Our physical health, like our mental health, varies all the time. Staying physically healthy, fit and active is not only good for our immune system, helping us to fight off illness and infection, but it’s also great for our mental health too.
Our physical and mental health are strongly linked, so one affects the other. If you take care of your physical health, you’re also taking care of your mental health – and vice versa.
Here’s some ways you can stay fit, healthy and active in our new ‘normal’:
- Increase your physical activity – We might not feel comfortable with going to the gym at the moment, but that doesn’t mean we can’t exercise. Exercise releases endorphins in your body, giving you a natural high – there are lots of workouts online that the kids can get involved with too – check out NHS 10min workouts or couch to 5k. Here are some other great ideas to get physical.
- Nutrition is important – Eating a healthy, well balanced diet is very important for our physical and mental health. The saying, “you are what you eat” really is true – if all you eat is rubbish, you’ll probably feel rubbish too. We should try and aim to eat 5 pieces of fruit and vegetables per day. Try Miguel Barclay’s £1 meals, SuperCook for recipe ideas or Jack Monroe’s healthy foodspiration! Find more general information about eating healthy and how what you eat can affect your mood.
- Get enough sleep – It’s recommended for adults to aim for around 8 hours of sleep each night. Even in lockdown, aim to go to bed and get up at the same times each day and make enough time to unwind before going to bed. Sleep allows the body to restore itself, cells to repair themselves, and the brain to reboot. If you’re struggling with sleep, we have lots of tips and advice available here.
- Keep hydrated – We should try to drink 6-8 cups of water each day (or 2 litres). Not drinking enough water can cause headaches, issues with concentration, hunger and tiredness, as well as affecting mood. If you find yourself losing track of how much water you’re drinking, get yourself a 2 litre bottle and focus on finishing that each day. Find out more about staying hydrated here.
- Prioritise self-care – Ever heard the saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup”? This is about self-care. Self-care is about looking after yourself and making sure that you are OK first. It isn’t selfish – it’s necessary. Find out more about self care here.
If you’re struggling don’t forget that you chat with us online or call our helpline on 08081 311 333. Our helpline team can also help you to access our digital support programmes to help you with resilience, stress, anxiety, depression, money worries and sleep.