I’ve spoken about physical wellbeing recently, giving you some of my own personal tips, (you can catch up with that here). This week I want to focus on another aspect that’s equally important – our mental wellbeing.
The first thing I would like to say is that in this specific moment, with the lockdown as well as the current worldwide protests, it seems like everything is in chaos. It has been extremely challenging and I think many people have been affected psychologically.
I’m so grateful for technology which while we cannot be together with our loved ones, makes it so much easier to not feel lonely and isolated. it’s a huge contribution to everyone’s mental wellbeing.
Wellbeing is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.” The following are things that help me keep my mental wellbeing in balance.
What can we do to enhance our mental wellbeing?
Going for a walk in nature for at least 20 minutes is something that I do daily. I go early in the morning with my dog, Ziggy because the world isn’t fully awake and it’s very peaceful; which helps me calmly look at the day ahead.
We don’t realise it, but most of us take frequent shallow breaths instead of calming deep breaths. Whilst this is not intentional, it tends to keep you on edge. When I realise I’m doing this, I consciously shift back to deep breathing again and immediately feel calmer. What I do is: I inhale through my nose for 5 seconds and exhale through my mouth for 5 seconds. I did an IGTV on breathing exercises, watch it here so that you can get an idea. Controlled and conscious breathing is one of the simplest ways of calming your mind and making you feel grounded.
Inhale with the nose 5 seconds and exhale for 5 seconds.
Even just 2-3 minutes meditation is enough to feel the benefit. You can start by downloading something like the Calm app, which I found really helpful. Our pace of life is so fast, everything’s constantly changing. Sometimes we need to step out of this race or else we risk becoming completely disconnected from everything. I find meditations helps me slow down my mind and give me an important breather from the pace of life.
There is absolutely nothing better for our brain than a good night’s sleep. It’s a fact that during menopause, it is very easy to suffer from insomnia, be it due to anxiety, night sweats, etc. We need to do our best to put sleep as a priority.
We need to remember that the blue light coming from our devices is really not helpful for sleep patterns as it keeps our brains awake. In fact, a lot of sleep problems stem from using our devices both too much and too close to bedtime. We should switch them off at least one hour before going to bed to allow our brains to settle down (much easier said than done!). Then, it is pivotal to sleep in a dark room and black out curtains are amazing for this. Read this article for more information on sleep health.
Your diet has a lot to do with mental health as well directly affecting your physical wellbeing. You need to have a balanced diet in order for your body and mind to function properly. Water is really important- I never stop stressing about it, as it keeps both your brain and body hydrated. You should aim to drink at least 2 litres a day.
We know also that gut health and flora are connected to mental health. The healthier the gut the better your health. You can help improve your gut health by taking good probiotics, kombucha etc; it all really helps. As the saying goes “mens sana in corpore sano” (A healthy mind in a healthy body). Having a healthy diet also helps with anxiety. Don’t wait until tomorrow to start the change for your mental wellbeing, start now! Click here to get more information about how to cleanse your gut and how this effects your mental health.