I don't know about you but the last two years have put our physical and mental wellbeing to the test. If the separation from our loved ones for almost two years wasn’t enough, there is the added stress of the energy cost crisis or observing the distressing battle being fought in Ukraine as well as the current state of the NHS for those we clapped so hard for!. Not to mention that in a crisis, it's easy to get overwhelmed with information.
So how do you take back control during these turbulent and uncertain times?
Today's 24/7 news and social media output can drain your energy and keep you in chronic stress mode without you even realising it; I know i've certainly felt that rising tide of anxiety. Often, what makes us feel out of sorts is our constant attempt to control things that are beyond our reach. This overload is both exhausting and stressful and the emotional turmoil can be overwhelming. We cannot stress how important it is for your wellbeing & productivity to switch off and unplug from the constant cycle of doom & gloom that media outlets are so happy to broadcast freely and without concern.
So how do we combat this never ending cycle?
Our recommendation; take the time to slow down and be present in the moment, instead of thinking and worrying about what happened in the past or might happen in the future. Take a walk, read a book or write a journal, to separate your mind from the immense flood of negative information.
Make time for you in the morning and in the evening. How you spend those few minutes at the beginning or at the end of the day can set the tone for the entire day or night. By practicing simple rituals such as waking up and going to bed at the same time every day whilst avoiding electronics at least one hour before bed you can positively impact your resilience, mental and physical wellbeing. Spending 15 minutes on a short walk, reading a book or meditating early in the morning and before bed can positively affect our stress & anxiety levels and whilst you might not be able to rid your personal stress, you can bring it down to a level that both your mind & body can handle! Growing research shows that a short mindfulness meditation can reduce the need for painkillers by improving pain tolerance ; Pain being perceived by the body as a source of stress according to a Leeds Beckett University research!
Maintain a positive attitude. Creating a habit of gratitude by reflecting on all the positive things in your life can bring about many positive changes both mentally and physically, after all our mission is to help you take back control of your wellbeing; that all starts with your thoughts & intentions. We often take things for granted and forget that not everyone has what we have and whilst we're all on our own journey of self-discovery and wellbeing it's important to stop and reflect, take time in acknowledging how far you've come whether thats physically, mentally, your career , your relationships... We all get caught up in the wanting more for ourselves without reflecting on how far we've truly come! Periodically doing this and celebrating milestones big or small will bring happiness and joy to your everyday efforts whilst helping you to become more intentional with your daily life.
Complimenting people as a random act of kindness can have such a profound effect, both for you and the person to whom you give the compliment, this can cause a ripple effect that allows the positive energy back to you; try it out and challenge yourself to give out 1 complement to someone once a day for a week and start to see the change that you can create!
The fundamentals of wellness stem from exercise and nutrition. The relationship between our diet and our mental health is complex. However, research shows a strong link between what we eat and how we feel. You don’t have to make big changes to your diet, but see if you can try some of these simple tips:
> Eat regularly and stay hydrated
> Find replacements, such as dried fruit and granola bars, for snacks that are high in sugar and fat.
> Avoid consuming fast food or simply reducing your weekly intake.
> Take micro breaks. If possible, stand up every hour for 5-10 minutes and walk around.
> Begin preventative health care by visiting your doctor annually for a checkup (you’d be surprised how many people don’t do the simplest of things to prevent long term diseases… The Dentist anyone…?)
As Amit Oberoi, neurotherapist and founder of The Resilience Factor said, “Life sometimes throws us some detours and this is perfectly normal. We all suffer setbacks in life, we have a choice to allow setbacks to stop us or learn from them and take back control over our lives. Take a few easy steps to be more happy, or as we say yppah”:
> Take one day at a time
> Don’t beat yourself up
> Practice gratitude and congratulate yourself for coming this far in life
> Don’t be afraid to ask for help
> Have realistic expectations and celebrate each achievement
> Respect and take care of your body and soul
> Check in daily with the yppah tool and see which areas of your life require special attention.
And as research on mental health has demonstrated; stress can be a major player when it comes to impacting our memory & ability to focus, our physical wellbeing as well as our ability to detect and avoid risks such as those we frequently take online whether that's through fake profiles, financial scams or clicking on bad emails with dodgy links. Partnering with Avast’s we’ve sought to help make your digital life a safer place; by downloading Avast One, you’ll get access to your personal online guardian, helping to safeguard your privacy, speed up your devices, connect securely and avoid scams!
In life, you always have choices. What happens next is up to you. Taking back control of your health and wellbeing through self discipline, engaging in simple daily habits and practicing gratitude is a great place to start!
Want to see what areas of your life might need some more attention? Simply take the Yppah wellbeing test to find out more!