Welcome I’m Sharon Draper, Psychologist.

News Flash:

“Emotional growth flourishes when we are no longer afraid to honestly look at ourselves and trust that we deserve to live a better life.”

The 10th of October is World Mental Health Day. This October, I launched a mental health awareness campaign in the Balmoral community. I hope it will encourage people to become more aware of mental health issues and to think of healthy strategies they can implement when they feel emotionally overwhelmed. I believe, if we can be more conscious of how mental health impacts all of us, we can be more supportive to those experiencing it.

The community was asked what they do to help them through emotionally tough times. I included a few examples of what they came up with on this poster.

Sharon Draper - October Poster

5 Wellness Winter Tips.

In Winter, we often find ourselves feeling a little more down in the dumps than usual. The cold, reduced sunshine and the fact that it gets darker earlier all contribute to our emotional lows.

Here are 5 mental wellness tips you can use to get you through this winter.

1.    Keep exercising.
“We tend to exercise less in winter when we’re feeling too cold to leave the house. It’s very important to keep your exercise regime going as this will help your natural endorphins to flow and help you feel good.”

2.    Spend time with loved ones.
“We also tend to socialize less in winter which exacerbates our low mood as we are in actual fact, isolating ourselves. People need human connection to function so keep your social connections open!”

3.    Start a meaningful hobby and make sure you allocate time for it.
“Having a meaningful activity you can focus your attention on is a great way to combat winter blues.”

4.    When there is sun, bask in its warmth as often as possible.
“Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) usually develops in Winter and could be caused by the reduced level of sunlight which occurs during the winter season. The reduced sunlight levels seem to interfere with our circadian rhythm (body’s internal clock), which impacts our sleep cycle. A reduction in sunlight can also cause a drop in serotonin which influences low mood.”

5.    Implement one self-care activity for each day.
“Making a conscious decision to be kind to yourself can help you every day of the year, but especially during Winter blues. Create a list of activities you can do that you enjoy and try and implement one each day. Things like, having a bubble bath, getting a massage or reading a fictional book are examples of self-care activities. The key is to do something that you don’t usually do but you really enjoy doing. If you’re not sure of any, experiment with some ideas and see what you enjoy.”

It’s normal to feel sad some days but if you find you’re feeling down for prolonged days at a time, you struggle to get motivated and your sleep and appetite has changed, please make an appointment to see your Doctor. There are other ways we can help you through this.


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“Emotional growth flourishes when we are no longer afraid to honestly look at ourselves and trust that we deserve to live a better life.”

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