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Work, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. The daily grind regularly gets the better of us and for the majority, each day is unbalanced when it comes to physical and mental wellbeing. Together, they are equally important and if one is neglected, it ultimately hinders the other. More often than not, one or both are overlooked on a daily basis. In a study conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry London, it was found that there was a direct correlation between physical ailments and mental illness. Taking the time to care for yourself is important to provide your body and mind with the tools it requires to ensure a strong immune system, stable relationships, and quality performance at work.
Knowing the required balance is difficult for all, and that’s why here are a few ways I apply to keep a healthy body and mind, while balancing work and family:
We all know that exercise is important in keeping a healthy body but what not many of us realize is that exercise is a key ingredient in creating a healthy mind as well. When we work out, we release endorphins, which is the happy hormone. When stress hits or you are feeling down, try going for a light jog, swim, or even have a few rounds on a punching bag. It is guaranteed that afterwards you will feel a hundred times better, with an added dose of energy and perhaps a little clarity on the situation getting you down in the first place due to increased mental awareness. Win!
2. Curiosity is key
As important as physical exercise is for the body, our brain also requires a workout. Stimulate your mind by opting to try something offbeat from your norm. Read a different genre of book, try out a crossword, or even just converse with someone with a different point of view. Being curious is a great way to divert yourself and keep your mind engaged.
3. Food for thought
We all know vegetables provide much of the nutrients we need in order to live a healthy lifestyle. Not only are they good for the body, they also assist in reducing a variety of mental health conditions, such as depression and Alzheimer’s. Greens including spinach, kale and broccoli, also have numerous amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which are a great stress relief. Try to incorporate as much veg into your diet as possible. This way you are ensuring your body and mind are functioning to the best of their ability.
4. Nighty Night
Who doesn’t love a good night’s sleep? With day to day stress, responsibilities and looming deadlines, sleep is a haven your body and mind use to reset and get ready for another seemingly busy day. In a variety of studies, research concluded that for those who were sleep deprived were found to be less responsive, taking longer for them to register their surroundings, a similar to effect found in those intoxicated. So just like you do with your phone when the battery is low, make sure to get at least seven hours of sleep a night to ensure you are fully recharged.
People are creatures of habit and this is where having a routine is extremely useful. Structure to your day allows for your mind and body to be prepared for the necessary actions for the day. Obviously there are often unforeseen circumstances that arise but keeping certain aspects the same will mean less stress and a happier you. Consistent meal times, five minute breaks every hour, and taking the essential hour of ‘me time’ will make sure you are efficiently refuelled and ready for anything.
6. Separate your worlds
As individuals, we have challenges that creep up day to day in both our work and private lives. It is easy for us to carry this baggage along wherever we go, however, it is important to leave stresses at the door and remove our emotions from situations. Family and work both deserve the best versions of you and neither should be held accountable for a negative disposition. Ensure you are dividing your home and work lives from one other so you are giving the required attention to both with little distraction. Your family and colleagues will thank you for it.
7. Do something you love regularly
Think of the last time you did something for yourself. Was it an hour ago, a week ago, or maybe you have let a few months pass? Making sure you are taking time for yourself is important for your body and mind. An unhealthy body can make for a groggy mind and an unfulfilled mind can make for a lethargic individual. Find something you enjoy to do and take time out of your day to do it. It can be as simple as cooking a nice meal, meeting up with friends, taking a bubble bath or perhaps even doing something a little adventurous like horse riding or being a part of a theatre group. Whatever takes your fancy, make sure you try to do something just for you on a daily basis. You deserve it.