This week, columnist Stephen Smith from Merewether Fitness Studio, wants you to know that it is okay not to be okay.

Owner and Head Trainer at Merewether Fitness Studio, Stephen Smith.

Last week’s column was all about exercise. This week I would like to talk about another spoke in the ‘Health and Wellness Wheel’ and that is our mental health.

Mental health experts suggest that around 30% of Australians are vulnerable to mental health problems & during the pandemic it has been reported that the majority of mental health support groups received record numbers of calls with increases of around 25 to 30%.

As the NSW Government now peels back the layers of COVID-19 restrictions we cannot be complacent with our own mental health or that of those around us.

Many people will still be feeling the effects of the uncertainty created by the pandemic. On top of that we are now entering winter & seasonal depression or “Seasonal Affective Disorder” also becomes a factor.

Some strategies scientifically shown to improve mental health are:

  • Exercise
  • Eating healthy food
  • Doing something positive for someone else.
  • Meditation
  • An attitude of gratitude
  • Talking openly to someone
  • Having someone truly listen. We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason.

Most importantly reach out to a support group or a GP if you or anyone you suspect needs help.

I think it’s fair to say that most of us experienced wonderful displays of humanity during the recent Lockdowns. Family, friends, neighbours & even complete strangers looked out for each other and showed random acts of compassion and kindness.

I truly hope this pandemic has been a wake-up call for humanity. The problem is that many people will hit the snooze button and simply go back to sleep. My question is: Will you be one of them?

Until next time,

Health and Happiness

If you are struggling with your mental health, the following organisations may be able to give you a hand.

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  1. As a local and a long time reader of your publication, its great to see the Newcastle weekly introducing a new, fresh and current weekly columnist such as Stephen Smith from Merewether Fitness Studio. Having someone from the local area and clearly extremely knowledgeable, insightful and most importantly, non judgemental within the health and fitness arena is very refreshing, encouraging for us readers. He obviously practices what he preaches and I’m grateful you are able to share this information and tips with us.
    Well done Newcastle Weekly.
    I look forward to reading and learning more through these insightful columns by Mr Stephen Smith of Merewether Fitness. Thank you.