Regular exercise can affect your brain by making you feel more positive and has even been shown to reduce anxiety. Whether this be a brisk walk once a day, a bike ride or a home workout, the key is to keep moving regularly even if it's just 10 minutes a day. Why not check out Joe Wicks' lockdown PE classes on YouTube? There you can find free at-home workouts for kids and adults!
During a time when our routines are being disrupted, it's important to try and go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day (ideally for 8 hours). So try setting a daily alarm, even if you don't need to wake up for your usual commute! If you are able to, going to bed slightly earlier will help you get enough sleep, helping you to stay mentally positive the next day.
Eating a wholesome diet boosts our immunity and mental wellbeing. It's important to eat regular meals to avoid getting too hungry or overeating. Between meals, enjoy some healthy snacks that make you happy, but not sluggish, such as bananas, dark chocolate, Seaweed Crisps and Red Dates. Foods high in tryptophan, vitamins B6 and B12 are known to boost happy brain hormones such as serotonin. Also consider taking a probiotic to maintain healthy gut bacteria, which can influence brain chemistry and mood.
Focusing on the things we are thankful for requires a deliberate effort in times like these, however it can help to raise our spirits and keep a positive mindset. Try to make it a daily practice by thinking of 3 things you were grateful for each day before bed. Also. check out our Spotify playlist 'Gratitude', full of guided affirmations and motivational speeches to help you practice gratitude regularly. Listen here.
Studies have found that people who are more socially connected to family, friends, or their community are happier, physically healthier and live longer. With physical contact limited, it's important to maintain relationships through other means. Whether this be weekly quiz nights over zoom with friends, virtual dinners with extended family or exchanging hand written letters with loved ones.
Neuroscientists have shown that the neurotransmitter dopamine is released when we listen to our favourite music, boosting mood and motivation. Try taking short breaks throughout the day to listen to your favourite songs or listen to the radio whilst working or doing housework. Check out our 'Happy Songs' Spotify playlist to keep you motivated throughout the day. Listen here.
Now that we have to stay at home more, it's vital to make the most of the outdoors when we can. Whether this be a jaunt along the river, a walk in the park or a spot of gardening. Have a go at the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku or 'Forest Bathing'. This practice is about taking time to connect with nature by 'bathing' in the sounds and scents of trees and the feeling of fresh air. Taking time to appreciate nature in this way reportedly eases stress, worry and helps us to think more clearly. Plus regular exposure to sunlight can increase the brain's release of the happy-hormone serotonin.
We hope you manage to stay happy and healthy through the 3rd lockdown. If you need someone to speak to, feel free to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Also if you need urgent mental health support, pls contact the NHS helpline: https://www.nhs.uk/service-
Shop our Seaweed Crisps and Red Dates here.
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