Mental health and wellbeing is so important, and here at Everybody, we value it just as much as your physical health. It’s vital to us that our members know we are dedicated to supporting them.
This years theme is Nature. The Mental Health Foundations goals for the week are to to inspire more people to connect with nature in new ways, noticing the impact that this connection can have for your mental health and they want you to experience, talk about and share nature! (Source: Mental Health Foundation)
Spending time in green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing, it can improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress or anger, help you take time out and feel more relaxed, improve your physical health and help you be more active (Source: Mind)
Exercise is a fantastic way to relieve stress! Regular exercise can boost your mood if you suffer with conditions like depression, and it’s especially useful for those suffering with mild to moderate depression. (Source: NHS)
So, why should we be more active for our mental health? Kevin Morris, our Health Referral Lead explains why below!
Healthy and poor mental health can impact how we as an individual thinks, perceives, responds, behaves as well as also influences our personality, intellect, and emotions. A brisk walk in the afternoon can boost our serotonin levels, which is a hormone from the brain that regulates moods, happiness and anxiety.
Mental health conditions like stress can take a toll on some of our bodily systems, particular our immune system and can lead to diseases. So if you’re feeling stressed out, feeling down or over whelmed, this is a sign you need to take care of yourself and prescribe yourself some exercise in your life; anything that gets you moving; dancing, walking, gardening, structured exercise like our Everybody @ Home classes we put on each day to get that extra boost of serotonin.
Exercise can be quite therapeutic too. I find this more so when I exercise on my own by going out for a walk or run. This gives me the head space to put the world to right. Many times I have received a dodgy email, made a mistake at home or work and I just step away from the environment put on my running shoes and go out for a run. During the run I have the time to think about my response, what’s happened and how I can put the misshaped puzzle pieces together to see the full picture again. When I get back, I’m more focused and have be!
Have a read of some of our top tips for relaxation and meditation from our fabulous Level 2 Reiki practitioner and Guided Meditation Teacher Jade:
Meditation can take lots of different forms for different people and can be practiced in many different ways. People who practice meditation and mindfulness say it helps to cope with stress and anxiety and generally lead a more positive and fulfilled life.
Here are 5 top tips to get you started on your meditation journey:
- Start small and work your way up – we all value our time and is often the one barrier to starting a meditation journey. Try dedicating just 5- 10 minutes a day to take time out for you and to sit quietly or listen to a guided meditation session. You will soon find you want to spend more time doing this and can work up to 30-60 minutes!
- Reduce distractions – try and choose a place to meditate that feels calming and is relatively free of distractions. Outside traffic or the odd noise from your household is normal and you will learn to welcome those and let them go
- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself – a misconception is that you have to sit for long periods of time and think of nothing, this takes a lot of practice and is unrealistic to begin with. Try just noticing your thoughts and letting them go.
- Breathing exercises – breathing exercises can be a great way to deal with stress, anxiety and also support your meditation. They can also be used at any time of day when you may be feeling under pressure to relieve tension. A quick google search will give you lots of breathing techniques to try or speak to a professional meditation practitioner for advice.
- Try something new – some forms of relaxation and meditation suit people more than others for example, mindfulness, guided meditation, breath work, sound therapy, reiki, yoga – if you are finding a particular practice isn’t working for you, it’s okay – try something new!
Adding Aromatherapy into your daily routine:
Aromatherapy oils can be a great way to creating a relaxing and calming space in your home, this can aid your meditation routine, create a positive boost to start to your day or give you the relaxation you need to have a great nights sleep! Choosing an aromatherapy oil is very much a personal preference so it is best to smell as many as you can, and really recognise how that scent makes you feel.
Here are FIVE ways in which you can use aromatherapy oils throughout your daily routine:
- Drops in your shower – the steam from the shower will radiate the oils and create a truly amazing spa feel to your bathroom!
- Oil diffuser in your home/work desk – aromatherapy can support a positive mood and therefore improve focus, creativity and productivity.
- During meditation / reiki practice – aromatherapy can enhance your meditation practice to set a calming environment for your mind, body and soul
- In your bath – similar to your shower experience, if you are easing aching muscles a few drops of oils in your bath can lift or calm your mood. (Be careful of using oils around young children in case of swallowing of the water.)
- At night before bedtime – oil diffuser / oil burner / scented pillow – just like getting into bed with fresh bedding on, the aromas can help us to fall to sleep or creating calming atmospheres whilst reading.
Here are FIVE popular aromatherapy scents to try:
- Sweet Orange
- Tea Tree
Knowing what foods we should and shouldn’t be eating can be really confusing, especially when it feels like the advice changes regularly! However, evidence suggests that as well as affecting our physical health, what we eat may also affect the way we feel. (Source: Mind)
Improving your diet may help to:
- improve your mood
- give you more energy
- help you think more clearly.
Try some of our recipe’s here!