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Healthy LifeHealthy Life is Australia’s home of ‘feel good’. Some medications used to treat mental illness can have side-effects such as weight-gain and making people feel drowsy, restless or hungry. This can be a challenge to building up a healthy lifestyle but there are common-sense ways of dealing with it. Buying junk food, smoking and drinking alcohol is expensive. Eating good, wholesome foods (starting with tasty vegetables and fruit) and cutting down on alcohol and smoking can make a real difference in spending, which means more money for the things you really enjoy (see ‘Rewarding Yourself’).

Giving up the ciggies means a huge change in routine for most smokers. In the first few weeks, try to steer clear of alcohol and any other triggers. For many, cigarettes and alcohol go hand-in-hand. Avoid places where people smoke and try to keep busy. Do something else to unwind – listen to music, meditate , keep active , connect with other non-smokers or try a new hobby. Replace workplace cigarette breaks with a walk around the block, or ‘freshen up’ in the bathroom – brush your teeth, notice how much better your mouth feels since quitting. Be kind to yourself, take it one day at a time.

If your support person leads a healthy life, then you can learn from their example or even do things together. For example, if they are a keen gardener, you could help them out or even learn how to grow your own vegetables – getting exercise, fresh air, and free, good food too. Did you know that being overweight or obese are, combined, the fifth leading risk for global deaths? At least 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese.

Learn how to recognize causes of stress, such as difficult people, financial matters, noise, lack of time, or high pressure situations. Review your daily activities periodically in search of triggers you may not be aware of look for patterns in your symptoms and stress levels. You may want to discuss your stressors with your doctor or therapist.

Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay. Learning how to manage your asthma and having regular asthma check-ups with your doctor can make you feel better, especially if you are experiencing depression and anxiety. Genes (not jeans) have a lot to do with body shape — there is no right” weight for someone of a certain height. If you are eating and acting healthily, your weight is probably fine.