In light of Mental Health Month this October, we’re sharing our tips for tradies to look after their mental health.
We all know that it’s important to keep fit, healthy and safe onsite. In fact, we recently wrote a post about it. It’s not just our bodies that we need to keep in top condition though. Mental health is also really important, especially if you have things you feel like you need to chat about but find it difficult to open up.
Everyone has good days and bad days, but what matters most is feeling like we can talk about it when we’re feeling like it’s all too much. It’s also important to keep an eye on our mates so that we can be there if anyone needs to reach out.
With that in mind, we’ve covered a few key ways to take care of your mental health, as well as some important places to go if you feel like you or a mate need help.
Keep In Touch
When life gets busy it’s easy to let work take over and put off catching up with friends and family. Overworking leads to stress though, and that can open a door to depression and feeling alone when times get tough. Keeping in regular contact with friends and family can help us feel like there’s always someone to chat if we need it, so it’s a really important part of life. Even if it’s a quick catch up for lunch or after work, keeping up regularly with the people who are important can mean the difference between coping and feeling overwhelmed.
Get Out In Nature
Tradies get plenty of fresh air as a rule, but there’s something really special about being out in nature with no timetable and no work to think about. Taking a hike for the day or even camping out and relaxing are great ways to unwind and improve your mental health without even thinking about it. Better still, if you take your mates with you, you’re getting a good catch up in as well.
Spend Time With Animals
There are plenty of benefits to being around animals that have been proven over and over again. Not only do they give you affection and support, but caring for them can remind you to take care of yourself. If you can’t get a pet right now or aren’t ready to commit to one, there are still plenty of ways to get the benefits of being around animals.
Volunteering at an animal shelter is a great way to get in some time with dogs and cats. And you can feel great that you’re really helping to make a difference. If you have mates that have a dog that needs walking or a cat that needs feeding while they’re away, put your hand up to take care of them. You’ll get brownie points for being awesome and you’ll get some pet company as well so win-win!
Whether you’re a foodie or not, cooking can be a great way to unwind, and the best thing is you get a great meal at the end of it! If you’re not comfortable in the kitchen, there are plenty of easy meal ideas to get you started, and if you’re already a chef in the making there are always short courses you can sign up for to improve your skills.
Listen To Your Favourite Music
Music is amazing for helping lift your mood and calm your mind. Lining up a favourite playlist and going for a walk, or cranking tunes while driving in your car are great ways to take a break from stress and any low feelings you might be having. What’s more, sharing your music with your mates is a way to get to know each other better because it’s so personal. The music we love often comes with stories we can also share, and those kinds of chats are awesome for bonding, which makes us feel like we always have support if we need it.
Apart from finding ways to upkeep your mental health, there are also places you can go to for help, or where you can send a mate who might need advice.
The H.A.L.T Brekky – The HALT Brekky is a community movement to support men and women in the trade industry. Their SAVE YOUR BACON breakfasts are a way for tradies to connect to each other, find info on how to manage stress, and most importantly where to go if you or a mate needs help.
Beyond Blue – Beyond Blue is a great source of info for anyone who has felt depression or anxiety. They have a few different ways for you to reach out, so if you’re not comfortable talking you can always use their online chat or email.
Trademutt – Trademutt’s mission is “Making an invisible issue impossible to ignore”. Their loud and proud workwear shows the letters YNWA which stands for You’ll Never Walk Alone and is a tribute to a mate they lost to suicide. Starting the conversation is the most important way to check in with the state of your mental health, and see how your mates are going with theirs.
Keep in touch with your network
The goodwork app is also a fantastic way to connect and keep in touch. Your network is a great resource for not just getting jobs and improving your knowledge, but it can be a fantastic communication tool and the best way to know when to reach out is to keep communicating.