So we’ve put together five simple tips for some good old fashioned self-care for your mind that anyone can participate in.
1. Sleep! It might sound simple but getting a good nights sleep can seriously help your brain stay in a positive and productive place the next day. If you struggle to nod off, try having a bath before bed – your body will naturally become sleepy whilst it cools down afterwards. Don’t take this time to go on your phone though (ahem…Tip #2….)
2. Step away from the screen. Our brain gets a little shot of hormonal excitement when we look at our phones and, in time, this can become a bit addictive (especially with all the great dog videos floating about on Facebook, yes, it’s hard to stop we know…). So break that habit of looking at your phone in every spare moment to let your mind rest. Two ways to encourage this new healthier behavior? Download an app which limits your time on your phone or certain apps, or download Headspace, a guided meditation app which is perfect for winding down at the end of the day.
3. Get a massage… Or give yourself one! Studies have found that massage boosts serotonin levels in the brain, one particular study found that pregnant women had a 30% increase in this ‘happy hormone’ over four months of having a massage from their partners twice a week. Not only does it boost serotonin but on a more conscious level, it’s a very simple act of self-care, it’s taking care of your body, saying thanks to it for all the great stuff it allows you to do.
4. On the days your struggling, journal. Some days our brains just won’t stop, we get an internal chatter going round in circles and it’s hard to switch off or cheer up – on those days, write yourself a letter. Yes, you read it right. Write a letter to yourself explaining why you’re not happy – you may just be surprised what you come out with when you’re being completely open with no one to judge you.
5. Exercise. Of course, the best thing to do for your brain, both in the long term and right now is to exercise. Whether you’re having a rubbish day mentally or you’re coping well that day, exercise boosts our mood and keeps our mind and body ticking over nicely. It can be a social activity, which is also proven to boost our mood and the endorphins you experience afterwards are second to none.
Let us know how you get on over on our Facebook, we love hearing from you.
Yours in health,
The YBFIT Training Team