Taking Care Of Ourselves This Mental Health Awareness Week
During the pandemic it's become more apparent than ever that we need to look after our mental health just as much as our physical health. If we have a pain we're quick to recognise and take care of it, but are we as good at noticing the signs that something isn't quite right with our mental health and taking action?
It's easy to become overwhelmed with daily stress and we're pretty much all guilty of pushing on and trying to do just that little bit more... getting that bit of cleaning done, working that extra hour, meeting with friends even though we feel exhausted, finding more ways for sneaking vegetables into the kid's dinner, the list goes on (and on).
Since starting The Ideal Sunday, the team have all become more conscious of the importance of taking time to ourselves, and are working hard to prioritise it. Hello home made lunches, and walks around the block! Good riddance coffee that accidentally goes cold because we "just needed to add those last 5 more products".
We got together to discuss the ways we look after our mental health and here's what we came up with.
Self care methods and how they make us feel.
Taking Long Baths
Taking a long, warm bubble bath is just so good more the soul. I make sure I don't take my phone with me and instead grab a good book (and often a glass of wine) and add a few drops of my favourite essential oil. I find my mind is able to just wander, free from distraction and it's often where I have my best inspiration!
Regardless of how you choose to exercise there's no doubt it's a great way to look after both your mental health and your physical health. Maybe an hour in the gym is your preferred form of daily exercise or taking a walk outside, it really doesn't matter. What's important is the result of the exercise. We release those vital endorphins that make us feel more positive, less stressed and, let’s face it, a little bit smug too 😉
There's just something about jumping into a great book. It's a chance to escape into another reality or to educate ourselves. Did you know that if your join your local library you can now download books for free? It's eco-friendly, there’s a great range of options, and it supports the community… the ideal way to get your reading fix!
Taking a break.
Move away from the computer. Even just fives minutes here and there makes a huge difference to your day. You don't have to do anything special with your break time, just use it to do something different. Maybe go outside and take in the sunshine (if we have any), do some stretches or dance like no one is watching, you'll be able to head back to your desk feeling refreshed and find you're far more productive than if you'd continued to stare at that spreadsheet.
No more Doomscrolling
Doomscrolling is where we mindlessly scroll on social media and see all these perfect lives, or worse, some serious negativity that embeds itself subconsciously in our brains. Both of these can make us feel pretty rubbish. We're not suggesting you ditch the social media totally, just clear out the negativity. If you see something that has a negative effect on you, notice the feeling and click unfollow! It’s empowering in the moment, and you’re less likely to see similar posts in the future - it’s a win win!
Grabbing a take-away
It's not a cheat day, it's not lazy, it's taking care of you. At the end of a busy week I often find I just haven't got it in me to start cooking dinner. It's so easy to think "oh but the money" or "I'll have to exercise to work that off" and that's ok, but guilt shouldn't take over from looking after ourselves. For me, that Friday night takeaway is my cut off, it signals the end of the week and the beginning of the weekend. We all deserve to go into the weekend not feeling frazzled.
Listening to Podcasts.
We love a good podcast here at The Ideal Sunday HQ, it gives us a chance to either switch off for a little while or find some inspiration on our lunch break. A few firm favourites here are;
How to Fail with Elizabeth Day - We LOVED Dr Alex’s episode this week. Fun fact: Lots of people think Founder Will looks like Dr. Alex… what do you reckon?
Ear Hustle - An incredible series produced and presented out of San Quentin prison. We listened to the whole back catalogue during lockdown - start from the very beginning for the best experience!
Tailenders and That Peter Crouch Podcast are both brilliant for a pick me up if you fancy a laugh!
What are your top tips to feeling less stressed and more in control of your mental health? Drop them in the comments below.