Julia Gillard

The Chair of Beyond Blue, The Hon. Julia Gillard AC

A new year usually brings resolutions – promises to quit something, start something, do something differently.

Resolutions often seem to be health-related, so the ‘wellness’ industry must be booming this time of year.

At Beyond Blue, we generally try to cut through the hype and get to the facts about what works according to evidence, not fads.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. We know that a good night’s sleep, regular exercise and eating well all contribute to a healthy mindset.

When I was Prime Minister, people would sometimes ask how I managed my own wellbeing with the demands and stress of running the country. Now as Chair of Beyond Blue, the questioning is more frequent. Understandably, people are curious about how I practice what I preach; how I look after my own mental health today and how I did it when I was in office.

Faced with these questions, I sometimes feel like I need to give some interesting, creative answer. But the truth is that, throughout my adult life, it’s always been the case that the simple things make the biggest difference.

I enjoy getting outside for some fresh air, taking my dog Reuben for a walk on the beach and spending time with friends and family. I also think nothing cures stress quite like a good laugh. My life can be hectic with lots of work, travel, and time away from home, so to relax I like to read books to help me unwind. I try to build quiet moments into even the most frantic of days.

For all the hype in social and traditional media about celebrity exercise regimes and new whiz bang diet plans, achieving a state of wellbeing actually involves a lot of plain old common sense. Wellbeing doesn’t have to be about embarking on a drastic diet or punishing exercise regime – sometimes all it takes is a few simple and healthy habits to improve our outlook, both mentally and physically.

You can find plenty of tips here on Personal best – backed by research – like how to be more mindful, manage day to day stress and even the benefits of decluttering your space to relieve stress. I hope you find these ideas fun and useful. 

Related reading: 15 stress busting activities to help you relax

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