It’s widely recognised that there are four core aspects to our wellbeing and we need to pay attention to all of them. Here are some ideas for you to consider.
- Listen to your body
- Prioritise activity
- Eat well
- Sleep well
- Pamper/nurture yourself
- Go out into nature
- Get some sunlight
Listen to your body and respond to its needs. Have you noticed that when you don’t, your body starts trying to get your attention? You might start dropping things, having minor scrapes, maybe even getting ill?
Prioritise activity as it makes our minds and our bodies feel good.
Be active regularly at the level you feel comfortable with doing things you enjoy.
Eat in a way that suits your body, maintains your health and makes you feel well.
Many of us have trouble sleeping. Pay attention to all aspects of your wellbeing and sleep is much more likely to come to you.
Have a bubble bath, manicure, pedicure, massages, light scented candles or incense – anything that gives your body a sense of being looked after, pampered, nurtured.
Spend time in nature. Human beings are biophilic which means that we normally feel restorative benefits when we are out in nature.
Get as much sunlight as possible to boost your immune system and let your body know when it should really be awake.
- Release emotions
- Connect with others
- Get creative
- Support others
- Have fun
If we don’t release our emotions, we risk undermining our mental health and we may become emotional at inopportune times. So, share your emotions, preferably with another person but if not, at least write them down.
Connect with others. Maximise the time you spend with people who make you feel good and even inspire us. Minimise the time you spend with people who have the opposite effect.
Getting creative can take our minds away from our troubles, give us a sense of purpose and achievement as well as a fresh perspective.
We are all naturally creative on some level so find a creative outlet that works for you e.g. drawing, painting, singing, playing a musical instrument, writing etc.
By finding opportunities to support others, we are often giving back so much more to ourselves. From just being kind to people you encounter in your day, to random acts of kindness or to the most heroic of gestures.
Get serious about fun! Adults have often forgotten the power of laughing and having fun and the freedom and wellbeing it gives us.
- Watch what you tell yourself
- Look for the good in life
- Be in the now
- Expand your mind
- Listen to what keeps you awake
- Rest your mind
Watch what you tell yourself. Are you your worst critic or your best friend? If you were supporting someone else, how might your dialogue with them be different?
Catch any negative self-talk and course-correct it especially if you are giving yourself a hard time. That does not mean to say you need to lose your self-discipline or realism but just combining those two things with compassion for yourself, allows you not only to support your mental wellbeing but to perform at your best.
Tap into the higher version of yourself that knows you are ‘enough’ and access reassurances like reminding yourself about when you have overcome challenges in the past.
If you look for the good in your life and appreciate it, that will dominate what you see and get back. We may hear this described as ‘seeing life through an appreciative lens’.
Often people find that journaling their ‘appreciations’ at the beginning or end of each day, can be very uplifting and helps train their minds to focus on the positive aspects of life.
Use positive reframing to assist your ability to do this. For example, frequently ask yourself ‘what’s great about this?’. Even in most apparently ‘bad situations’ there are normally opportunities to be found. It is often our initial framing of how we ‘expect’ something to go, that triggers irritation when it doesn’t happen that way. All we need to do to alleviate that irritation is to reframe again, accepting that it has gone in a different direction and thinking about how now to deal with that.
Restrict negative inputs including negative news, social media, tv programmes which are violent or disturbing. This will help you keep a positive perspective on life.
It’s natural to feel fearful of the future because it contains ‘unknowns’ but don’t let it distract you. Don’t forget to be present now. This is much more difficult than it sounds but it can bring huge rewards for mental wellbeing.
Mindfulness and meditation help us to enjoy the benefits of a quiet and still mind where we can feel safe.
Expand your mind through learning and increasing your consciousness. Mindfulness can help with the latter.
Listen to what keeps you awake at night and attend to it during the day, even if you can only take small steps to resolve it. Give yourself time off thinking about it too. Often that’s when we generate our best ideas to resolve sticky issues.
And routinely do things to rest your mind either by doing something other than work, that requires 100% of your attention like a sport, a book, a film, a game. If you’re at work and want to rest your mind, have regular ‘brain breaks’ where you just step away from your work and let your mind wander and rest. Another technique is to sit and just stare into space, soften your focus so things go ‘out of focus’ and just let your mind be still. Remember to breathe and just appreciate the feeling of ‘nothingness’.
Maintain a connection or reconnect to your spirit, soul, God, the Universe – whatever your belief system is. This might be achieved through things such as prayer, yoga, mindfulness, music, reading poetry or simply following a passion which just makes your heart swell and makes you feel congruent with the universe.
Being in connection with our spirit can support us through the most challenging of times.