In between working, caring for our families, trying to maintain a healthy work/life balance, diet, exercise and living in a post-pandemic world - it’s no surprise if we’re feeling a little depleted from time to time.
Unfortunately, it is sometimes instinctive human behaviour to service the needs of others before we look after ourselves and our own needs.
So if you’ve been feeling a little behind the 8 ball recently, we’ve composed this super simple guide on how to replenish your energy levels and restore your mental health.
Snooze your way through self care? Yes please! It’s common knowledge to aim for at least 7 or more hours of sleep per night. However, getting your hours up isn’t the only variable for good rest. We need to also ensure that the sleep is quality sleep, this draws upon falling asleep at a similar time daily and having an overall restful experience.
Getting a good sleep is directly related to getting sick less often, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, mood improvement and lowering your risk for serious health problems, like heart disease.
If you often have trouble sleeping and your mental and physical health is suffering, we always recommend liaising with a healthcare professional. However, we have noted down some easy DIY exercises and tips that may induce and invoke a restful night.
We recommend no blue light for at least an hour before bed, (just try!). This includes phones, TV, iPads etc. Read a book, clean your sheets and pillow cases regularly, use lavender essential oils and no alcohol before bed (sorry!). Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and it only has a temporary effect. This means we most likely will struggle with a broken or lighter sleep if we indulge in those cheeky couple of vinos before bed.
2. Write down everything that's stressing you out right now..
..and cross out everything that is totally out of your control! If you suffer from anxiety or over-thinking and struggle to compartmentalise what’s going on for you, this is a great 2 minute exercise that can help alleviate your over-thinking and put your thoughts into perspective. Remember, your thoughts and what you’re thinking controls your emotions and how you’re feeling. In harnessing and having control over what your mind is telling you, you will feel incredibly empowered.
Now, I like to believe that meditation takes many different forms. Gone are the days of believing that the only form of meditating is sitting cross legged on the floor with our eyes closed, (although it is nice!) These days, there are thousands of meditation apps out there that can assist you in slowing down. Guided meditation is a great place to start if you’re new to the meditation game. Even becoming engulfed in an episode of your favourite TV show, (Sex and the City Season 3 FTW), is a great way to center yourself.
4. Drink 2L of water a day (try!)
We won’t preach the physical benefits of drinking enough water to you, it might be more motivating to explain the negative impacts of not keeping up with your fluids. Not staying hydrated leads to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, impairment in mood and increased fatigue. A lack of water intake can also lead to major reductions in memory and brain performance. If that doesn’t motivate you to hit your daily intake, then we don't know what will!
5. Eat well
A blog preaching about eating a balanced diet and its benefits is no surprise. Hitting our caloric and nutritional intake goals are incredibly important for both our mental and physical health. Something you may not know is that over 95% of our body's serotonin is actually found in our gut and bowels! Serotonin, for the people in the back, is a neurotransmitter that affects a high majority of human behaviours including, stress response, sexual drive, appetite and general mood regulation.
This means that whatever you’re consuming is directly affecting your mental health, mood and ability to feel pleasure and general happiness. Wild, right?! Almonds, bananas, beef, chicken and avocados are all considered ‘mood foods’ in the sense where they are high in omega-3 supplements and contain L-Tyrosine.
6. Pamper yourself
What’s self care without a little bit of self indulgence. This could look like taking a bath, listening to your favourite music, putting on a face mask, applying your favourite Bali Body Self Tan, painting your nails.. the list goes on! The rule here is keep it simple, whatever you feel like doing - just do it. You do you boo.
7. Get moving
Physical release being important for your mental health and self care routine would also come as no surprise. Unfortunately, with our busy lifestyles and the world continually changing at the moment, it can be difficult to find the time and get in our daily 30. If you struggle to find the motivation to move your body regularly, start off with small goals. Go for a 15 minute walk on your lunch break, count your steps with a smart watch, park an extra block away from work, take the stairs where you can, and use a stand-up desk if you’re able to.
Start off making these small changes and you will find that your energy levels will increase, leading you to stay motivated in moving your body! Also find the exercise that works for you, not what is trending on Instagram. If you love Yoga and stretching, stick to that. If you enjoy HIIT and cardio, find a gym or workout plan that encompasses this.
8. Get writing (or talking!)
This might be the most simple self care tip, but sometimes the hardest to implement. Emotional release is so incredibly important for our mood regulation, overall mental health and our ability to make rational and measured decisions. Think of your emotions and feelings as being held in a barometer. The more you are impacted or feel, the barometer rises. Without some form of emotional release, it will simply keep rising until it overflows, (and we definitely don’t want that!).
Some easy tips to improve your emotional regulation would be journaling daily, writing out 3-5 things you’re grateful for every morning, daily affirmation/s on a post-it stuck up around your home, and socialising with friends where you can, (even on the phone/face-time).
Talking and/or writing about what’s going on for you emotionally on a regular basis is incredibly cathartic and will harbour long-term benefits for your mental health.
9. Vitamin D
Vitamin D really is the serum of the gods. Getting enough sun on our skin gives off so many benefits, including mood regulation, supporting immune health and may reduce mental health symptoms, such as depression. Whether you get your daily Vitamin D intake from walking outside or from a dedicated tanning session by the beach, we always recommend using SPF and some level of sun protection. Bali Body’s tanning oils come in all levels of SPF protection, so you can alter your level of sun cover depending on the UV rating for that day.