Ask the Experts : Caring For Your Wellbeing by Rise Of Happiness
The start of a new year can often come with new pressures and challenges. With many of us setting ourselves new fitness goals and resolutions only to be hindered by the dark nights and rainy weather.
With the festive season already a distant memory, it can feel like the sunshine’s a lifetime away - so we need to take extra care to be kind to ourselves and help beat the winter blues.
We caught up with Rob and Kaigan who created the inspiring free magazine ‘Rise of Happiness’, filled with inspirational stories and expert tips for how to prioritise health and wellbeing.
Rob has suffered from PTSD symptoms after many years as a front-line police officer. The many traumatic incidents he witnessed throughout his career in the police really impacted Rob’s mental health. Rob is now a mental health first aider and hopes to help others who may be suffering like he was.
Kaigan is passionate about encouraging others to create a life that makes them happy, rather than one that based on societal expectations.
Their shared aim is to break down the stigma around mental health and wellbeing in society, to help their readers prioritise their wellbeing and create a life that makes them truly happy.
What are your top 5 tips for how to improve our mental wellbeing?
- Get out in nature each day if possible. The impact of this on both our physical and mental wellbeing is incredible.
- Although you might not feel like exercising, the motivation and reward come after the workout. You will feel so much better after a workout because of the endorphin pump it gives you. This will inspire you to workout more often.
- Eating more nutritious foods. Eating high vibrational food (food that grows in nature) increases your energy and improves your quality of life.
- Balance work and play. Too much of anything can be bad for us, we need a good balance in life. Unfortunately, we live in a society that expects people to put work above everything else. Rest is productive. Doing fun things you love is productive. When we fill up our cup with things that make us feel good, we actually become more productive in our work. We also become more creative and are able to make decisions which are much more aligned to our core values.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. A lot of us tend to be people pleasers, we don’t like to let people down because we worry what they’ll think of us, so we say yes to things we’d rather not. This then brings us a host of negative emotions. By saying no to things you don’t want to do, you’re honouring yourself. This improves your wellbeing and in turn, positively impacts how you show up in the world.
Is there anything else we can do to keep us feeling more positive during the winter months?
Prioritise a daytime walk. We get so little sunlight in winter in the UK, that it’s so important to make the most of the daylight that we have. Don’t wait for winter to end, embrace it. Plan fun things, either by yourself or with people who light you up.
Now also might be a good time to learn that indoor activity you’ve always wanted to, but haven’t made the time for.
The start of a new year can come with the additional pressures of resolutions and a desire for change. How can we best manage this positively?
Make sure the resolutions you make are actually goals you want to achieve and not goals you think you should achieve based on societal expectations. A goal is much easier to reach when you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Motivation doesn’t last, so you need to use your determination and self-discipline to keep working towards your goals after the motivation is gone. Work out your why, it’s the thing that drives you when that little voice in your head wants you to quit.
Make your goals manageable. If you have a goal of getting fitter for example, rather than saying you’ll work out 5 times a week then perhaps not meeting that goal and feeling negatively about yourself, set goals that are a stretch but not too much of a stretch. So if you don’t work out at all just now, perhaps start by working out 2 times a week.
The dopamine hit you’ll get when you achieve your goals will give you the confidence to reach for bigger goals.
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