Happy New Year!!
So Christmas has come and gone and a new year brings the hopes of your dream life: fulfilled days, beautiful body and peaceful mind. In this 3 part series, I’ll give you some advice on how you can achieve your aspirations. Without focusing on resolutions, these posts will give you information that you can easily implement in your own life to become a happier and healthier you in 2017!
First things first, let’s look after that precious mind of yours. Healthy mind = healthy body after all! We often focus on physical health, and while this is important, it is equally as important to look after your mental health too. Here are 3 of my favourite things you can do to make sure you don’t neglect your mind and feelings.
1. Be mindful
Mindfulness is a term thrown around a lot these days, but what does it truly mean to be mindful? The dictionary describes it as:
“a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
In other words, connecting with yourself. Taking as little as just 5 minutes out of your day to focus on your breathing, acknowledge your thoughts and feelings and switch off from the outside world can make such a difference to your overall health. I plan on doing a more in depth post on mindfulness and meditation but to start with take a look at this website for some fantastic information.
2. Eat well, exercise for joy and accept yourself for being you
Eating well and drinking plenty of water will keep you energised for the whole day and consequently you will feel more joyful and alive than when your nutrition is poor. As well as physical benefits, many people forget that exercise has fantastic mental benefits as it releases endorphins which improve your mood. This doesn’t have to be intense: simply going for a walk in the fresh air will have you feeling happier, refreshed and positive in no time. Try to switch off from technology and social media as you are doing this too, to give your mind chance to wander, imagine, or simply switch off. Finally, accept and love yourself as you are right now, so that you disconnect food and exercise with something that will change who you are. When you truly love yourself, you will eventually stop exercising for punishment and you will eat what you need when you are hungry rather than what you feel you should be eating in order to reach ‘perfection’.
3. Surround yourself with people who support you
Ok, so there are certain situations where you can’t avoid being around someone you dislike, but there are also many opportunities you can take to keep positive people close and create distance between yourself and negative people. Start with social media, unfollow those who don’t make you feel good. It doesn’t mean you don’t like them as a person, but if you are constantly comparing yourself and feeling negative when you see their posts, it’s not healthy for your mental wellbeing. Same goes for friends on Facebook who constantly post their daily gripes – hallelujah for the ‘unfollow’ feature! Take a look at your friendship circle and try to spend more time with those who make you laugh and encourage you, and less time with people who don’t make you feel so good. Join a club so that you meet people with the same interests and hobbies as you and experience the joy of connecting with like minded people!
I hope you find these 3 tips helpful when it comes to looking after your mental wellbeing. There is so much more I could talk about! Please stay tuned for parts two and three where we’ll look at the body and the soul.