When we think about health, the first things that come to mind are usually diet and exercise.
However, wellbeing is about more than just your body and what goes into it. A healthy mind is also key to health and happiness.
This World Health Day, I urge you to take some time to think about the many ways we can support one another to raise our health and happiness – and reduce our risks of chronic disease into the future.
Celebrated every year on April 7, World Health Day is a global awareness initiative driven by the World Health Organisation. This year the theme is depression.
Whether you’ve got five minutes to spare today or want to build lasting habits – there are six simple ways all of us can begin cultivating mind-body balance.
One, try meditation to calm your mind. When you meditate, you learn to think more clearly, by letting go of the negative self-talk that can interfere with your judgement.
Two, add more plant-based foods to your diet. Nourish your body by ensuring you get at least two serves of fruit and five serves of fresh veggies every day.
Three, fuel your passions. Try to spare some time to do what makes you happy. Sometimes we get so busy that we forget how invigorating it feels to cry in a romcom, or watch the sun set and swim in the ocean.
Four, sit less, and always stay active. Incidental exercise matters. Make a conscious effort to stand or move around at work, while you chat on the phone, or when you watch your favourite television program.
Five, find someone who needs your help – register to volunteer. Research shows that volunteering not only benefits the community around you, but also boosts feelings of wellbeing and provides a greater sense of purpose in life.
Six, find out about your cancer risks and develop a personalised prevention plan. At least one-third of all cancer cases can be prevented. This World Health Day, I urge you all to take part in recommended cancer screening, quit smoking, maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, aspire to a healthy weight, stay SunSmart, and limit your alcohol intake.
And for those of you who are going through cancer right now, reach out for the support you need. For many of us, cancer can be as hard on the mind as it is on the body.
In fact, our own research shows that about one in three cancer patients experiences ongoing psychological impacts such as anxiety and depression – although many won’t access the support they need.
With our population ageing and increasing, concerted joint efforts to lift community health and wellbeing have never been more important.
The good news is, we can all make a difference, by caring for ourselves the same way we would care for our loved ones.
And if you’re a cancer patient, a friend, family member or carer of someone who has been diagnosed, please reach out to Cancer Council’s 13 11 20 for information, advice, and support.
All Queenslanders. All cancers. We’re here for you.
– Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Senior Media Advisor,
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5171
Mobile: 0488 015 702