We are currently experiencing very challenging times. All the things that some of us were once able to do to keep our mental well-being in check, we cannot do anymore. Something as simple as getting onto your bike and going for a long ride, or going to the nearest cafe for a sit-down breakfast and coffee.
However, we can still utilise this time to discover other hobbies or activities that we have never tried before, ones that can still mentally look after you. Alongside these, I will also give you a few lifestyle techniques to help combat that dark cloud that rears its head every now and then.
Below are my favourite lifestyle tips and activities to help improve your overall well-being:
Pick up a new hobby.
Have you always wanted to learn Spanish? Or possibly even try your hand at watercolour painting? Now is the time! For myself personally, the hobbies that keep me level headed after a long day include reading, art, gardening, and cooking! All of these activities help me achieve my overall zen after a long day. I ensure to fit in most of these hobbies throughout my day, alongside work.
What I want you to do is write down a snapshot of your day, what does it look like? I want you to find a new hobby, and make sure you give yourself at least an hour to do it!
Keep up your daily exercise routine (or pick one up!).
Now, I’m not talking about going for an hours-long run or power walk (if this is you, good for you!), what I’m saying is get out and enjoy the sunshine by going for a walk with your housemate, or your partner. This way, you spend some time with your loved one and get in some exercise to help clear your head.
Get yourself into a consistent bedtime routine.
I know it doesn’t sound very appealing, but your body loves routine. When it's thrown out of its regular routine or there is no routine in place, you can wake up grumpy, unrefreshed from your sleep or just completely out of sorts. For example, every night I go to bed at 11 pm and wake every morning at 7:30 am to the point where my body now naturally wakes at this time and I don’t need to be woken by an alarm.
Unplug for an hour a day.
The best thing I have done for myself is saying goodbye to my social media platforms, some may say I live under a rock and I’m not experiencing life properly, but with the amount of negativity emerging on the internet, I’ve made the right decision for myself. All that is left is Facebook Messenger, so I can stay in touch with loved ones and an anonymous Instagram profile I made for myself that just contains art.
So, what I am saying is for those who have had the same experiences, you don’t need to delete your social media completely, maybe just switch off for an hour a day, and spend that time doing something you love rather than scrolling through your feed.
Keep in touch with your loved ones.
During these challenging times, it’s hard when we can’t see our loved ones. But one thing that people have started doing is Zoom and Facetime video calls to catch up. I haven’t tried this yet, but what a fantastic way to stay connected with the ones who make you feel happiest.
Keep well nutritionally.
Eat your three meals a day, keep hydrated, and make mindful choices while eating. Read my previous blog post “Nutrition & Anxiety - Tips for Mental Wellness”, it gives you many tips and tricks for mental health and nutrition.
When you need it, take some time out.
Ok, this is a crucial point and a point that most of us fail to comply with. We struggle to take care of ourselves, whether you have a growing family, you have your own business or are career-driven, you are a carer, etc. The bottom line is we all have the automated programming to look after others before we look after ourselves (if this isn’t you, fantastic and I take my hat off to you!). But I'm also one of those people and I completely understand, when I get home from work there is housework to do, food to make, my dog to entertain and feed, and my garden to tend. Life does not stop for anyone. But over time, I have learned that no matter who you are, you should start off small and take out 30 minutes of your day to take time out for yourself. Choose one/or more of the following to incorporate into your day or make up your own:
- Grab some bath salts or essential oils and run yourself a nice hot bath, with your favourite book in hand.
- Read a book.
- Practice your new hobby.
- Meditate (or learn to meditate).
- Keep a diary and write down your thoughts and experiences for the day.
- Practice belly breathing.
One blog post I find myself coming back to in regards to self-care is 45 Simple Self-Care Practices for Healthy Mind, Body and Soul (Tiny Buddha), the author has so many amazing self-care tips, check it out for yourself and try a few on there - https://tinybuddha.com/blog/45-simple-self-care-practices-for-a-healthy-mind-body-and-soul/
Written by our in house Nutritionist, if you have any further questions please feel free to contact us or come in store to see us.