By Lorraine Drummond, Wellness Coach
The term ‘wellbeing’ is comprised of two words, well and being; meaning to have a good condition of existence; a state characterised by health, happiness, and prosperity. To be a ‘well being’ you need to look after all aspects of yourself; not only your physical health, but your mental and emotional health too. To leave one of these aspects out creates an imbalance, an imbalance you will surely feel.
If you’re feeling as if you have an imbalance, whether physical, mental or emotional, here are five tips to get you back on your way to being a ‘well being’:
1. Take your foot OFF the accelerator
How often do you feel like you haven’t stopped or breathed all day? Rushing from here to there, doing this, doing that… Sound familiar?
It’s hard to take your foot off the accelerator, but try to consciously allow for some moments of stillness, where you can ‘be’. A good way to do this is incorporating some gentle stretches, yoga, meditation or Tai Chi in your daily or weekly routine. Stillness allows the brain to process.
"Start to notice the people who leave you feeling drained and limit the time you spend with them. "
And when you are around people, surround yourself with those that support you and bring you energy; those that make you feel good about yourself. Start to notice the people who leave you feeling drained and limit the time you spend with them.
Once you start to slow down, you’ll find that you are more present, taking notice of the moments and beauty surrounding you.
2. Take it to your body
If you feel your physical body needs some TLC, look after yourself with a balance of nourishing foods, exercise, rest, comfort and self-love. Nourishing your body with the foods and fluids it needs to function at its best will help you to achieve and maintain a greater degree of health, and reduce your risk of disease. Limiting alcohol, junk food, sugar and other substances that can cause your body harm and energy crashes will also reduce the likelihood of illness. It’s not about eliminating anything completely, but more about bringing a balance to all things you consume – everything in moderation.
Make sure you’re also getting adequate exercise, getting out in the fresh air and going for a regular walk may be all you need to maintain a healthy body. Time in nature is also a great way to boost overall wellbeing; it not only aids the physical body but helps with balancing your mental processes as well.
Remember there is only one you, be kind to yourself.
3. Slumber time
Think about your bedroom. Is it a relaxing, quiet, peaceful space that is conducive to promoting good quality sleep?
Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being. To be considered a ‘well being’, you need to ensure that you’re getting enough good quality sleep. This is often an area that suffers the most with the stresses and strains of everyday life, but is essential to overall wellbeing. When you sleep your body is recharging, working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health.
Think about your bedroom. Is it a relaxing, quiet, peaceful space that is conducive to promoting good quality sleep? Do your mattress and pillows support your body so that you can relax and recharge fully during the night? Having sheets and quilts that give you the right amount of warmth is equally important.
Also, try to unplug yourself from your phone before sleep, as hard as it is. Pick up a book or a magazine instead.
4. Mind your head
Think about the areas of your life that cause you stress. What could you do to minimise them or remove them from your life?
Now more than ever, taking care of your mental and emotional states are just as important as taking care of the physical needs of your body. According to the Blackdog Institute, 7.3 million Australians will suffer from anxiety or stress at some stage throughout their life, with a further half (around 4 million) suffering from more serious mental illness.
Whilst we can’t eliminate stress entirely, we can certainly take measures to minimise it and be aware when we are feeling the effects of it. Think about the areas of your life that cause you stress. What could you do to minimise them or remove them from your life?
You can also change your emotions just by your thought processes. Thinking more positive thoughts and speaking to yourself in a more positive manner can help you keep a more optimistic outlook and help beat stress factors. Next time you have a negative thought, try to replace it with a positive one and repeat three times. See how your mood shifts.
5. Add in a touch of me time
Taking some ‘me’ time, is kind of like the instructions you get on an aeroplane for the oxygen masks – “fit your own mask first before helping others”.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is allow yourself to rest. Allow some moments that are just for you, it´s not being selfish – I promise.
Taking some ‘me’ time, is kind of like the instructions you get on an aeroplane for the oxygen masks – “fit your own mask first before helping others”. How often do you do that, put others before yourself? You won’t be able to help anyone if your own system is down.
Speaking of oxygen - be aware of how you breathe. Take in a couple of really deep breaths and see how much better you feel. It has been scientifically proven that just the act of taking five deep breaths during a 60 second period can lower your blood pressure, reduce the stress hormone cortisol, and increase endorphins (feel good hormones).
By taking some time out for yourself, you are allowing yourself to reset, process, calm emotions, and bring in some joy. Joy is key here. What activities make your heart sing? It may be snuggling up on the sofa with your favourite book, running a bubble bath, a nap, a run, yoga… Your body will tell you exactly what it wants and needs, so start creating some space so you can tune in each day to listen.
Wellbeing isn’t something we can achieve overnight, it takes time and attention, but if you commit to incorporating even a few of these things from this post, prioritising self-care, you’ll be on your way to being a ‘well being’, living a happier and healthier life.
Lorraine is a wellbeing, energy coach and healer, meditation and intuition teacher and facilitator based in Sydney, NSW.
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