You matter! 10 Free Ways of Looking After You
When we think of wellness we tend to think of our physical health, we do so much to make sure we are doing everything possible for our bodies – working out, eating our 5 a day (most of the time), making our morning latte a skinny. But now we are more aware than ever that our physical selves have an impact on our mental health and wellness but are we taking much notice? If like me and your metal wellness always comes after work, after taking care of the house, friends and family etc then it’s likely you don’t realise how your mental wellness could do with a little top-up.
But fear not reader we’re here with some helpful tips on how to improve your own mental wellness – no fasting or silent retreats required.
1. A little anti-social is ok – I don’t mean vandalising your exes car (even if he deserves it) though many wellness tips are to go out sometimes the pressure to keep up social appearances despite taking time for yourself is more damaging than keeping every social event. Its ok to turn down that drink, that BBQ (I know but I’m keeping positive!) we all need time to ourselves and taking a night for yourself is nothing to feel guilty about. Your friends will understand.
2. Write it down – keeping a diary may take you back to your teenage years but writing down your feelings and random thoughts has been proven to help improve mental wellness, getting it out on paper is not only therapeutic, it acknowledges your emotions rather than keeping them locked in your head plus it’s a very handy method for people who find it difficult or simply aren’t ready to talk about their feelings.
3. Keep active – I hesitate to call it exercise as keeping active is not simply taking a spinning class – it's taking the dog for a walk, gardening, going to the beach on a sunny day – its anything that gets you moving. Physical activity has always been known to be good for the mind – releasing endorphins and giving you that happy feeling. It also clears your mind – causing you to solve problems and think more clearly.
4. Prioritise what’s important and what’s not – just like the title says – some things that seem important to us just aren’t, write a list of the things you think are important - if there are more cons than pros then it’s not important.
5. Just breathe – I know, I know breathing exercises are sometimes just – blah – I still find it difficult sometimes but it does work I promise! You don’t need to be in the lotus position, all you need is a comfy place where you feel comfortable and simply close your eyes and focus on your breathing – on the in and out for around 5 minutes – it won’t happen straight away, but you will begin to feel calmer. A good tip is to listen to a hypnosis YouTube video – they’ve been, my saviour! Michael Sealy has a voice that will have you relaxed in no time.
6. Cut out toxic people – perhaps one of the hardest things to do but oh so worth it – toxic people will never have a place in your life and you will know who they are before me even giving you the signs. People, that bring you down whenever you’re happy – got a promotion, a date, a new dress? Toxic people will always find a way to make you feel guilty, nervous, just bad in general. FYI – this is not your friend telling you the dress doesn’t look good on you – its someone doing it at every opportunity and they are draining your mental wellness.
7. Get your vitamins – a varied diet with plenty of colour (pick & mix don’t count) is always the best way to get your daily requirements in vitamins and minerals but sometimes by no fault of our own, we need a little bit of help. Taking a daily vitamin can have a big impact on how you feel and how your body works – the first thing to do is ask your GP for a blood test to check your vitamin levels so you know what you do and don’t need.
8. Get your zzz’s – we all know what getting a good night’s sleep can do for us – re-energise, recover, contribute towards healthier skin, a healthier mind and even weight loss. What bad sleep habits can do is completely the opposite.
A good sleep pattern is vital to good mental wellness, your body feeling sluggish? then your mental health is going to be moody and low. We’re a country of insomniacs, therefore, there are lots of help our there too. Don’t suffer from bad sleep – if you either go down the herbal route or you need to speak to a GP there is something for everyone.
9. Take an hour for yourself everyday – its not selfish to take time for yourself, whether you’re single, couple up or have children – to be a good friend, a good partner, mother, daughter etc you need to take care of yourself too, you need to be good to yourself and you don’t need a spa day every week to achieve this (but hey if you can I applaud you!) whether it’s a facemask and a glass of wine, a book, catching up on your boxset or cooking your favourite food – life is much better when you make time for your own health and happiness – wine included.
10. Connect – ok so this may sound contradicting to my first point but there is a difference between enjoying your own company and being a recluse. Nowadays social media is how we stay in touch with almost everyone in our lives, helpful yes but it can also be isolating. Make sure that for every 10 conversations you have online you meet up face to face with a friend, for every email and text message you send there’s a phone call in between too. Yes, I know we’re all suddenly panicked when someone rings instead of texts (omg why are they ringing!!?) but that human contact is necessary – you’re not needy – we ALL need it and your friends are thinking the exact same thing.