In today's article I will be discussing 5 methods I personally use in order to keep my mind healthy and in check. As stated previously, these may or may not apply to you as an individual but feel free to experiment and take from it what works for you!
Blog number #3 involves mental health practices and pieces of advice for long-term growth and support. Each method/piece of advice has no particular step by step guideline, use and implement each one when it works and however way it works for you. The 5 methods I use are Exercise, Limit alcohol consumption, Routine/Consistency, Self care & Talk about your problems/feelings.
1. Exercise - For me, exercise is an incredible escape and detox for my mind and body. Anything from a 10 minute walk, an indoor YouTube yoga session or a 5 kilometer run! Getting some sort of exercise or fresh air 3 times a week can have incredibly healthy benefits for your mind and body. During and after exercising, endorphins are released throughout your body making you feel refreshed and incredible.
To give a more detailed and scientific explanation I googled it - "When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine" Thanks Google! Anyway, I personally feel my brain completely relaxes and gets a breather whilst I am focusing on the exercise/task at hand. Exercise and the endorphins released because of it, serve such a good reminder that no matter how down or bad you feel it is only temporary and you will feel good again.
2. Limiting Alcohol Consumption - As a brand ambassador for leading international Irish whiskey company this was a tough one. Usually, on a daily and weekly basis my role with work involved the selling, distributing and consuming alcohol. To be honest, this job is and was absolutely deadly and if I get the chance to do it again I would take it in a heartbeat. The role, the company and the friends I have made have all been amazing. Having said that, throughout lock-down and the global pandemic we are currently experiencing I really cut down on my consumption. I wanted to shed a few pounds and also avoid some of those dreaded hangovers. As we all know, a big or heavy night of drinking leads to a write off the next day. No exercise, feeling awful and it is a recipe for disaster in terms of anxiety and our minds playing tricks on us. You not only wake up feeling awful but you are anxious and nervous if you did or said something you probably shouldn't of .. Even if it was a joke! Personally, I love a good night out or session and I don't think I will ever rule it out completely but I have reduced it considerably and I look and feel great. The key is to drink responsibly, consume in moderation and maybe leave the days of slamming 10 shot on a night out behind! Drink it to appreciate the craft and taste of what you are drinking NOT to get hammered!
3. Routine & Consistency - Routine & consistency is key for me on a daily basis! Give it a go. This may sound painful and boring to you but each day I like to wake up before 7:30 am and be in bed before 10:30 pm. I cannot stress it enough how good it feels to wake up early and get into a routine of exercising, breakfast and then tackling the day ahead. Having a structure and routine allows you to plan your day along with setting aside time for food, relaxation, hobbies or time with family & friends. I like to use Mark Twains phrase "Eat the frog first thing in the morning", meaning if you get up and tackle the toughest thing you have to do that day first.. the day only gets easier and more productive. This could be exercise, prepping food, making work calls or arranging/planning your week. “If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.” ... Eating the frog means to just do it, otherwise the frog will eat you meaning that you'll end up procrastinating and worrying the whole day.
4. Self care - Self care for me ties in heavily with routine/consistency and exercising. Exercising and routine keep me physically and mentally healthy and helps me not only recharge but prepares me for the days and weeks ahead. Also, it may sound stupid but focus on the little wins throughout your day to increase productivity levels. For example, every morning I love to get up stretch and make my bed. Doing these 2 simple small tasks makes me feel comfortable and accomplished before I even leave my bedroom! Other methods I use include: charging my phone in a different room (Tech Detox) , reading a chapter of a book, having a nice strong coffee, drinking water consistently, taking naps, saying no to people (hugely helpful) and eating well. To give you another googled definition to make it as clear as possible, self care is - “caring for my body, mind, and spirit [and] taking actions to tend to my overall well-being.” Self-care is anything “that affirms and strengthens my physical, psychological, relational, emotional, and spiritual well-being.” Figure out what works best for you and incorporate it into your daily life.
5. Talk about it - You are not alone, remember that! I would encourage every single person reading this to not only ask somebody in your life how their mental health is, but talk about your own mental health too. Once we start to talk and normalize conversations about mental health we start to realize and understand that every single person on the planet has their own mental battles. Of course, some are a lot worse than others but initiating the conversation gets the ball rolling and removes this bullshit stigma surrounding it. If you are somebody who suffers badly with anxiety or depression, remember you are not alone and the people around that love and care for you will be 100% supportive. You're a superstar!
After starting HUH Clothing and raising awareness around mental health I have had many people reach out to me about their mental health. I personally have not suffered hugely with my mental health but I certainly do have my battles like everyone else out there. However, that is not the point. The point is, even though I may not have experienced the slightest fraction of what some people have, I really want to learn more about the topic, spread love/positivity, try to make mental health conversations normal on a daily and weekly basis by removing this stigma associated with it, inform people on the resources out there and raise money for these charities that are helping millions of people each year! If you ever need somebody to chat to please reach out to us at HUH. We may not have all the answers for you but we will most definitely be there to listen to you, consider us a safe space!
We love you all X
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