Staying motivated, positive and healthy in these uncertain times, can be challenging. Yet, there has never been a more important time to look after ourselves. Boost your mood and wellbeing with My health for life’s top tips.
There is a stack of research extolling the benefits of singing. It boosts self-confidence, enables you to tune out (no pun intended) from other distractions and, when people sing, endorphins and the natural hormone oxytocin are released into the brain which helps lower anxiety. It is a natural antidepressant.
Several minutes of sunshine most days of the week is good for your health but don’t forget sun protection. A balcony or backyard is perfectly suitable, even better if you are surrounded by greenery or lots of plants as connecting with nature can induce calm and happiness. In Japan, Shinrin-yoku is the recognised practice of connecting with nature to improve mental wellbeing.
People often under estimate the power of good sleep. Aim for seven to nine hours a day. Sleep is important for almost every aspect of our health. It also aids memory, learning, productivity and generally makes us feel good. Poor and insufficient sleep is a risk factor for developing some serious health conditions.
Do something creative – art, music, craft or just about anything. The emphasis is on enjoyment and not perfection. Not only is it a mood booster, it helps us to problem solve and think differently.
Physical activity produces feel-good endorphins and improves blood pressure and blood glucose levels. It also helps to maintain healthy bones. Visit Exercise and Sports Science Australia for clips and advice on exercising at home or active ageing. Alternatively, think about something like dancing. With a bit of effort, you’ll be strengthening your lungs and having fun.
You can find good breathing exercises and techniques on YouTube and in your app store, such as Headspace, CALM and Stop, Breathe and Think. Breathing properly helps boost immunity and lowers blood pressure and stress.
Give social media a rest, even for a day. Tell friends you want a break from COVID to focus on something positive.
Home cooked meals are often cheaper and better for you than pre-packaged meals or fast food. Make the most of seasonal produce by making healthy soups and stews in bulk and freeze. Remember frozen vegetables are also a cheap and healthy alternative. Visit the Healthier. Happier. website for inspiration.
Dust off that 1000-piece jigsaw or order one online, start a journal, take up meditation, or grow your own tomatoes. Whatever it is, find a new hobby or project to while away the COVID months. There’s a lot of satisfaction in achieving something new.
This is the perfect time to prioritise your health and make changes. Where to start? Think about doing a free healthy lifestyle program like My health for life and have the support of an experienced health coach to help you achieve your goals. Do the online health check to see if it's right for you, or check out Health & Wellbeing Queensland for information on other available programs.