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A Daily Self-Care Routine to Improve Your Mental Health

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5 MIN READING

A Daily Self-Care Routine to Improve Your Mental Health

Self-care practices to look after our physical health are well documented. We know that to be physically fit and healthy, we need to eat well, take regular exercise, drink plenty of water, avoid smoking, drinking too much alcohol and limit sugary and salty foods.

When it comes to our mental health, we might not be so well informed. We might know that we should aim for a good night’s sleep, avoid stress where we can and try to stay positive, and we might have a vague idea that practicing mindfulness is good for our mental wellbeing. But do we really commit as much time to our daily mental health as our physical health? The answer, for many of us, is no.

Neglecting our mental health can make us feel low, stressed and irritable, but in the longer term, it can lead to chronic stress, depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders. Which is why a daily self-care routine for mental health is so important. 

Here’s our tips and ideas that can be carried out at home to help you look after your mental health:

  • Spend time outside in nature every day, even if that means a quick 15 minute walk at lunchtime, in the rain! Appreciating your surroundings and the power of Mother Nature significantly boosts mental wellbeing, and it can even be effective if you’re surrounded by office blocks. Seek out cracks in the pavement, where against all odds, weeds are growing, or find a corner where sunlight floods the concrete. You’ll feel amazing.
  • Make time to speak to the people who make you feel the most uplifted. On the telephone or face to face, for five minutes or an hour if you’re lucky, speaking to a close friend or relative about nothing in particular builds powerful social connections that can boost our mood no end.
  • Try practicing mindfulness every day. A set time each day is good, perhaps first thing in the morning or last thing at night, so that you get into a routine. It only needs to be for ten minutes, but the science behind it suggests that mindfulness can make us feel more aware of our thoughts and feelings, allowing us to get more enjoyment from life and the world around us.
  • Do something you enjoy. This could be reading a few pages of a gripping book in the bath, or listening to your favourite music whilst cooking dinner.
  • Be kind to yourself and try to avoid the word ‘should’. Telling ourselves we should be doing something differently or we should have achieved XYZ by now is damaging and completely unhelpful. Celebrate all your achievements before going to bed each night, no matter how small. Life is busy, and making baby steps towards a goal needs to be congratulated!
  • Have good sleep hygiene. This means winding down in the hours before bed with a warm milky drink or chamomile tea, switching off from social media, avoiding big meals and having a cool bedroom, free from clutter and harsh lighting. Going to bed and waking at a similar time each day (even at the weekend) helps with sleep hygiene too, allowing for more restful, nourishing sleep.

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