As the sky gets darker and everything starts to feel a little bit gloomy, things can start to weigh on your shoulders and it might be more difficult for you to stay positive about things. Just as it's important to keep your body in good physical health, it's also very important to keep your mind in good health.
Mental Health is just as important as physical health and therefore, we have compiled some simple suggestions on how to wind down when everything starts to get a little overwhelming. It's essential to step away from "it all" every once and a while and reflect inward, if even to just relieve some of your stress.
I can be difficult to be the best 'YOU' when you're under a lot of stress so here's three ideas to help you keep your mind as healthy as your body:
1. Take a walk
Sometimes all you need is a change of atmosphere to really put things in perspective. Letting yourself wander for even ten minutes a day can really put your mind at peace. Even if it's pouring rain and the sky is grey, the fresh air a walk brings will always make a difference to an overcrowded and stressed brain.
Sometimes, even planning to take a walk with no particular destination is even better, allowing your subconscious to lead you where it will. If you really 'lean in' to the abandonment of control, you might just return from your stroll with a level head and a even possibly a fresh perspective.
You don't have to be a yogi to tap into a meditative state. Thanks to apps and even Youtube instructional videos, you can learn to meditate from the comfort of your home. The important part is to really 'connect to the present' and clear your mind of anything that might attributing to your stress or bad mood. Once you remove these negative or overbearing thoughts and focus on your breath, it's amazing how much steadier you'll feel when you open your eyes again.
Even if it's only for a few minutes at a time, it's incredible how beneficial meditation is for your mental and even, physical health. Once you surrender control to the absence of thought, your mind will wander and heal as it pleases. If you can 'step away mentally' for only a few moments a day, that's still an amazing gift to yourself.
One of the way my yoga instructors readies us for meditation is with this phrase:
"Leave the last five minutes behind you and the next five minutes ahead of you."
It's her way of encouraging us to really connect to the current moment. The present is all that you can control and meditation is the perfect way to remind yourself of that.
Meditation can be daunting at first so start small. Allow yourself five or ten minutes a day within your busy schedule to meditate or at the very least, let go of past or future thoughts. Some people even like to meditate as they're falling asleep so if that's the way you can fit it in, try that method out.
You know those little things that you carry around EVERYWHERE with you and ding way too often? This third suggestion may seem to be a bit on the nose but it's amazing how stepping away from every and all forms of technology for even just a little while every day can help you feel more grounded.
Sleep Tip: Another great way to ensure your at an optimal mental capacity is to make sure you're sleeping as much as you should be. The general rule is to put away any and all electronics away at least twenty minutes before you plan to fall asleep.
Most people revolve around their little devices, whether it's because of work or their social life, phones and computers are an immense contributor to stress, especially mental. If there's a way that you can 'step away' from your technology, even if it's only once or twice a day, you'll notice the difference. You can do this by distracting yourself with exercise or even by attempting the two suggestions above: taking a walk or meditation (neither of which necessarily require you have your electronics with you).
The act of "unplugging" really provides you the opportunity to focus on the present and allows you to be truly introspective. It gives you the room to really reflect on where you are and what you want by removing the distraction of electronic stimuli which can cloud our judgment and thoughts, leading to stress.
If you have any 'healthy thought' suggestions or want to share your experience with ours, send them our way by tweeting @RCPhysio and make sure to use the hashtag #keepmoving.