We're a few weeks into 2020 now, but that doesn't mean you can't still put some new resolutions in place in order to become a happier, healthier and kinder person this year. Now is the best time to prioritise your mental health! Your mood affects everything in your life, from your work, to relationships, and more. It's incredibly important to put improving it at the absolute top of your goal list!
In this short list, we'll be giving you some of the most common happiness and healthiness tips. Some might sound difficult, but they just might change your life.
Better your diet. We're sure you've heard it a million times, but bettering your diet really is such a fantastic way to better you physically and mentally. You don't need to take a huge step in becoming vegetarian or vegan, but just making small adjustments to your diet can truly work wonders. Don't stress yourself over your food choices or diet, do what's best for you. Consider talking to a dietitian and figuring out what you can do to make your mind and body happy.
At Soul Food Kitchen, we are always hosting workshops that can help you with anything diet related. If you do want to take the plunge and try something intensive with your diet, consider checking out our CHIP Information session. It's totally free and could change your life.
Try meditation. Meditation is becoming more and more popular as the years go on, with more people recognising the benefits of this simple but effective exercise. Meditation is a great way to manage stress and finding peace with yourself. It's easy to pick up and has no draw-backs. Regular practice of meditation can improve your health as it lowers the negative effects of high cortisol, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It can help improve focus, memory, mental clarity and more. It's genuinely worth looking into.
At Soul Food Kitchen, we host regular meditation classes. We don't have anything planned just now, but keep a look out on our events page as we should hopefully have some more up soon!
Better your sleep schedule. If anyone can understand this, I certainly can. I've suffered with horrible insomnia for years, usually unable to get to sleep till 4 am in the past. The toll this took on my health, both physically and mentally was damning. It took me a while, but I managed to optimise my sleep schedule to the best of my ability. Since then, I've felt so much better. Even if you think your sleep schedule is good, take a closer look. Do you really believe you're getting the optimal hours sleep? You probably aren't. Now is the time to try and fix this.
There are many guides you can find online to try and help you, but some tips are: Set a reasonable and realistic bedtime. Try to go to bed half an hour earlier and try to stick with it. Write down in a journal about your schedule and go from there.
Spent time outdoors. This one may sound silly, but it really is important that you spend at least 10 minutes outside. Go for a walk, pick up running, walk somewhere instead of driving. Find some way to spend any amount of time outside and it'll really make an impact. Michael Brodsky, a psychiatrist says the following; “Research in multiple countries show that spending time in green spaces can lift your mood and relieve anxiety in as little as 10 minutes.” Taking this time outside will also help you get your vitamin D!
An event we're hosting every month would be a great way to get those outdoor minutes in. "Walk with a Doc" is open and free to the community. Walkers will enjoy a short presentation on a current health topic at Soul Food Kitchen followed by a rejuvenating walk with Dr Laura Freeman around Kelvingrove Park.
Use social media less. Social media is rampant, most things we do are on our phones. Unfortunately, constant social media use really isn't beneficial to your health. We can feel pressured to chase likes and "be our best selves" on social media all the time, and it can become very mentally draining. You may start to feel inadequate, or seeing constant internet drama can make you feel more negative and upset.
“Build your self esteem from competence of something important to you, and by being of service to others.” says therapist Jennifer Musselman. Put your phone down and enjoy what's right in front of you. Find screen-free activities to keep yourself busy, especially at night, in order to help you disconnect from what may be stressing you out.