Taking some time each day to focus on your own wellbeing can have a huge positive impact on your mental health. Here are some suggestions to incorporate into your daily routine.

Get a good night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep is vital for your mental and physical health. It can improve your mood, memory and ability to cope with stress. In today’s hyper-connected world, it is more important than ever to switch off and get more than seven hours of quality sleep. Follow these 5 steps to a better night’s sleep from Smiling Mind.

Go for a morning walk. Starting your day with fresh air and movement not only has physical benefits, it also kick-starts a positive mindset. Try to incorporate a walk into your commute to work/university/school.

Get creative in the kitchen. For many of us, cooking is somewhat of a chore. The easiest way to flip the script on this is to challenge yourself in the kitchen. We all have nights where we’re tired and dinner is either a takeaway or a mixture of leftovers from the fridge. Try setting aside one night a week to create something new.

Read a book. It’s true what your primary school English teachers used to say – reading is exercise for the mind. There are books about any subject you can imagine; from biographies to sci-fi, drama and fantasy. There are even books about mental health and wellbeing. If you are short on time and always on the go, consider listening to a book instead of reading it (known as an audiobook).

Listen to podcasts. Podcasts are audio programs on demand. There are hundreds of thousands of podcasts available to download, covering a wide range of topics. Listen to podcasts to discover new interests or find a comedy podcast to laugh along with while you get creative in the kitchen. You can listen to podcasts in your own time at home, in the car or while commuting on public transport.

Improve your posture. Although we know that excessive sitting is detrimental to our health, many of us still sit throughout most of the day; at home, at work, in the car or public transport while commuting. Your lower back is crying out for a change. Try setting an alarm and get up for a walk every few hours. Consider investing in an ergonomic cushion or a stand-up desk for your workstation. Talk to your employer about the costs involved; they may be willing to help pay for the expenditure.

Related reading: Finding the work-life balance sweet spot

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