DIY Ways to Improve Your Mental Health and Wellbeing
Find the DIY tools for repair and maintenance with THIS WAY UP
Written by Clinical Psychologist, Katie Dobinson
When a house gets tired and rundown, it might be time for a ‘reno’. Mental health is no different. There’s no shame in needing an occasional tune up to ensure we keep ourselves in a good state of repair.
We know that asking for help and getting the help you need can be challenging. That’s why we’ve developed all the tools you need to DIY your mental health. No referrals, no travel, no shame, no stigma – just you, your toolkit, and the possibilities of change for the better.
Who doesn’t enjoy a good ol’ DIY project? That sense of achievement, pride, and happiness that comes from seeing your hard efforts pay off.
THIS WAY UP is your go-to online spot to get everything you need to DIY your wellbeing and mental health. So, put on your favourite album and your old paint shirt…and get ready to unleash your potential.
Part 1: Spotting the Issue 🔎
Just like with any maintenance or repairs, the first step in addressing mental health concerns is identifying the issue. Just as a creaking door might be a sign of a loose hinge, symptoms like anxiety, depression, or mood swings can be indicators of an underlying problem. It’s essential to acknowledge that something may need fixing when it’s not working properly. Keep an eye out for challenges with your sleep, worries that go round and round in your mind, or changes in your mood. Our Take a Test tool can help you out in identifying what may need tending to.
Part 2: Gathering Tools and Resources 🧰
In DIY repair, you wouldn’t start without the right tools and resources. Similarly, addressing mental health requires the right tools and skills. This means finding trustworthy, evidence-based resources for your DIY project. It may also mean seeking support from loved ones and professionals when you need some help with your DIY. Sometimes another set of eyes brings some great new ideas you hadn’t thought of yourself. You can find a range of free, evidence-based coping tools through our website, take a look today. Which one might meet your needs best?
Part 3: Make a plan and get started! 🗓
Just as you’d create a repair plan for a DIY project, you can make a plan for addressing your mental health. Some people find it helpful to start with a list of areas they’d like to work on, breaking these down into smaller, achievable steps. It doesn’t have to be a perfect plan, but once you pick your area of repair, get started and take action with a specific goal. For example, “I’m going to aim to get to bed by 10:30pm each night”, or “I’m going to make one phone call to a friend each week to feel more connected”.
Check out our online programs as we can help you stick to a plan, we provide the map or ‘instructions’.
Part 4: Patience and Persistence 💪
DIY repairs often take time and effort. Mental health is no different. You may not see immediate results, and setbacks are common. This is a normal part of the journey. It’s crucial to be patient with yourself and stay persistent, just as you would while tackling a challenging home improvement task. Remember that small steps lead to significant changes over time. Positive self-talk or self-compassion helps when you make mistakes to stay on track and keep moving forward.
Find out more about self-compassion here.
Part 5: Regular Maintenance 🪛
Wear and tear is a normal part of any DIY project. As life brings its many ups and downs, your DIY mental health upkeep can benefit from regular maintenance. Think about each of the core areas that maintain your wellbeing, are there any that have slipped that you can get back on track with?
- Sleep – am I going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time each day?
- Balanced diet – am I enjoying a variety of foods and getting a mix of nutrients?
- Movement – am I getting a bit of movement each day?
- Stress management – could I take a look at this free Stress management program?
- Avoid drugs and alcohol – can I find healthy ways to relax and unwind?
- Connection with others – can I call an old friend to reconnect?
Remember, you can ask for help at any point along the way.
Give yourself a mental health renovation
Embarking on a journey of mental health improvement is a bit like renovating a space in your home. It requires careful planning, dedication, and the understanding that transformation takes time.
In this free downloadable resource, learn how to give yourself a renovation and how it can serve as a powerful framework for boosting your mental wellbeing.
Not Sure which program is for you?
Take a Test to Help You Choose a Program
If you’re unsure which program to pick, take our anonymous online test to check how you feel and see which program may be suitable. This test will show you your levels of stress, anxiety, or depression and will make suggestions on what you can do next.