Looking after our Mental Health

This lockdown has been hard, what we’re seeing is that even people who are normally upbeat, are feeling the effects more intensively and as much as we try to remain positive how long can we stay upbeat for? I use gratitude to bring me back to my usual positive, resilient place but I’ll be honest I have had some bad days – one where I didn’t get out of bed ALL day! JC who has handled lockdowns really well has found this one tough and he had a morning he stayed late in bed, this is someone whose alarm goes off at 5am most mornings and he literally bounds out on the first ring of his alarm.  This is something that struck me, in light of our #ALTAkindness month…We need to be kind to ourselves, be kind to our mental health, acknowledge it and when you feel low or just in a slump and maybe, some of these things will help you if you feel this same.

  1. Be grateful – this is my Number 1 go to! Sometimes I write it down mostly not, I say it in my head, to JC, my family and frankly anyone who might listen! Sometimes it is hard to come up with one thing, let alone more but I only have to look around me to give me inspiration, for example as I write this, the sun is on my back, I’m in my garden with some horse poop rejuvenating my plants which was delivered by a lovely client, what more could I want right this second!
  2. Food – what we consume – eat healthy – is it good for me or bad for me? If you ask this question to yourself and you say ‘yes to good’ then you’re doing the right thing by your body – did you know that gut-brain axis is linked to mental health – this is a whole other topic for another day. Eat well, eat healthy, keep hydrated and stay away from as much processed foods and take away as you can.
  3. Move every day – every day we need to move, some light and easy, some a work out, lift heavy stuff, work up a heart rate, sweat a little, get online (yes we are doing zoom!) or walk with a friend.
  4. Get out in nature and the sunshine – We need Vitamin D and spring is here! It can be as simple as sitting on your deck, lying on the grass at home or in a park, get your hands in the dirt. Did you know that exposure to some soilborne bacteria (mycobacterium vaccae) can reduce stress responses and anxiety levels as well as affect immune status? I’ve just been weeding my veggie patch!
  5. Turn commercial television off – often! Look to something more positive, doom and gloom is only a small space for me as I’d rather look for something to resolve and work on so the future is brighter.
  6. Have regular check-ups with your chosen health professional – I keep up with regular blood checks and my doctor will always ask about my mental health. I also regularly see a Chiropractor and JC will see Osteo/Physio/Remedial Massage therapists to ensure our bodies are well maintained.
  7. Lastly, yes be kind to others – this is so rewarding, every day I am thinking and acting on doing something kind, whether that be simply a smile or nice words, this is worth every bit of effort I put in.