Maintaining your mental health is just as important as maintaining your physical health. Like our bodies, our minds need training too!

But unlike training your body, it’s not always obvious what you can do to train your mind.

So we asked some of Australia’s best athletes how they train their minds – what are the little or everyday things they do to reach their potential and live fun and fulfilling lives. 

Always make time to do the things you enjoy.” – Tom Boyd

Keep doing the stuff you love to do and the things that are important to you. It can help keep the fun in your life, give you a sense of accomplishment and purpose, boost your confidence and help to connect with others.

Some of these things, such as skating, fishing or playing the guitar, might just be for fun, but other things like work or study give you new skills and might help to give you meaning.

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I like to make a list of things that are stressing me out and then deal with them one by one. It gives me a sense of achievement.” – Daniel Arzani

There are a lot of different strategies that can help you manage difficult thoughts and feelings. Things like meditation, taking a digital detox, listening to music, spending time outdoors and writing things down are just a few ways that can help you handle challenging times.

It can be hard to know where to start, and what's helpful can vary for each person. So do some research and keep trying new things to see what works best for you.

You can still have a good time with your mates without drinking.” – James Tedesco

Alcohol or other drugs may feel like they help you to manage hard times in the short term, but remember they can interfere with your mental health and make you feel much worse in the long run.

Curbing the amount of alcohol or other drugs that you use (or avoiding alcohol and drugs altogether) will help you manage your emotions and improve your wellbeing.

Being active and eating well makes me feel better about myself.” – Usman Khawaja

When you think of improving your mental health, you may not always consider changing the food you eat. However, there is a strong link between what we eat and how we feel!

A poor diet can make you feel sluggish and increase symptoms of depression and anxiety. But staying hydrated and having a healthy diet with including fruit, veggies, nuts and wholegrains can actually improve mental health.

Making sure I stay connected to friends and family is important to me.” – Kurtley Beale

Feeling connected to others is an essential part of being human. Spending time with friends, family and people in your community can really strengthen your mental health and wellbeing.

Planning a catch-up with friends, joining a club or committee, or participating in a team sport or safe online community can help you feel connected and meet new people.

Having a good sleep really helps me tackle the day.” – Dale Thomas

Getting enough sleep is good for your brain and body. It improves your mood, sharpens your concentration and increases resilience.

Reducing things that keep you from a restful sleep like noise, or light that keeps you awake and active stuff like social media or video gaming will help you improve your sleep.

Getting outside and kicking a ball takes my mind off things, it makes me happy.” – Brandon Defina

Staying active can help you to sleep better, manage stress and boost your mood. Find a way to keep active that you enjoy and incorporate this into your regular routine.

Make time to take a break from study or work to do some exercise, whether it be going to the gym, kicking a ball around with a mate or just going for a walk. Whatever it is, start small, and make sure it's something you enjoy.