As we continue to live through what can certainly be described as challenging times, looking after your wellbeing and mental health has rightly become a topic of focus and discussion.
It’s safe to say that most of us have struggled at some point during the roller-coaster ride that the last 12 months have been. But on a positive note, this has led to more people actively looking for ways to look after their health and wellbeing.
There are lots of small things we can do everyday to look after ourselves and our mental health. Each act of self-care, big or small, has the potential to turn our mood and even our day around. And when we are doing these little things often, the snowball effect kicks in, and we can start to feel good more often.
Of course, if you are battling mental health concerns, the best course of action is to seek the help of your GP or another health practitioner to receive individual advice and help. The suggestions in this article can still be a useful supplement for you, but not a replacement for professional treatment.
So, if you are looking for a few everyday habits that encourage a positive mindset, read on!
Spend time outside in nature
There’s something about being in nature that seems to calm the soul – so make an effort to get amongst it as often as possible. The best part is, you don’t need to go off on a day-long trek through the bush to feel the effects – even sitting on a bench under a tree for a few minutes can give you a boost. Wherever possible, take the time to stop and pause in nature. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels!
Connect with others daily
One of the most difficult aspects of living through the pandemic has been the separation – and at times isolation – from others. It has highlighted just how much connecting with our friends, family and people in general means to our happiness and wellbeing. Whatever your circumstances, make an effort to interact and connect with others on a daily basis. Whether it’s catching up for a coffee with friends, talking to family on the phone, or chatting to the shopkeeper when you buy the daily paper, connecting with others is important for your wellbeing.
Be mindful and take notice
You’ve likely heard people talk about mindfulness, often in relation to meditation. But the truth is, you don’t need to meditate to experience mindfulness – it is available to us all at any moment. In essence, mindfulness is nothing more than being present and taking notice of what is happening now. Not worrying about what happened earlier or planning for the future, just being where you are. This may not seem overly significant in itself, but you will be surprised at how little time we actually spend in the present moment – and how wonderful it is when you find yourself there.
Exercise regularly at your own pace
No list that talks about enhancing your wellbeing would be complete without exercise! We all know the benefits of exercising for both physical and mental health, but if you’re like many out there who groan at the thought of it, stay with us. You don’t need to frequent the gym or do weekly classes to gain benefits – although if you enjoy those activities or want to give them a go, you will feel great. But if not, take small steps to get more movement in your day. This could be a walk around the lake or to your local shop, finding some stretches you enjoy and can do at home each day, or walking the golf course next time you have around. If you have injuries or other health concerns, be sure to check with your GP before trying anything new.
Start small today – it all adds up
Whether you try some of the suggestions above or some of your own ideas, be sure to give yourself some self-care each day. And don’t for a minute, think of it as being selfish or self-absorbed – it’s quite the opposite. When you feel good, and in a positive place, you will naturally be nicer to be around. And your positivity will rub off on those around you, which can only be a good thing.
If you or someone close to you is experiencing depression, anxiety or any other mental health concerns, the following organisations offer 24/7 counselling services, so please reach out for support: