In these stressful times it is important to take care of your mental health; Pauline our Councillor and Jenny one of our Chiropractors have put together some great tips to help combat stress and keep motivated and healthy.
- Focused Breathing – One of the most important things to learn is to control your breathing as that is one of the most beneficial techniques to calm down any anxious thoughts and feelings. It creates a chemical reaction in the body by decreasing the Adrenalin being produced and increasing the Serotonin (the calming hormone). We will be sharing a video to guide you through diaphragmatic breathing, try and practice this every day, and complete mindfulness exercises such as those on Headspace or Calm.
- Goal Setting – Consider making a plan to make it easier to see what needs to be done and your progress through this. This could start with tasks that need to be completed during the week, as well as goals you are working towards. Draw up a schedule and make sure to include things that are nice and enjoyable for you as well. Pin this up somewhere so you can see it easily and tick off when each thing is done or at the end of each day. If this additional structure is helping you, try specifying a time for each element (avoid spending longer than 45 – 60 minutes on each thing as our focus of attention can wander if something is taking too long, and make sure to schedule in breaks!)
- Keeping Positive – Take note of the good happening in the community by writing down each day the below:
One nice thing that is done for you by another person
One nice thing that you see that pleases you
One nice thing that you do for another person – Maybe you are being the person in your neighbourhood to help out an elderly neighbour. Or perhaps working on your relationship with your kids or partner and learning more about them as people. There’s always opportunities around and often it doesn’t take much to feel you’ve made somebody else’s day.
Challenge any unhelpful thoughts and change them to an alternative way e.g. Does this thought have any basis behind it? Does this thought have any factual evidence to back it up?
- Try not to be on social media or watch the news too much if these are causing you to worry or get frustrated.
- Move – exercise for even just 5 mins a day. Try and get your heart rate up, but remember to pace yourself and don’t go from 0-100 straight away, build up over time. Any sort of exercise will also increase the good hormones flowing through your body whether it be some form of cardio or something a bit slower such as Yoga, Pilates or even a good walk in the fresh air.
- Keep your mind busy – Whether it’s reading that book / listening to that podcast you’ve been meaning to, or trying something new. Gardening while the weather is nice, drawing, playing an instrument, mind mapping new business ideas, cooking new meals… whatever gets your creative brain going!
- Speak on the phone or via skype to family or a friend who builds you up every few days. I find a proper phone call is better than WhatsApp/text messages but you may be different.
- Eat well and stay hydrated. Try and keep any snacking to fresh fruit/nuts where possible, try and get a variety of vegetables into your meals and drink lots of water. Try new vegetables or fruit if your normal ones aren’t in the supermarket.
- Sleep– 7-9 hours is optimal. Practice good sleep hygiene e.g. don’t drink caffeine past midday, avoid too much blue light from screens around an hour before bed, make sure your room is dark and cool enough. Try and go to sleep and wake up at a similar time each day.
- Get as much sunlight and fresh air as possible if you can in your garden, or by opening windows or going for a walk.