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You've got to nourish to flourish

Here are three reasons why taking care of your mental health is important.

Watering a flower to bloom


  1. Because you matter.
    Taking time out to rest and recharge isn't selfish. It isn’t even lazy or indulgent. Nourishing your mental and emotional health is a vital part of being healthy and staying healthy.
  2. Mental health is just as important as physical health.
    Just as physical activity and eating well is crucial for the body, looking after yourself is crucial for the mind. By investing in both, you give yourself the best chance of being your all-time best! 
  3. Your mental health can be improved. 
    It can be easy to get into a slump, ignore your mental health or feel that things can’t get better. But remember, change is always possible. It can be challenging, but you don't need to go it alone. Lighten your load by reaching out to a trusted friend, family member, health professional, or using tried-and-tested tools.

Playing guitar

Unpacking the mental load

It can be an all-consuming juggling act. Women are often trying to hold down a career while meeting a diary full of other responsibilities, such as: ferrying kids to school and activities; caring for ageing parents; organising holidays and family celebrations; balancing a budget; and staying on top of domestic chores.

Unpacking it all

So, is it time to add the word ‘enough’ to the top of your ever-growing to-do list? Get advice straight from mental health experts on how to tell if you're doing too much – and how to stop.

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How do hormones affect mental health? Is premenstrual syndrome (PMS) just a normal part of getting your period? How do the hormonal changes of menopause impact mental health? And what are some ways we can nurture positive mental wellbeing?

Joining Jean Hailes' Jo Roberts is the director of the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre and one of Australia’s leading experts on women’s mental health, Professor Jayashri Kulkarni AM, to answer all these questions and more.

Make time to take time...

Friendships & mental health

Learn why we crave close-knit friends, how to have micro-moments of connection with friends and strangers alike, and steps you can take to improve and expand your friendship circle.

Connect more

Breaking the toxic ties

What do you do if a close connection brings you more harm than help? What is a toxic friendship or relationship, and what are the signs that you're in one?

Spot the signs

Tackle loneliness head-on

Thanks to technology, people are now more connected than ever. So why is loneliness now also more widespread than ever? Learn about the surprising physical effects of loneliness, how to prevent loneliness and three important steps you can take to address it.

Learn more

Find your ‘happy’ food balance

The research is in! Studies reveal that food can affect mood. A diet filled with processed and packaged foods may increase the risk of depression, while a balanced wholefood diet may help to prevent depression and actually improve your mood.

A healthy diet also helps to feed the healthy bacteria in your gut (the gut microbiome). These little guys play an important role in promoting brain health and can also impact mood.

The Mediterranean diet, once again, leads the way as the diet of choice to help positively influence our mental health.

Based on the traditional eating patterns of southern Greeks and Italians in the 1960s (as well as the Spanish and Portuguese), the Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, legumes, fish, extra virgin olive oil, nuts (such as walnuts) and culinary herbs such as parsley, thyme, basil, rosemary and oregano. It includes dairy foods, often from sheep and goats, and occasional red meat.

Roast carrot, beetroot & lentil salad recipe

This mood-boosting recipe celebrates a bounty of plant foods.

Inspired by the Mediterranean diet, Jean Hailes naturopath Sandra Villella and Marley Spoon created this recipe.

The brightly-coloured vegetables, fresh herbs and walnuts contain various plant compounds and, along with the extra virgin olive oil, make this meal high in healthy antioxidants.

It is the plentiful antioxidants in the Mediterranean diet that are thought to protect our nerve and brain cells from damage.

Topped with goat’s cheese as a source of calcium, additional protein and a boost of flavour, this salad will nourish you, your gut and brain.

Is it worry, anxiety or an anxiety disorder?

Find out more about your mental health and take the anxiety self-assessment quiz. Whatever your age or life stage, there are lots of helpful videos, podcasts and resources to teach you how to help manage your mental health.

Last drinks?

Having a glass of wine, or a beer, at the end of an exhausting day is a ritual for many women. It's often used as a reward for getting through the day, or as a 'circuit breaker', switching you from work mode to relaxation mode.

But is there a 'safe' level of drinking? And if you need to reduce your intake, what's a good way to go about it?

Navigating the changes of menopause

Menopause can be a time of significant changes in sleep patterns. And along with other changes and symptoms to navigate at midlife, feelings of exhaustion can be common.

Alarm clock

In this recent 'Sleep Talk' podcast, Jean Hailes endocrinologist Dr Sonia Davison speaks with sleep physician Dr David Cunnington, delving into why sleep changes occur prior to and during menopause, and ways to manage these changes.

Listening time: 25 mins.

Managing stress at work

A little stress at work can help improve your job performance, motivate you to finish tasks on time, or inspire creative solutions to problems. But when the stress feels negative, overwhelming and inescapable, it can have negative impacts on your mental health and working life.

Woman at work

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Ageing & mental health

Ever wondered or worried about how age may affect your mental health? Do women, generally, gain better mental health in their later years, or does it decline?

Older woman smiling

Jean Hailes for Women's Health, together with Liptember and experts in mental health from Monash University, wanted to uncover these answers and more. On Monday, we launch a new video series where we talk to women about their own experiences of ageing – positive and negative. Two more videos will be released in the coming weeks on the Jean Hailes website. To stay up to date on this and all our projects, subscribe to our monthly email updates for women.

Happy, healthy wishes

Here’s our farewell gift for you, as we come to the end of Women's Health Week 2019. Share this beautiful illustration with friends and family on your social media channels, or keep it just for you, as a gentle reminder to look after yourself, and your mental health.

Tell us your thoughts

All good things come to an end and Women's Health Week 2019 has now drawing to a close.

We would love to hear how this year's Women's Health Week was for you. Please tell us your highlights, or what you think might need improving, so we can continue to strengthen and grow Women's Health Week into the future. 

There's always more to explore...

Women’s Health Week 2019 may be wrapping up, but your future health journey continues. Stay in touch with Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, make good health a priority and kick some happy, healthy goals!

Still on the hunt for evidence-based health information?

The Jean Hailes Health A-Z webpages cover all ages and life stages of women's health. Popular topics include periods, menopause, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome and vulval irritation.

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