You might consider yourself a healthy individual, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to improve your health and nourish your body and mind
Get your body moving
Many of us know that exercise is good for our circulation and stamina, but did you know that being active can also reduce the risk of depression and anxiety, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer? It’s not possible to prevent every case of heart disease or ensure that nobody ends up needing cancer treatment, but making positive lifestyle choices can make a difference. We tend to think about going to the gym or running for miles when people talk about exercise, but there are so many ways to get fit and to embrace a more active lifestyle. Start small. Even something as simple as swapping the lift for the stairs or making time for a walk around the block after work will have an impact. Try exercise classes, do workouts at home, spend more time in the fresh air and think about taking up new hobbies. You could learn to dance, play tennis or golf or hone your yoga skills, for example.
Take time to rest and recover
The majority of UK adults don’t get enough sleep. While a lack of sleep can leave you feeling irritable and tired, it can also elevate your risk of developing an illness. There are several reasons why people struggle to sleep, including anxiety, money worries and disturbances caused by children, but there are techniques that can help to improve sleep quality. One of the most important ways to look after yourself is to ensure you have enough time to recharge your batteries. Try and get into a routine that allows you to relax and chill out in the evenings and go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Many of us are guilty of going to bed long after we feel tired or hitting the snooze button multiple times on a Monday morning. Getting into a routine will ensure that you start to feel tired as bedtime approaches and that you feel more alert and refreshed when your alarm goes off.
Recognise the signs of stress
Stress is a major contributor to anxiety and depression, and it can also affect your ability to sleep, your mood and your physical health. If you can learn to recognise the signs of stress and identify triggers, this should help you manage. Utilise self-help strategies to try and induce calm and relaxation, and don’t hesitate to seek help if your symptoms are getting worse or you feel like nothing you’re doing is working. Examples of self-help methods include exercise, meditation, creative activities, spending time with friends and family, reading, listening to music, journalling and talking to people about how you feel.
It’s not always possible to keep health issues at bay, but looking after yourself can make a positive difference.