Mental Health Awareness MonthMay 21, 2021
May is mental health month. Health, in general, is not supposed to be limited or declared as once and for all never changing. In fact, our bodies are changing constantly and so is our mental & physical health. There are times when we are overall fit and content and other periods when we need to take care of our souls. Mostly based on what's going on in our lives.
Mental and physical health go hand in hand, closely related. Healthy food does not only nourishes our organs and muscles but also fuels our souls. Moving or stretching our body helps us to get in shape and makes us happier.
How can you make use of integrated health habits (mental & physical) to reduce issues, like stress or anxiety?
1. Include movement in your daily routine. That does not have to be an hour of high cardio exercise when you don't feel like it. It could be a walk outside or some stretching before you go to sleep. Whatever your body is up to. Research shows that physical activities and light movement of any kind reduce stress and anxiety.
2. Grant yourself a daily dose of self-compassion. Do you feel pressure to reach a certain goal (business or leisure) or to just be (or behave) in a certain way? Motivating yourself out of pressure will most likely not lasting in the long run. It is exhausting to keep up with stress and ambition 24/7. Especially when you realize what you might not be able to accomplish - yet. It is worth trying to prioritize kindness and compassion and gain motivation out of goodwill.
3. Find a moment of mindful pausing. How often do you consciously pause? If you are a little bit like my old self, you unwind one activity after another. it starts when you open your eyes. a vicious cycle of to-do list items appears before you are out of bed. And your day goes on and on like this, without a calm and gentle opportunity to consciously breath and pause. Multitasking instead.
4. Abandon hard food rules. Eat intuitively. Any sort of restriction is tiring. Don't you agree? I am convinced you can trust your body signals when it comes to healthy eating. Regularly, I stick to plant-based and fish because my body likes that kind of food. I try to eat less processed and no industry sugar. But if I do, during family events or just those bad days where you long for a heartwarming chocolate cake with a melting core. Yummy! I go for it. The most important part is to do that without guilt or shame. Because that is a hamster wheel, you will never get from the hook. it took me some time to trust my body snd to understand: since I am eating healthy most of the times, and I am listening to my body needs, I don't need to freak out on those days, when I am joining others in the full range of sweet and fancy high-calorie buffets. Above all that is it like to be human. And thankfully there is room for those indulgencies.
If you know how to check in and listen to what your body needs... you are safe. Number one rule: we don't need a rigid code of behavior when it comes to eating. You will know what you need.
Healthy habits are an act of self-care. A supportive, and compassionate way to look after yourself. Namaste.