, if it’s something you enjoy you’re more likely to do it regularly.
  • Try walking, riding or other active ways to get to work. And for the kids, check out our tips for active travel to school.
  • Get active in nature – Spending time in parks and green spaces can have a positive effect on self-esteem and mood, especially for people with depression and anxiety. Find national parks near you.
  • Set an alarm to take breaks from work or study and go for a short walk.
  • Stand up if you can at the desk while you work or study.
Find out more about how exercise (and many other factors) can contribute to wellbeing at Black Dog Institute.

Not sure how much exercise we need? Learn more about the recommended amount for adults and for children.

Benefits of physical activity on mental health

Staying active has a positive effect not only on your physical health, but also on your mental health. Exercise releases mood-boosting chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that help make you feel good.

For people living with a mental illness and for the general population, there are many benefits of staying active, including:

  • helping you sleep better
  • raising your energy levels
  • improving your confidence and self-esteem
  • boosting your mood and helping you think more clearly
  • reducing loneliness and building connections
  • reducing the risk of some illnesses
  • releasing stress and lowering anxiety.

Learn more about the benefits of exercise for mental health at HealthDirect.

For information about wellbeing in children visit raisingchildren.net.au.

Sleep and wellbeing

Getting enough sleep is good for your brain and body. It improves your mood, sharpens your concentration and increases resilience. Reducing things that keep you from restful sleep – like noise, light or stimulation like social media and screens before bed – can help you improve your sleep.

Learn more tips for healthy sleep habits in children.

Getting help

Do you or someone you know have mental health problems? Not sure where to go for help?

The following pages have guidance on different types of mental health professionals and services.

If you need urgent help, please call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.

Mental health services