7 November 2022

Taking the time to see how things make us feel seems like the simplest thing but is so often overlooked, according to Mind Recovery College Senior Advisor Kim Salter. 

Speaking on ABC Far North Queensland Radio as part of Mental Health Month, Ms Salter offered the program’s listeners advice on how we can incorporate checking in to see how we feel and self-care into everyday life. 

Ms Salter said the best way to practice checking in is by making time for yourself. 

“Imagine you’re eating a meal. Afterwards, just ask yourself how you feel. Lethargic? Energised? You start with these everyday activities, and it develops into a habit,” Ms Salter said.

Ms Salter said that this process is about leaving the mind space and getting into the body space, and that this puts us in to a state of ‘body-full-ness’. 

“When you do take a moment to stop and notice how you feel, that’s when you’re really caring for yourself. The more you care for yourself, the more you send yourself that message that you’re worth caring for.”

Ms Salter’s advice is to keep things simple, such as reflecting on how overconsuming food or alcohol can lead to negative feelings. 

By noticing these impacts and thinking “how did that sit with me?”, Ms Salter said we’ll be more likely to moderate our intake, so we’ll feel better next time.

“That’s some of the best self-care we can give ourselves. It’s about developing a relationship with your body and yourself. Doing that can have a great effect on your self-worth,” she said. 

Ms Salter said observing how interactions with people make you feel is another example of how we can practice self-care.

“If we have a certain feeling from talking to someone it’s a good thing to acknowledge it. This creates a buffer zone and you’re not left thinking that you’re the one with the problem,” Ms Salter said.

Self-care is one of many topics covered through the award-winning Mind Recovery College program, which bridges the gap between mental health services and education.

The Mind Recovery College provides a range of structured courses and social activities that participants can choose from to suit their own learning needs. Mind’s qualified peer facilitators use their lived experience of mental health and recovery to inspire and support participants to strengthen their own mental health and wellbeing.

To learn more about the Mind Recovery College or to find out if you are eligible to enrol visit the Mind Recovery College or phone: 1300 286 463.

If this article raises concerns for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders can also call 13 YARN (13 92 76) a 24/7 national crisis support telephone service staffed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.