With the current global situation and a second lockdown in sight, it’s more important than ever to look after our mental and physical health. Taking some time for yourself can have such a positive effect on your mood. Whether you’re going through a recent job loss, on furlough or working from home. These times can be difficult for us all. Here are a few tips to help ease stress and feel a bit more positive!
Accept that it’s OK, not to be OK
We’ve heard this time and time again during the pandemic, but it still remains true. It’s OK to have a bad day and it’s OK to feel anxious. It’s completely natural. Take the time to accept how you’re feeling, and know that this feeling will pass eventually. Remember, you are not alone in this!
Sleep and routine
It can sometimes be underestimated how important sleep is to your overall health and mental wellbeing. A lack of sleep can lower your body’s immune system and is also linked to higher levels of anxiety and depression. Try to aim for around 7 hours each night. If you make it part of a routine, it’s easier to stick to!
Any sort of exercise can have a huge positive effect on both your physical and mental health. It’s linked to improving your overall mood, memory, energy levels and quality of sleep. Releasing endorphins in the brain which can bring down your levels of anxiety and stress. And the best part is, it can be done pretty much anywhere! Anything from a daily walk, a light jog, strength training or HIIT workouts, it helps. Try finding something you genuinely enjoy, it makes it much easier to stick to!
It’s more important than ever to stay in touch with friends and family and there are now so many ways to connect. Video chats have become incredibly popular and are now being used for both personal calls and business meetings. Make sure to keep in regular contact to avoid feeling isolated, and always remember to reach out if you are struggling. This is especially important for those to live alone. On the flip side, keep an eye out for anyone that may be feeling alone or vulnerable, a quick phone call can make all the difference!
Switching off and getting out in nature can be a huge mood booster. A 10-minute walk around the block, a dog walk or a stroll around the park. They all make a difference. Getting away from your phone, TV and computer screen every so often is really important. Take time to disconnect with the digital world and take some time to explore the real one!
Eating a nutritious, balanced diet can really improve your overall wellbeing. We already know it can do wonders for your physical health, but it’s also linked to mental health too. The easiest way to strike a good balance is to aim for at least 5 fruit and vegetable portions a day as well as including lean protein, healthy fats and fibre rich carbohydrates. Try opting for minimally processed foods most of the time, but never be afraid to have that slice of chocolate cake every so often! That’s food for the soul!
We all need a sense of purpose in life, and when you’re furloughed or in-between jobs, it can be mentally challenging. Take the time to do something each day that brings you a sense of accomplishment. It could be a morning workout, cleaning the house, learning a new skill. You could also look at personal and professional development, so you can hit the ground running as soon as things start to return to normal.
Appreciate the little things
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by everything that’s going on in the world at the moment. Take time to celebrate the small victories and appreciate some of the little things. It can have a really positive impact on your mood. Think about all the things you are grateful for, be it a place to live, a nutritious meal, family and friends, the dog! Go out for a walk on a sunny day, watch the sunset, try to be present in the now. All the small things can add up!
Just have some fun
Take some time to just do something you enjoy, guilt free. Read a book, binge your favourite TV show, plan a future holiday, play a video game or board game, spend some time working on the garden. Anything you love doing it, just do it!
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