During this uncertain time, you might be finding things a little harder to handle than usual. Tensions are high and a lot of the world is stressed. That's why we have pulled together our top 5 tips for helping to beat stress, improve nutrition, improve mental health and get moving!
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Help to keep your mind at ease
Keeping in touch
Being indoors does not mean you have to close off from the outside world, and it’s important that you try and maintain contact with family, friends and colleagues – technology can help break down the barriers with the use of Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp as examples or even just a phone call.
Getting fresh air
Fresh air will help you reduce feelings of claustrophobia or being trapped. Getting outside would be best but even standing at a window would be beneficial.
Undertaking exercise can benefit your mental and physical wellbeing. It can improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress or anger and make you feel more relaxed. You can exercise within the comfort of your own home and there are many online exercise, yoga and meditation videos to follow.
Keep your mind stimulated
Boredom can be difficult for some people, try to find things that will stimulate you such as puzzles, reading or crosswords. Consider using your creative side by doing a bit of art, colouring or sewing.
Social media could help you stay in touch with people, but might also make you feel anxious including if people are sharing news stories or posting about their worries. Consider taking a break or limiting how you use social media.
Have you ever felt or said the following:
“I stress about stress before there’s even stress to stress about. Then I stress about stressing over stress that doesn’t need to be stressed about. It’s stressful”
5 steps to stress busting:
- Adopt a positive mind set – it is easy to slip into negative thinking when you are stressed and wound up. “People don’t always appreciate what they have”, says Professor Copper. “Try to be glass half full instead of glass half empty. Try writing down 3 things that went well, or which you’re grateful for, at the end of every day.
- Practice Deep breathing – Breathing techniques are an excellent way to calm the body and release nervous tension. Learn some easy breathing techniques that can use throughout the day to help you de-stress.
- Make time for you – at the moment this may seem like a difficult task but try and allocate a night a week to undertake activities you enjoy like reading or just some time to relax in a bath.
- Be forgiving especially to yourself – when you make a mistake or don’t achieve something you hoped for. Try to remember that nobody’s perfect, and putting extra pressure on yourself doesn’t help.
- Accept the things you cannot change – Changing a difficult situation is not always possible. If this proves to be the case, recognise and accept things are as they are and concentrate on what you can.
Exercise is not only great for your physical health, but also for your mental health. Undertaking exercise causes chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood. You might be thinking ‘where do I start, I can’t go to the gym!’ You don’t need to go to a gym as you can exercise in the comfort of your own home and you can get your whole family involved. Know you limitations and ease yourself into exercise.
- Workouts - The NHS have 6 10 minute workouts (including a pre-exercise warm up) that are equipment free, great to do at home and short enough for you to easily fit them into your daily schedule. Find out more
- Dancing - Get those dancing shoes out, turn up the music and dance around your living room, the kitchen or in the garden; get your family and kids involved try and do this for about 10-20 minutes.
- Yoga – The main components of yoga are postures (a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility) and breathing. There are many beginners videos available on line (via YouTube).
- Skipping – dust off the kids skipping rope or if you can, purchase one – skipping is great for your overall fitness exercise, and one minute of skipping a day gives you all the health benefits of increasing both your fitness and coordination. The BBC have a skipping challenge.
- HIIT (High-intensity interval training) – this is a burst of intense exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods. There are many beginners videos available on line (via YouTube), and all your family can get involved.
Exercise not only changes your body, it changes your mind, your attitude and your mood!
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best. This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Learn to eat well and get some tips with: