4 ways to find more balance between your physical and mental health
The biggest challenges I see in the clinic during and now post lockdown, is how to find more balance in our lives, physically and mentally. The demand put on us from our family and work to support and take care of others, diverts energy and focus away from us. It’s easy to fall into the everyday duties and requirements of life without taking the time to check in with ourselves and the needs we have day to day. Mindful physical activity can be helpful to supporting our mental health, but what else can support you?
4 ways to find more balance between our physical and mental health
- MINDFUL MOVEMENT –Doing mindful exercising 2-3 times a week or even better a little bit every day, can keep the joints limber and the muscles stronger. Move the hips, shoulders, knees and ankles to keep the joints lubricated and reduce muscle tension in the area. Aim to get out for a brisk walk with your favourite music or podcast before you start your workday at the computer or go out just after you’ve been sitting all day, this will help clear your mind immensely.
- BREATHING EXERCISES –Focus on maintaining nice, full, relaxed breaths throughout your day. Cold weather or sitting at your desk and not moving all day can encourage us to shallow breath, tightening up the muscles of the neck and shoulders. Inhaling deep into the body brings in lots of oxygen (vital for cellular activity and repairs) and forces our respiratory muscles to work harder and our heart to beat stronger, helping to naturally increase our body temperature. Exhaling deeply can help our body detoxify and relax those tight, stiff muscles of the torso.
- EATING FOR THE SEASON – As a holistic nutritionist I strongly encourage clients to eat a diet appropriate for the winter season. Slightly steamed, slow cooked, poached or stewed meals keep the body warmer. Save the cold drinks, salads and ice cream for the hot summer days. Add a bit of cinnamon or ginger to your meal to help warm your body, if you have a cold constitution.
- SELF CARE & POSITIVE MINDSET – Finally, take time for yourself, reflect and plan for great things to come this spring season…it is a time for new beginnings. Focus on the good things you have in your life and try to improve upon the negative things that may be keeping you stuck and unhappy. Try something new like meditation. The BBC brought out a nice little article 5 Ways to Stay Positive During the Lockdown (which I think is good even if the lockdown is over).
Cindy is a registered acupuncturist, certified Pilates instructor, holistic nutritionist and a foodie. She works with her patients to support their whole body health, emphasizing self care, living a positive life and nourishing the body and mind. Cindy is the owner/creator of My Fit Over 50, a website dedicated to health of women through menopause.