McGuigan Zero starwberry cocktail

5 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health & Wellbeing

Positive well-being is fundamental to our mental and physical health and overall happiness. But it’s highly dependent on and influenced by an individual’s current situation, past experiences, attitudes, outlook and choices.

Many of us are juggling multiple balls in the air, all day, every day, so finding ways (and the time!) to improve our well-being can sometimes feel a bit daunting. The good news is that small steps can add up to a big leap on our path to greater well-being. So we’ve taken the time to detail some of the ways we believe will help get you there!

McGuigan Zero range of no alcohol wines

Embrace the friend zone

Whether you're chatting with a colleague in the office kitchen at lunchtime, going for a long walk with a friend, gasbagging with girlfriends at dinner, or FaceTiming a buddy overseas — don't underestimate the power of people and positive interaction in lifting your spirits and your overall mood.

Positive human connection is invaluable. Several research studies indicate that people with healthy and supportive relationships live longer. Why? A good time with friends releases feel-good hormones like serotonin and oxytocin, which change the way our brains respond to stress. Hugs increase oxytocin levels, as does eye contact.

Having a laugh while hanging out is even better. Laughter triggers healthy physical and emotional changes in the body by releasing endorphins which can promote an overall sense of wellbeing and can even temporarily relieve pain.

In her Zero Bucket List, Australian journalist, author and podcaster Jessica Rowe lists some creative ideas for catching up with friends. She suggests going to a comedy open-mic night for some thigh-slapping-belly-laughs, belting out karaoke tunes, or hosting a dress-up movie night.


Energise with exercise

Like laughter, a good workout can also trigger a release of endorphins, which can positively affect your mental wellbeing and productivity levels. While regular exercise is important for managing your weight and reducing the risk of disease, it can also improve your mood and quell feelings of anxiety and depression.

Thirty minutes of physical activity every day is enough to feel these benefits. If you're not quite up to running 5km along the beach, or lifting heavy weights at the gym, try an activity that doesn't feel like exercising, like walking with a friend to the local cafe to get coffee, or sweating it out in a dance class. Building up your levels of incidental exercise can also get your heart pumping. This can be done by gardening, cleaning, walking the children to school, taking the dog to the park, using the stairs instead of the lift, or parking a little further away from your destination.

And where possible, get out and exercise in the great outdoors. Connecting with nature is vital for our overall health and wellbeing. It also ensures we receive good amounts of Vitamin D — the 'sunshine vitamin' — crucial for your bones, teeth, immunity, heart health and mental health. Just don't forget your sunscreen!

Recharge by switching off

In a world where it seems our every move is controlled by a screen or device, finding ways to (literally) switch off from the world for a little while to recharge our batteries is so important.

Rest and relaxation can take on many forms, but they all play a part in contributing towards better mental health, increased concentration and memory, a healthier immune system, reduced stress, and improved mood.

Here are our favourite ways to amp up R&R levels:

  • Meditation: If you are feeling stressed, anxious and overwhelmed, just a few minutes of meditation can help restore your calm and inner peace. Meditation is simple, inexpensive, doesn't require any special equipment (although there are some great meditation apps available if you need a little help), and you can do it anywhere.
  • Mini digital detox: A mini detox from your phone and devices just for an hour or two can be great for clearing your head. When you’re done working for the day, why not put your distracting items in another room and spend some time relaxing, exercising, or just being present with your loved ones?
  • Prioritise sleep: The old adage ‘getting up on the wrong side of the bed’ makes complete sense — a rough and restless night’s sleep can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and grumpy all day. Sleep is vital for our health and happiness. If you sleep well, you wake up feeling rested, which boosts your energy levels and improves your productivity, concentration and cognitive function. So go to bed as early as you can manage — everyone around you will thank you for it.


Tidy up your diet

Your body and brain function best when fuelled with the right food. Eating a diet packed with nutrient-dense foods containing vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and fibre will positively impact your physical and mental wellbeing.

On the flip side, a diet of heavily processed foods high in sugar, fat and empty calories has been linked to various health problems, including heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, cancer and depression.

Enjoy a balanced diet that includes a wide variety of nutritious whole foods (foods with minimal processing and free from additives and artificial substances) from the five key food groups — vegetables, fruit, grains and cereal, meat/protein alternatives, and dairy/alternatives.

Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, is also important to prevent dehydration — a common cause of headaches and brain fog.


Moderate your drinking

The perception that abstaining from alcohol is ‘boring’ is no longer the reality in Australia. A 2022 YouGov study found that one-in-two Aussies (45%) aged 18+ said they don’t think ‘alcohol-free’ means being unsociable, while 54% said they would always feel comfortable choosing alcohol-free options at an event.

More and more people are choosing to adopt a more mindful approach to drinking, and this sweeping trend has brought an increased demand for reduced-alcohol or alcohol-free beverage options. An explosion of great-tasting alcohol-free alternatives has hit the market in recent years, and these products are flying off the shelves.

A 2021 IWSR Drinks Market Analysis predicts that Australia's volume of low and no-alcohol beverages will grow by 16% from 2020-2024. Interestingly, it’s the younger generation driving this movement; the same IWSR study highlighted that 43% of consumers in the non-alcoholic sector are 18-34-year-olds.


Benefits of non-alcoholic drinks

Alcohol-free beverage alternatives are a great way to still enjoy the taste and social element of drinking, without making us feel a little ‘less than’ the next day.

Here at McGuigan Wines, we’ve embraced that moderated drinking is here to stay with the development of McGuigan Zero, our contemporary range of rich and full-flavoured alcohol-free wines.

The wines contain no artificial sweeteners or additives. And as an added bonus, McGuigan Zero wines are gluten-free and lower in calories and sugar compared with their standard varietal counterparts and they keep you hydrated!

We’ve been perfecting our technique for crafting full-flavoured wine free from alcohol for over two decades. McGuigan Zero has since amassed a loyal fan base, and we are now the number-one-selling alcohol-free wine in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom*.

Each varietal’s flavour profile and characteristics are as you would expect, proving that you don’t need alcohol to enjoy a full-flavoured experience in the glass.


We recommend you try:

*Source: Nielsen (UK), L12wks 27.03.2021; IRI-Aztec (AU), L52wks 25.04.2021


There is truth in the saying ‘everything in moderation’. Improving your wellbeing and focusing on your mental and physical health doesn’t have to mean adhering to strict regimens or foregoing all the fun.

If you are hitting pause on your alcohol intake for health or lifestyle reasons, McGuigan Zero allows you to still have your wine and drink it too.