Taking some time each day to focus on your own wellbeing can have a huge positive impact on your mental health. They might seem like little things, but they really do add up. Here are some suggestions to incorporate into your daily routine.
Go for a morning walk. If it means getting only up five minutes earlier and walking around the block, it’s still worth it. 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.
Read because you want to. Not because you have to. Pull out that book you were given for your birthday two years ago that is still sitting on the shelf and give it a go. It’s true what your primary school English teachers used to say – reading really is exercise for the mind. Few things are better than being engrossed in a good book and losing all track of time. So make time for reading.
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. But try and make the effort one night a week to create something new. Put some music on to get you inspired while you do it. Taste have an awesome range of easy recipes..
Address your posture. Even though we know excessive sitting has detrimental effects on our health, so many of us still do it. At home. At work. On the commute in between. Your lower back is crying out for a change. If you have a desk job, try and get up for a walk every 30 minutes. If it means investing in a back-support cushion or a stand-up desk, it’s worth it. Talk to your employer – after all, it might be something they are happy to cover financially. Substituting sitting time for standing or walking time might seem annoying – but your body will thank you for it.
Listen to podcasts. Podcasts, for those who are new to them, are basically audio programs on demand. That is, you can choose what you listen to and when you listen to it. And they are taking the world by storm. There are over 700,000 podcasts (and nearly 30 million episodes!) out there about all manner of topics and subjects. Listen to podcasts on subjects you are passionate about, or want to know more about, or simply ones that make you laugh. You’ll soon see what all the fuss is about.
Box breathing. There are no shortage of great breathing exercises and guided meditation apps out there. One simple exercise that you can do anytime, anywhere is a technique known as box breathing. It’s called 'box breathing' because it consists of four counts of four. Picture a square with each side representing a different count to four. Start with a slow inhale to the count of four, hold for the count of four, exhale for four, hold for four…and repeat.
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