News and events News Take time for mental health for Queensland Mental Health Week 2021 The 2021 theme is “take time – for mental health”. This puts the idea of slowing down in front of people to recognise and engage in activities that naturally boost your mood. (QMHW, 2021) At Bridges Health & Community Care (Bridges), this is something that we try to foster and encourage every weeks of the year for our network. It is important, being a community health provider that our team, clients, and wider community is comfortable in prioritising their mental wellness. Along with the rest of the world, we have witnessed fatigue more than in any other year. Many within our network have experienced pandemic fatigue, which has more recently moved into vaccination fatigue. This has forced us all to become more creative with what some of the wellbeing strategies look like. Note: given we work in Regional Queensland, we have been extremely lucky in that we haven’t had nearly as much of our daily life impacted as our counterparts in larger cities like Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, or Adelaide. However, as our team works in this field, and like our clients, many of our team members have loved ones interstate. During the week, the organisers have put objectives to encourage people to prioritise their mental wellness. So, we thought we would put our own spin on it and share what some of us do to help prioritise our mental wellbeing every week. Get healthy “I drive myself to the gym. It’s very relaxing because I enjoy my car, and once I get to the gym it’s the only time during my day where I don’t have to think about anything.” Keep learning “During my lunch break at work, I read to disconnect and escape in a sense. When I’m at home, I love to cook and try new recipes.” “I love reading. I will read anything and everything if I had it my way. It’s one of my all-time favourite ways to disconnect and get lost in a new world.” Show kindness “I am a big Simpson’s fan and I love comedy films. It gives me so much joy, which I can take into the world to brighten other people’s days.” Connect “I love going to concerts and live shows whenever I get a chance.” “For me, it’s family time. My kids live away, so Facetiming them and spending time with my husband doing nothing. I love spending time with my family, not doing anything, and not feeling guilty about it!” “Exercising is my thing, particularly running. I love how in the recent years it’s become so social, when previously it was my escape from people. The social aspect is great now.” Take notice “I like to wake up early and enjoy my coffee while I listen the world and animals around me wake up.” Embrace nature “Walking my dogs on the beach is huge for me. I get a real laugh watching my dogs be clowns! I just love it.” “I love camping. We go different places across Regional Queensland to explore what our state has to offer. It gets me out of everyday life, helps me to take time to disconnect.” “My garden is my happy place. I love going out into the garden, planning what the next job is – it’s my escape.” We encourage our audience to start during this week, look within at your life, and “take time for your mental health”. Look at the things you do that boost you throughout the day, or week, or month, etc. and see how you feel at the end of the week. For more information on Queensland Mental Health Week 2021, or to find an event near you, head to their website.