Following on from my Self Care Tips for Winter – Part #1, here are another 3 examples of how to take care of yourself this winter. These all set the foundations for creating that equilibrium in your body and mind that help you achieve that maximum feeling of well-being. Take the time to really tune into and nourish your body and listen to what it’s telling you – follow it from there.
Having a balanced nutrient dense diet is definitely the building blocks to physical and mental well-being. Make sure you’re getting your 5 a day in of fruit and veg and a balance between your carbohydrates, protein and fats. Getting in all your vitamins and minerals is essential as it helps your body to function properly and repair itself. Yes have that well deserved treat that you fancy but try and balance it out with something that is going to nourish your body as well.
Getting your zzz Z in is extremely important for your physical and mental health. It helps with everyday functioning, cognition and even your co-ordination. Statistics show that as many as 16 million UK adults are having sleepless nights and nearly a third (31%) saying they suffer from insomnia. Make sure you maintain a health body clock and try and get your 7-8 hours sleep in as this has been shown to be the optimum time frame. You can do this by keeping good sleep hygiene practices such as having set bedtimes and times you wake up in the morning; don’t use any devices that give off blue light 1-2 hours before bedtime such as laptops and also have a night-time routine that will help you unwind for the night. I know this can be more difficult for shift workers and parents of young children but just try your best to get into as much of a routine as possible. The rest will do you good – I promise!
Get those feel good hormones pumping around your body by getting your heart rate up each day with a little bit of exercise. Exercise releases feel good hormones such as endorphines and also boosts your serotonin levels that help elevate your mood and give you a more positive sense of wellbeing. Not only is exercise great for the mind it’s also great for many systems of the body including the cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal system. You don’t need to do HIIT or running sessions to reap the benefits of exercise, consider taking up yoga, pilates or walking. These are especially good if you have any health, muscle or joint issues. However, always consult your doctor befor taking part in any form of exercise if you have any health conditions. The NHS gives the following advice in regards to exercise:
- aim to be physically active every day. Any activity is better than none, and more is better still
- do strengthening activities that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) on at least 2 days a week
- do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week
- reduce time spent sitting or lying down and break up long periods of not moving with some activity.
Keep these three basic human needs in balance and you’ll be set for a life of positive mental and physical wellbeing. Maybe keep a track on how you are doing with these in a journal to see what’s working and what’s not and then you can make adjustments if needed.
I hope you find what works for you!