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Simple steps to nurture your mental health

Taking care of your mental health is a continuous work in progress which means every day is an opportunity to improve and maintain your emotional health. It’s always important however, now more than ever we need to make room to prioritize it in our daily routine, as we continue to navigate our lives through this uncertain time.

Even one small step sets you in the right direction, start by introducing the below into your daily routine.

Exercise - We all know how good exercise is for you, however, it’s more than just for the physical benefits, it’s an effective antidote to stress, anxiety and depression. Our bodies release stress-relieving and mood-boosting endorphins before and after we work out which is what makes exercise so powerful. You don’t need to run a half marathon every morning before breakfast, look for small ways to add activity and movement to your day like walking around the block or following a workout video on youtube. 

Vitamin D - Sunlight assists our bodies to produce Vitamin D, which in turn increases our levels of serotonin (the chemical commonly referred to as the happy chemical) in the brain. Try and get outdoors for 20-30 minutes a day to soak up as much sun as you can, take a moment to appreciate the outdoors, and breathe in the fresh it’s a great stress reliever.

Get a good nights sleep - The effect of not enough sleep has a momentous effect on your mental health and mood. Be mindful and make a conscious effort to go to bed at a regular time each day. Avoid using your phone/screen for at least an hour before you want to go to sleep and stick to drinks with no caffeine or sugar like water or camomile tea towards the end of the day.  By adopting good sleep habits you will awake each day feeling prepared to conquer anything that comes your way. 

Take a break - There may be moments throughout the day when you feel overwhelmed and things become too much. If you find yourself in this situation it’s okay to take a step away and have a break until you start to feel relief and better. Breathing exercises like the ones offered in the Calm app can really assist in situations like these and help you to find grounding.

Practise positivity and gratitude - Take a moment to think about the good things in life, even the small things like having your favourite coffee from your local barista or a wave from your neighbour. Writing these down is a great idea, as it’s a good reminder on days where you don’t feel 100%. Take the time to find something each day you are grateful for and savour that feeling, this gives you some perspective, improves your wellbeing, mental health and overall happiness

Making these small changes will pay off in all aspects of your life. It will boost your mood, build resilience and add overall happiness to your life. Don’t wait until you’re at breaking point to make your mental health a priority, it’s always easier to create new habits when you are in a good mindset. Pick at least one of the above points and START TODAY!