We talk occasionally about mental health over the past year or so, and we need to. The events of the past year, and the moths yet to come, have placed a huge mental strain on everyone. And naturally some are struggling more than others. We took another look at some more mental health workouts.
What has undoubtedly kept me going is thinking ahead. Thinking about making up for lost time. Considering the money i have saved over the past year and needed to. Planning that first holiday when we return to normality, whenever that may be. Remember that this will end soon. Vaccines are being injected at a rapid rate every single day. You will be able to go to gigs, restaurants, pubs and travel abroad. Use the time whilst you cannot to plan for when you can. It can really boost your mood to think about what you want to do when it is easier to do so.
I’ve said it before, and i will say it again. Sleep is as important to your health as your diet is. And that refers to physical AND mental health. So get as much as you can – at least up to a point. If you want to sleep all the time, that is not a good sign. But a regular 7-8 hours of sleep will do wonders for you. There is a strong argument that such sleep can be split into two cycles across any 24 hour period. Some studies say that the human body is set up for two different sleep cycles in a day. Mediterranean climates do not just have an afternoon nap because it is hot. It seems to be good for them. Reduced sleep increases your chances of succumbing to a host of deadly diseases, from heart disease to cancer.
Arise at the same time each day. Dress as if leaving the house, even if you aren’t. Have a set routine for your day, always. Use calendars and computer alerts if that helps you. Some tasks are easier at certain times of the day. I am far more prolific work-wise early. So i get as much work done as possible in the morning. Then i try and beat the afternoon lull by perhaps getting some exercise. Even if it is just a walk round the block. A predictable routine is not for everyone, but can help others in a world full of uncertainty.
Easier said than done, but consider ways to do this. If stressed whilst working, walk away and take a break. Get some fresh air and exercise. Come back more refreshed. And consider the use of apps, videos and the like. If you have never tried such things before, take a look at yoga, meditation apps and more. A simple hand exercise every day can make a difference. And from experience a head massage certainly helps!
A great idea that i saw someone talk about passionately about online last week. Think about how you act around others, and especially with anyone you communicate with online. It is so much easier to be irate or rude online, behind anonymity of sorts. Treat others with kindness and others too. Be the bigger person in disagreements. You may amaze yourself how much better this makes you feel generally over time. Remember, you never know what another person is going through.
We all have different levels of mobility, so can only do what our circumstances allow. But there is no doubt that physical exercise is amazingly good for mental health. Aerobic exercise reduces fatigue and tension, and improves alertness, concentration, sleep, mood, and self-esteem. It also reduces the body’s stress response, lowers cortisol levels and blood pressure, whilst boosting moods.
We all know bad things are going on in the world. Do we really need to know every instance of what is happening though? What good does it do you? Walk away, read a good book, watch a comedy show, and shut out the outside world occasionally. you will feel so much better for it.