During these challenging times it is not only important to look after your physical health, we should also be monitoring and looking after our mental health and wellbeing. Everyone is living in uncertainty, and sadly this creates a lot of stress and fear in people. We have no idea how long this will go for, but what we do know is that it will not be a quick fix. This means we will have to spend long periods of time at home in isolation with our families, or even in solitude if you live alone. Therefore, I have put together a simple but powerful program for you to follow, which will keep your stress levels down and your morale up!
The program is centered around the importance of having a daily routine. When we spend large amounts of time at home like at Christmas and during the summer holidays, our routine tends to go out the window. This messes up our body clock and daily rhythm, which has a knock-on effect on our mood. Many office workers enjoy working from home on a Friday, but when asked if they would like to work from home every day the majority said no, because they found it hard to focus and stay motivated. So by following the 8-step daily routine and using the additional resources, you can navigate your way through the current lock down, and take these healthy habits forward once it’s finally over.
HOW TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM:
- Avoid sugar and processed food – viruses feed on these kinds of foods, and they lower your immune system. https://theliberatedmind.co.uk/uncategorized/relationship-food-mental-health/
- Avoid alcohol as it also lowers your immune system.
- Eat plenty of fruit and veg – full of vitamins and healing properties.
- Drink plenty of water to flush through toxins, and being hydrated lowers anxiety.
- Have hot baths to relax, reduce aching muscles, and boost the immune system.
- Take key supplements – Vitamin C, Zinc, Selenium, Vit B12, Vit D3
- Drink Honey, Lemon & Ginger – soothes a sore throat and kills infection.
- Get fresh air and sun (especially in nature if you can) – boosts vit D and clears the lungs. People heal 50% faster if they can see or be near nature (flowers, plants, or even just a painting of a landscape or forest).
- Gargle hot salt water to kill infection and heal sore throats.
- Get plenty of sleep as it releases stress and heals the body – https://theliberatedmind.co.uk/psychology/are-you-getting-enough-sleep/
- Laugher – detoxes cells and boosts the immune system, try watching funny films or calling a friend that always makes you laugh!
- Try the Wim Hof breathing method. It increases the oxygen level in your body which kills bacteria and viruses. It also helps you to de-stress and relax
Explanation of the items in the 8-step guide
Here are some brief explanations of why I have included the different elements in the 8-step daily routine:
GRATITUDE – It has been scientifically proven to improve our physical and mental health. It also has a positive effect on our sleep, and boosts our self-esteem. There are countless articles about this if you want more information including this one https://www.happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/
So, starting your day by thinking honestly about a few things you are grateful for will put you in a great mindset to make the most out of your day.
IMPORTANT – in order to get the most out of this exercise you have to be authentic and feel the emotion as you appreciate what you are grateful for. Emotion is the fuel that benefits the body and mind. If you just recite things like a shopping list it won’t have the same effect!
EXERCISE – Just because you are stuck at home doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise. Whether you are following an aerobic YouTube video in living room, or on a dance mat in front of your PlayStation, it will make a big difference. We are all aware of the benefits to a physical health, but what you may not know is that it is essential that we exercise for our mental health. Our brain has evolved so that we can move, and if we stop exercising it actually starts to shrink and deteriorate. This has an impact on our cognitive function and ability to cope with stressful situations. Something else that it is important to know at the moment is that exercise burns stress hormones, and creates important neuro transmitters that regulate or mood and keep us motivated – like serotonin and dopamine. You can read about this in more detail in my blog https://theliberatedmind.co.uk/self-development/why-is-exercise-so-important-for-our-metal-health/
Note -Some exercise people are rolling out special free live classes on YouTube and via zoom – like Joe Wicks which have proved very popular.
ACTS OF KINDNESS – It can be difficult to remember this when you are stressed and worried about how you are going to pay the bills. However, here is something that you may not know. Scientists have discovered that when you do something kind for someone it doesn’t just benefit them. It turns out that both people’s immune systems get a boost and serotonin is released, which also lifts their mood. But it doesn’t just stop there, it seems that anyone else that witnesses this act will also get the same benefits. So, it is in all of our interests to be more kind to each other during this difficult time!
STAY CONNECTED – Thankfully we have come along way with technology in the last few decades and despite not being able to visit our friends and relatives, we can still keep connected. Most people have a phone and internet connection, so we can use this time to catchup with people that we would normally not have time to speak to. Whether we like it or not we are being forced to slow down, and this is the perfect time to make those calls and re-connect with people. This is more important than ever, especially if you are like me alone in a small apartment. Video calls are particularly good, because they are usually free and you can almost imagine that you are in the same room as the person. These kinds of interactions release all kinds of beneficial chemicals into the blood stream like oxytocin and serotonin. Remember you might be making someone’s day if they have felt isolated and lonely.
PRODUCTIVITY – One of the most important things that keep people going is having a sense of purpose. As much as we all enjoy watching our favourite movies and box-sets, there is only so much we can do that before we get bored, or feel like we are wasting our time. Therefore, I have made a list of ideas that can fill your time and give you a sense of achievement. The one thing almost everyone has right now is plenty of time, which is the opposite of how it usually is. So, think about all the things that you have been putting off and start to factor them into your day. I have broken them down into three categories:
- Creative – Art & Crafts, poetry, write a book…
- Learning – Online courses, Audio books, Read
- Home Improvements – Decluttering and clearing out, DIY, Spring cleaning.
Additional ideas to try:
- Learn how to mediate.
- Games Night – cards, board games, games consoles.
- Gardening – includes indoor plants.
- Sunbathing if you have a garden or can do it away from other people.
- Kon Mari Method – to declutter your wardrobe and home.
DAILY REFLECTION – These are completely unprecedented times and it would be very interesting and beneficial to start documenting your experiences. It is well known that journaling is a healthy practice to include in your daily routine, and I will include the link to an article which explains some of those benefits. https://journey.cloud/journaling-benefits
But if writing isn’t your thing, or you just don’t want to go into that much detail you can keep it simple.
- What went well today?
- What did I learn today?
- What could I do better tomorrow?
I put this program together because I can see the pressure that people are under.
Many families are trying to balance working from home with looking after, and schooling their children. Other people have lost their jobs altogether, and they aren’t sure if they will be able to pay the bills at the end of the month. This is why I am not charging for this material – I want to make it available to everyone that needs it!
But I also realise that this program simply won’t be enough for some people who are just not coping. They need specialist one on one support with a therapist or coach. Therefore, I am offering all my sessions for half the usual price until the lock down is lifted. I will also be posting further helpful information, and giving away some free sessions through my Facebook page. So like the page to keep up to date with these give always over the coming weeks – https://www.facebook.com/theliberatedminduk/
For a list of my prices please visit my website https://theliberatedmind.co.uk/contact/
I hope you have found this program helpful. Keep safe and we will get through this together!