The last couple of years have been full of uncertainty, stress, isolation and feelings of loneliness which can all negatively impact our mental health.

Community and connection matters when it comes to mental health. Having strong ties with our family, friends and the wider community can help us feel happier and more supported through tough times. Here are our top tips to stay connected and tune in to community (even if it’s from a distance).

1. Ring ring

Pick up the phone or tech it up a little with FaceTime. Talking to your nearest and dearest will instantly boost your mood and take your mind off that white loungeroom wall in front of you.

2. Carve it out & keep it regular

How many times have you said to a friend “we should catch up” and it just never happens? It’s easy for to do lists, life, work or study to just get on top of you. Make sure you’re carving out time for fun and connection regularly, even if it’s just a quick cuppa. The list of jobs can wait! Your wellbeing can’t.  

3. Send it

Snail mail isn’t dead! There is nothing more personal (and surprising) than receiving a handwritten letter in the mail these days. Want to step it up a notch? Put together a care parcel. The gesture could really make their day knowing that someone cares.

4. Join an interest group

Love knitting? Started hiking your local areas lately? There are a huge range of local interest groups for every hobby where you can meet like-minded people while doing something that makes your soul sing! Google some options in your local area and look out for virtual catch ups.

5. Get Zooming

The options are endless. Join a dinner party, host a murder mystery party, schedule in a weekly trivia session, test your skills in cards, put your gut feels to the test with two truths and a lie, challenge the others with charades, home scavenger hunts… shall we continue? The connection that comes from seeing people (even through a screen) can be hugely beneficial.

6. Better out than in

No matter what method you choose to connect with your friends or family, sharing your struggles, concerns or just having a vent can help you process your feelings and help you move forward.

Not sure who to talk to?

Support is available through or or by calling Lifeline 13 11 14  or talk to your GP directly about a plan for your mental health.

October is Mental Health Month. A month that encourages all of us to think about our mental health and wellbeing, regardless of whether we may have lived experience of mental illness or not. It also gives us the opportunity to understand the importance of good mental health in our everyday lives.

Images: Pinterest