Looking after our mental health should always be a priority, but in light of the resurgence of Covid-19, it is now a great time to reflect and consider how we can go one step further with checking in and taking care of ourselves. There is no shame with putting our mental health first, as we can’t pour from an empty cup. So let's look into how we can fill our cups, without any cost!
Fresh air in nature does wonders
We may hear things like, ‘get outside’, ‘take a walk’, ‘connect with nature’ etc... but what does nature and fresh air actually do? If we delve into the basic science of it, we know that fresh air means more oxygen, and with more oxygen circulating within your body and brain this helps to make you feel more energized, and improves focus. And nature in general is the essence of what we are made of. Therefore being immersed in the elements of earth, fire and water are the most abundant cleansing and self healing properties. What both oxygen and connecting with nature can also promote is the production of serotonin, making you feel happier and reducing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline! Since your body is now in a state of lower stress and no longer in that fight-or-flight mode, your body tells itself it is a good time to digest and will supply your stomach and intestines with vital blood flow. What a bonus - happy mind and happy tummy!
Are you breathing properly?
Something as simple as breathing deeply and with awareness can help us self soothe and calm our nervous system, reducing stress. When things start to get overwhelming take a moment to ensure your breathing is in check by trying these key points:
- Try to breathe through your nose, as this can result in up to 20% more oxygen uptake than breathing through our mouth.
- Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. When you breathe in, try to deeply fill and expand your belly. Try to keep your chest still. Well done - that’s one perfect breath!
- 4 - 4 Breathing - Inhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds. This breathing method helps to relieve anxiety and stress. Now is a perfect time to give it a go
- As you inhale, visualise yourself drawing in warm positive energy, and as you exhale let go of what is no longer serving you.
Slow your nervous system
Whether you’re new to meditation or a daily meditator, now is a great time to actively ensure you’re taking the time to quieten your sympathetic nervous system through meditation. This is the part of our autonomic nervous system that stimulates our fight-or-flight response. The quieter this part of our nervous system is, the more calm and peace we can carry in our day to day lives and our fight-or-flight response will only be triggered when it really needs to be e.g. when there is an intruder in your home... rather than being triggered when your neighbours are playing loud music! One of our key offerings at Heal Move Love is meditation, and we incorporate it within every workshop we hold and believe it's the ‘hack’ to life and understanding ourselves.
Slow down on the social media
If you’re finding more time to scroll on social media, it probably means you have some time to do a social media detox too. With each profile or page that you follow, ask yourself these questions:
- Do they inspire me? (your answer should be YES! If they are feeding your mind every day...)
- Do they make me feel bad about myself?
- Do they clog up my feed?!
Because we need to remind ourselves, social media is part of our primary diet and we need to be careful about what kind of content we are consuming. If you want to see less of certain profiles yet still follow them, you have the complete power to unfollow or the mute function can come in handy. Some phones also offer time restrictions on social media apps - make this setting your new best friend (or flight mode is always good!)
Quality time with quality people
The big emphasis here is on quality. We now have more awareness of how we spend our time and perhaps how often (or not often) we are present with people, rather than being distracted with our phones or trying to multitask. We also want to be interacting with people who feel they are enriching, uplifting and help fill our cup - rather than feeling drained and depleted of energy.
And yes, Covid-19 restrictions may result in face to face catch ups being off the cards, but we can ALWAYS choose the type of people we interact with and give our time to regardless of how we choose to. If you listen deeply to yourself, your intuition often tells you which friends and family create these quality interactions and nourish you. If you are questioning this, ask yourself ‘how do i feel leaving a conversation with this person’ then let your inner voice tell you.
Do you implement some of these habits regularly? If so, go you! Working on yourself is a constant journey and the BEST investment of your energy. At the end of the day we are the only person we have control over and we need to make the time to look after what we have. We hope to share self-love practices while building a supportive community, though our Heal Move Love movement.
Kayla and Ruby
Heal Move Love
Heal Move Love was created to provide a safe, nurtured and guided space to help us all connect and journey back to the center of our being, home. Kayla and Ruby at Heal Move Love believe wellness is cultivated with a holistic approach of blending all aspects of mind, body and soul.