We all know how important it is to take care of our bodies — but what is often overlooked is the importance of taking care of our minds as well.
With many places in the world getting colder and darker this time of year, many of us are often left feeling more down than usual. Throw a pandemic into the mix and things only get trickier!
Today, a certified Health Coach and an expert in holistic nutrition Emily Aitken is joining us to share her top 5 healthy habits for body and mind you can easily implement in your daily routine.
🌞 Get outside first thing in the morning
Fresh air and movement is so underrated! Even just a 5-minute walk outside can transform your day in radical ways.
We live in such a fast-paced world, and if Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that sometimes it’s okay to slow down and take some time for ourselves.
I always like to set my alarm for the same time every morning, and treat my morning walk like my daily commute I used to go on in the pre-Covid days. Rain or shine, I love to get up every morning and walk around my neighbourhood.
Whether it’s 5 minutes or 20 minutes, I always come back home with so much more more energy and motivation for the rest of the day. There’s something about fresh air, sunshine and a cool breeze that will do wonders for both your energy and your mental well-being!
📝 Journal it out
Writing can be so incredibly therapeutic.
Even if you’re not a writer, simply just making a daily list can help create perspective and set your intentions for the day. There is no right or wrong way to do this either — as long as you have a way to express yourself in some way outside of your mind, it will do wonders for your mental health.
Something I personally love to do is to journal before bed. Often to-do lists can leave us feeling overwhelmed or disappointed in ourselves — so what I love to do instead is to write the things I did accomplish at the end of every day.
That way, I can visualize all the great things I’m doing, instead of focusing on the things I didn’t accomplish. By acknowledging the progress I have made and celebrating every small victory, I’m able to stay more motivated for the future.
👋 Take time to connect
Socializing and connecting to our loved ones is so crucial to our mental well-being. So take time to call up an old friend, schedule a zoom call, or even just text someone to say hey!
Something I love to do with my friends every week, is a virtual happy hour. Even though we may not be able to gather at our favourite bar at the moment, doesn’t mean we still can’t decompress from the week with those closest to us!
If we can embrace the change that the last year has brought us, it will not only help us stay more positive for the future, but will also help get us through today. Laughter and human connection is just as much a form of medicine as anything else.
🍲 Cook a homemade meal
The foods we eat have such a powerful impact on how we feel.
Feeling anxious? Have a big bowl of warm oats for breakfast — since oats are slow-burning carbohydrates, they have been shown to have a strong impact on our serotonin levels. Oats also contain tryptophan, which is an amino acid found to also reduce anxiety.
Feeling depressed? Try getting some more Omega-3 fats into your diet, such as oily fish, avocado, or walnuts. These kinds of fats are crucial for brain health and also help keep serotonin levels stable.
One of my favourite breakfasts to eat in the morning is home made cinnamon banana oatmeal. All you have to do is cook 1/2 cup of rolled oats in 1 cup of water, with a mashed banana and a teaspoon of cinnamon! This simple combination of flavours tastes delicious and will leave you feeling more level headed for the day ahead.
🧘🏻♀️ Move your body
Sweat it out in any way you can!
Moving your body doesn’t mean you have to do an intense workout — it can simply mean going for a walk, doing some yoga or stretching, or doing a low impact workout. Whether it’s for 10 minutes or an hour — getting your heart heart up can help your mental health in powerful ways.
Not sure where to start with exercise? Experiment with different things! Finding some kind of activity that you actually enjoy will make sticking to your exercise routine so much easier.
Finding an accountability buddy is a great way to stick to your goals as well, so ask a friend or family member if they’d like to get fit with you! Having that support will help you both stick to your goals, and allow you to transform your lives together.