Being in lockdown can be hazardous to your mental health. Are you feeling alone, unwell, unmotivated, uninspired and exhausted? Well, if so, you need to take better care of yourself.
It is important to take care of yourself whether you are in isolation during a pandemic or not. Soon life will become more normal with businesses starting to open again.
Looking after your mind, body and soul daily is a key to good physical and mental health. Discovering how to eat well, regular exercise and taking time out all reduce stress. This helps you build resilience and stay healthy overall.
Why you may neglect yourself
Looking after yourself is not always easy. Too many things can get in the way. You may have a crazy daily schedule and a stressful career and a family relying on you. Maybe you are too consumed by technology and social media to take time out to relax. Usually taking time out from connecting with the world is the last thing on your agenda if it is on it at all.
Do you feel guilty taking time out for yourself? If you do, you need to put that guilt aside. Make looking after yourself a priority. After all if you are unwell, you cannot help others.
Taking care of yourself
There are many things you can do to take care of yourself physically and mentally. When you do, you set yourself up to succeed. There is no one particular method to care for yourself. There are lots of things you can do. Do what works for you and what you enjoy.
Learn some strategies to integrate into a regular routine to boost your wellbeing for the rest of your life.
Here are some ideas to help you make looking after yourself a part of your routine.
Make healthy food choices
The food you eat has a profound impact on your health and wellbeing. What you eat impacts the bacteria living in your stomach. Eating a lot of highly processed foods has a negative impact on your health. They can constantly upset your stomach which can lead to you feeling unhappy.
Eating the wrong foods causes weight gain and inflammation throughout your body. It also causes short-term memory loss. This negatively effects your brain and the rest of your body over the long term. Some of the best foods that look after your brain include blueberries, nuts, fatty fish, brassicas such as broccoli and leafy green vegetables.
Making healthy food choices is always important during stressful times. There is nothing more nutritious and delicious than cooking a healthy homemade meal. Search the internet for an appetising recipe. Where it is difficult to get some ingredients, keep it simple. Or substitute other ingredients for the ones you do not have.
Make sleep a habit
Too often the thoughts running through your head can keep you awake or disrupt your sleep. How much sleep you have each night profoundly affects how you feel physically and emotionally. Not getting enough sleep on a regular basis can cause health issues. And when you feel stressed and go to bed feeling that way, it can wreak havoc and disturb your sleep.
Create a good routine before going to bed each night. Cut out alcohol, caffeine and sugar several hours before going to bed. These will keep you awake.
Take the time to relax after work. It is impossible to get a good night’s sleep when you feel stressed. Think of things to do that can help you reduce stress levels when you finish work for the day.
Make sure your bedroom is relaxing with minimal distractions. Leave your mobile phone and laptop in another room. Also remove the television if you have one in your bedroom. And make sure the curtains darken the room so you do not wake up too early when the sun rises.
Pets help you look after yourself
Pets are awesome and can boost how you feel about yourself in a positive way. They can help you look after yourself as they need you to look after them. A pet gives you unconditional love and companionship. A dog can reduce anxious feelings and stress levels which can lower your blood pressure.
It is well-known that pet therapy helps people’s mental health issues and that it is why pet therapy dogs are popular. But you do not need a pet therapy dog to help you feel good about yourself. Your family pet is there when you need them at any time.
Integrate daily exercise into your routine
Exercise is good for all of us. Daily exercise boosts your physical and mental health. For example, have you ever felt down or anxious and gone for a walk? How did you feel when you returned? Refreshed and better able to cope with what is happening in your life?
Daily exercise makes you feel better and less anxious with a bonus side effect of losing weight. It does not matter what sort of exercise you do. Play a game of tennis, go for a walk in the park, take your dog for a walk, practice yoga, take exercise classes in your loungeroom. What is important is to integrate exercise into your regular routine. Do what works for you.
Organise your life
Organising your life helps you understand what you need to do to take care of yourself. You do not need to do it all at once. Make small changes to start with such as keeping a diary of what you need to achieve each day. Have a place to keep coats, purses, backpacks, keys and briefcases so they are readily accessible when you leave the house. That way you will not be running around looking for your keys.
Even start decluttering your environment for five or 10 minutes a day. Start with a cupboard or a drawer to clean out and work through the house. A clean, uncluttered environment can make you feel good. And helps you feel more relaxed.
Take time out daily to meditate or practice mindfulness. When you feel stress, your thoughts speed up and so does your blood pressure. Mindfulness helps you slow down and fully appreciate living in the moment. Integrating meditation into your daily life allows you to live in the ‘here and now’ without getting caught up in life’s dramas. You will worry less about what you cannot control. This is a great way to take care of your mental health.
Learn to say no
Do you find it hard to say no to others? Do you sacrifice your personal time or cram too much into your day even though you feel stressed? If this is you, it is time to learn how to say no. You are spending all your energy on other people. And, while this commendable, when do you have time to take care of yourself? If you keep going this way, you will eventually burnout.
Saying no to others to take care of yourself can be tough. But it will make you feel empowered. You may have to practice politely saying no for a while so you have time for yourself.
Take a weekend trip
Taking a weekend trip every now and then can make a big difference to how you feel. It helps you relax and disconnect from everyday pressures. This does not have to cost much. Drive to the beach to watch the sun set or go for a hike in the mountains. Visit a farmer’s market in the country or spend the night in a pub and treat yourself to dinner. The purpose is to break from your normal schedule and do something for yourself. It will rejuvenate you.
Spend time in the fresh air
Spending time outside in the fresh air is a simple way to take care of yourself. It reduces stress and is good for your mental health and helps you avoid burning out. Being outside in the fresh air tires you out so you sleep better especially if you are working the garden, swimming at the beach or simply going for a walk in the local park.
Watch a good movie or read a book
Watch a good movie. One that makes you laugh or feel good. It is a great way to chill out and take your mind off what is going on in your life. Zone out from the real world. Or reading may be more your thing. Read your favourite book or something you have always wanted to read. If there is nothing in the house, look for an ebook online.
Learn a new skill
Is there something you have always wanted to learn? For example, painting, a new language, a musical instrument, how to maintain things around the house or a sport. Search YouTube for online tutorials. There are tutorials for learning almost anything you can access for free. This gives you insight into what interests you. And you can take it to the next level with formal lessons to improve even more.
Taking care of yourself
It can be tough to find the time to care of yourself. But it is important for your mental health to plan regular time each day to look after yourself. Taking time out allows you to think clearly and grounds you. And spending relaxed time with friends helps you to feel connected.
Whether it is taking a long, hot bubble bath or going to the movies with friends, taking time out to look after yourself is important. Incorporate it into your daily routine. It can be as simple as getting up 15 minutes early to enjoy a cup of coffee before the day begins. Or take a walk in the local park to have lunch.
The more you incorporate looking after yourself into your daily routine, the more you will thrive.
We are still here to help
Living in isolation affects so many lives and causes stress of the unknown and what the future holds. Even though life is starting to go back to normal, if you are struggling, consider reaching out to us. When you are not coping, contact us to find out how we can help get your life back on track. But, if you reach crisis point, call us immediately. We are here to support you through a crisis and can help you quickly deal with things better.
We can still work with you over the phone or via Skype and our Spas are now open again. Book in today for my Emotional Empowerment Program. I have an introductory offer for just $79 so you can start taking back control of your life. We can support and help you cope with mental health challenges that are the result of COVID-19 and transitioning back into a more normal life. With our help, you can see life in a new light and soon look forward to a future filled with happiness and joy.
Let me help stop the effects of mental health issues
My Emotional Empowerment Program has helped many people like you deal with stress, anxiety and depression for more than a decade. We can help you move through and deal with stress, depression and anxiety which can be the root cause of mental health issues. I can help you replace these with happiness, peace and contentment in weeks not years so you can see a positive future. Listen to what Alicia has to say about my program after only a few sessions.