How To Improve Your Wellbeing
January is universally regarded as the month where a lot of us feel a bit blue. Add a global pandemic and a nationwide lockdown and it can be viewed as a forgone conclusion, that, without conscious effort, we are all going to feel rather low. In this article we share some amazing tips to help maintain your wellbeing.
A key thing when feeling low is to avoid becoming cut off from other people. Easier said than done in the midst of lockdown, but please do reach out and regularly communicate with friends and family. Positive relationships can boost your sense of belonging and confidence. Reciprocating and supporting your loved ones will not only help boost their mental wellbeing but will also give you a self-worth boost. Technological advancements mean that whilst we cannot see others outside our household right now, we can video call them – why not organise a virtual family dinner, hold a quiz night or get the kids to put on a play. Staying connected with your friends and family is so important!
Mindfulness is all about being in the present moment. Try not to think too far ahead and the worries and concerns you have for the future, rather focus on the positives right now. Savour the moment and focus on things you are thankful for. These do not have to be monumental things; they can be as simple as savouring a cold crisp morning or being thankful for a delicious dinner. Living in the here and now can help you to appreciate and enjoy your life.
Yes, I know, please don’t groan, exercise has been proven to improve your mental wellbeing as well as being good for your physical self. You don’t need to run a Marathon (unless you want to). Go for a walk, do an online exercise class. Personally, I would recommend trying Pilates, I find it both relaxing and if I do it in the morning it gives me energy for the day ahead. Whilst it is harder with all leisure centres closed it is not impossible, here are a few things to try: walking, jogging, cycling, skipping, Pilates or Yoga, or why not challenge your friends and family to silly challenges like a step challenge or stair climbing?
Try Something New
Learning something new can give a huge amount of satisfaction. Try a new hobby, learn a language or experiment with a new recipe. There are a wealth of online courses from flower arranging and interior design to learning computer skills or training to become a personal trainer and because it is January there are some great bargains to be had! If time is a little short, then something as simple as reading a new book or doing a crossword puzzle.
Meditation is a great stress reliever and can help you to gain some perspective. This Basic Meditation for Beginners from mindful.org is a great start:
- Get comfortable and prepare to sit still for a few minutes. After you stop reading this, you’re going to simply focus on your own natural inhaling and exhaling of breath.
- Focus on your breath. Where do you feel your breath most? In your belly? In your nose? Try to keep your attention on your inhale and exhale.
- Follow your breath for two minutes. Take a deep inhale, expanding your belly, and then exhale slowly, elongating the out-breath as your belly contracts.
Visit their website for more great meditation advice!
A good night’s sleep is essential to good wellbeing. Your mind and body rest and recuperate whilst you are asleep. Without good sleep your cognitive reasoning and decision-making skills are not on top form. If you are having trouble sleeping this article from the NHS might help you to gain a restful night.
A healthy diet can help to improve your wellbeing. Similarly ensuring you drink enough water will also help your overall wellbeing. Aim to drink just over 1 ltr of water a day for proper hydration and try to avoid sugary or very starchy foods. This article from Mind.org gives some great hints and tips for healthier eating.
Research suggests that acts of kindness and giving improve mental wellbeing. Creating positive feelings of self-worth and reward and of course make us more connected to the world. Again, these do not need to be massive actions, but things like helping an elderly neighbour by getting their shopping, volunteering in the community or simply just saying thank you to someone are all acts of kindness that produce these wonderful warm fuzzy feelings. Some other excellent ways to give back can be as simple as having a bit of a clear out ready to donate items to your local charity, volunteering for your neighbourhood Covid response to help those self-isolating or shielding or even asking a family member or friend if you can help (virtually) with home schooling. We have all seen the hashtag on social media, believe me, we truly are so much #StrongerTogether
How To Improve Your Wellbeing – Ask For Help
We hope you found our article on wellbeing helpful, we would love to hear any tips you have. If you are struggling please reach out. Here are a couple of helpful numbers:
Mind: 0300 123 3393
Samaritans: 116 123
There is absolutely no shame in asking for help and whatever you may think, your concerns and circumstances are not trivial.