A guide to looking after your mental health

While the holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year, that isn’t the case for everyone. In fact 1 in 4 people experience increased anxiety, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder.  While the to do list might seem long this time of year, it is also important to prioritize your mental health. If you ignore it,  it can impact aspects of your life like relationships, work ,  your physical health will suffer, and many other things will suffer as a result. Taking care of your mental health, in addition to everything else, should be at the top of your priority list.

However, since it is sometimes seen as a taboo issue, one that we sometimes feel ashamed to talk about, it may seem that you can do little to improve or maintain your mental health. The reality is that there is a lot that you can do, and you can start small if you want to. Read on to find out more.

Talk About Your Issues

Many of us believe that we must keep our troubles to ourselves. After all, who would want to hear about all the many problems we’re having? Who would care enough to go against all the impulses that urge you to remain silent?

 To be honest, there are a lot of individuals that care. Friends and relatives will undoubtedly want to know what is going on in your life and how you are dealing with things, particularly if you have had a terrible incident or something unexpected has occurred. If you don’t believe you can speak to someone you know, a therapist will listen to you and help you get back on track with your mental health. Joining online forums, for example, can provide total anonymity.

 When you talk about your difficulties, they typically appear much less than they were, and solutions can be discovered much more easily. The stress of thinking about your problems will be relieved, and you will feel better as a result.

 

Ask For Help

Asking for support to cope with your troubles and your mental health in general might be even more difficult than talking about them with someone. However, it’s uncommon for someone to be able to overcome the most difficult (and even minor) challenges without the assistance of others. It’s much better to recognize that you are struggling than to continue trying to get by independently, which is far more detrimental to your mental health.

 It makes no difference what the issue is that is giving you so much agony; someone will be able to assist you. Whatever it is, once you seek assistance, it will never be anything that cannot be dealt with in some way.

 

Keep Active

When you are feeling down and your mental health has suffered, you may want to sit or lay down and do nothing. However, it is much more preferable to get up and be moving to make yourself feel better and to care for your mental health in general. I know this has helped me through some of the difficult 

When you start moving about, whether it’s to play sports, go to the gym, take a class, or just stroll outdoors, you’ll start to feel better. When you’re through, you’ll be pleased you made the time to exercise, and your mental health will almost surely improve. As we said, start small and then move onwards, so you might want to begin by checking out https://sportnews.in/ and then going on from there.

Asking for support to cope with your troubles and your mental health in general might be even more difficult than talking about them with someone. However, it’s uncommon for someone to be able to overcome the most difficult (and even minor) challenges without the assistance of others. It’s much better to recognize that you are struggling than to continue trying to get by independently, which is far more detrimental to your mental health.

 

It makes no difference what the issue is that is giving you so much agony; someone will be able to assist you. Whatever it is, once you seek assistance, it will never be anything that cannot be dealt with in some way.

 

3 Tips for successfully treating your body like a temple

Image by Hà Cao from Pixabay

This last year has felt like 10 combined into one. It hasn’t been easy for any of us and during this time I feel a lot of us (or I know at least myself) have at times neglected to take care of ourselves. Pouring that extra glass of wine on a weeknight, order fried take out for the 4th night in a row. I am guilty.

It would probably be accurate to say that everyone has heard the phrase “treat your body as your temple,” or alternatively “my body is my temple.” Sometimes these concepts are dismissed or laughed off, but in many cases they are more or less embraced – at least in theory – as a good basic ethos to carry around in life.

Whether you notice issues with your eyesight and decide to consult an eye doctor, or just know that you would feel better if you tidied up your diet or got more exercise, there are a lot of benefits to be had from treating your body as your temple.But how do you actually go about embracing that ethos successfully, without driving yourself crazy?

Here are some tips.

 

Have fun with the process, rather than making it a form of self punishment

“Health practices,” in general, tend to be associated with difficulty and struggle in a variety of different ways.

Last year I decided I was going to run my first half marathon. I did it, but in the process realized how much I dreaded running. And so after reaching my goal I fell back into old habits, coming up with excuses not to exercise.

When you think of “living healthy” or “living clean” there is a good chance that the images that come to mind are things like relatively unappetizing looking salads, difficult early morning runs, and having to turn down birthday cake when it’s on offer.

 

Rather than viewing the concept of “treating your body as your temple” in terms of self punishment, look for ways to have fun with the process, and don’t be too rigid and dogmatic with yourself, either.

I traded in my running shoes for a spin bike and have never been happier.

If you can take up some physically active pastimes that you really enjoy for their own sake, and can find ways of tidying up your diet in a way that you find tasty and manageable, and that you can stick with about 80% of the time, then you’re off to a great start.

 

Begin with the basics – by getting your sleep cycle right, and then moving on to food, breathing, et cetera

There are many different pastimes and practices that contribute to good overall health, but it is generally a good idea to start with certain fundamentals before getting carried away with all the fine tuning.

First and foremost, start by getting your sleep cycle right so that you can wake up each morning feeling rested, and can be relatively in sync with the natural rhythms of the world around you, and of society as well.

To do this, avoid eating for a few hours before bed, go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning, expose yourself to bright light first thing in the morning, and limit your exposure to blue light in the evening.

Once you have this pillar of health sorted out, it will be a lot easier to get the rest of the pieces lined up.

 

Pace yourself, and avoid overexertion

There’s a very detrimental idea that is fairly common and popular these days, which is that – particularly with regards things like exercise – more is always better, and that the idea of “pacing yourself” a code word for laziness.

Ultimately, however, pacing yourself – ensuring that you are pushing yourself, but not too much – is essential for avoiding both physical trouble, and also psychological burnout.

 

And just remember friends, your body truly is a temple so take care of it and give it a hug every once in a while.

xo

Mia

How to create a healthier home

Image by Denise Husted from Pixabay

I know this might be pretty obvious, but everyone wants to feel healthy and at their best right? I know during this pandemic feeling our best doesn’t come as easy. It has been mentally and emotionally draining on all of us but you are probably still trying to do what you can to wake up feeling good. Some steps you might be taking is easting right, exercising regularly, and making sure you  get enough sleep. Each of these is vital, but there may be one influence on your health you overlook, and that is your home. Your home plays a significant role in your wellbeing and impacts everything from your mood to your physical health. Creating a healthy home is an investment in your wellbeing and can enhance every area of your life. If you want to create a healthier home, here are some things you can do: 

Improve Air Quality

You may not have thought about your home’s air quality, but if indoor air quality is poor, it can cause various problems. Low indoor air quality can cause allergy symptoms and exacerbate conditions such as asthma. A reduction in indoor air quality can occur if your home has inadequate ventilation or if your air conditioning is not functioning correctly. If you spot an issue with your air conditioning unit, it is wise to call an emergency ac repair service to get the problem solved and ensure your air conditioning is working efficiently once again.

Keeping up with maintaining your HVAC system is the best way to keep it working efficiently for longer. 

Another important way to keep your home healthier is to install a carbon monoxide alarm. Carbon monoxide can pollute your home without you even knowing as it is an odourless gas. The effects of carbon monoxide poisoning are potentially severe, so it is vital to reduce your exposure.

 

Reduce Excess Moisture

Having excess moisture in your home can lead to mold and mildew forming. Mold and mildew not only look pretty gross, but they also are not great for your health. Depending on your sensitivity to mold spores, they can cause you to have allergy-like symptoms including a runny nose, itchy eyes, and headaches. 

Mold can appear in many forms in the home and could look like patches of black dots on your wall or other surfaces, or even have a ‘furry’ appearance. If you notice mold in your home, you may want to get it removed to prevent it from spreading and get your home looking great again.

To prevent mold from forming in your home, it is essential to keep your moisture levels low. The most crucial step in reducing moisture in your home is to prevent condensation. Condensation often occurs in the bathroom and kitchen. Activities such as taking your daily shower and cooking can create large amounts of condensation, leading to mold developing. Improving ventilation in your home while you are showering or cooking is the best way to keep moisture at bay. The simplest solution is to open the window before you shower or start cooking, as this will prevent condensation. If you hang wet laundry around your home, this can also increase moisture levels. If possible, it is best to let your laundry dry outdoors rather than inside, where it can create condensation.

Here is to a healthier and happier home my friends,

xo

Mia

Reducing the Risk of Strain at the Gym

Having been a professional athlete for most of my life I have suffered several injuries. Broken ankles, torn shoulder, chronic wrist pain. The list goes on. But whether you are a professional athlete or just an active person, there is always a risk of injury. Most of this doesn’t come from obvious risks like falling over or mishandling weights, but from muscle strain (something that I am very very familiar with). If you’re experienced muscle strain before, you know it can greatly hold back your fitness potential and keep you out of the gym for weeks. Here are some ways to prevent it.

Photo by Karl Solano from Pexels

Recover and recuperate

First of all, if you’re currently healing from a strain, you should make sure that you recover fully from it before you get back into working out. You can help your road to recovery with the help of things like massage therapy and a physiotherapist. You should pay attention to your delayed onset muscle soreness, as well. It doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong, but not giving yourself the time you need to relax and recover between workouts can put way too much pressure on your muscles.

Prepare effectively

If you jump right into working out intensely, then you are very likely to end up pulling something. Have a full workout routine that starts with a series of full-body stretches. You should stretch your body more thoroughly before working out than after. Some light warmups to help your muscles get limber and flexible are going to be crucial, as well.

Wear the right gear

Well-fitting gear that allows for a good range of motion is crucial in preventing all ranges of musculoskeletal injuries. If your clothes are too tight, then you’re working against your clothes as well as against your own body’s lack of agility. I learned this the hard way when I was training for my first half marathon.  A good pair of fashionable leggings does more than making your thighs look great. They can aid in both strain prevention and even in recovering from existing strains.

Feed your muscles

Most people who work out are very used to the idea that nutrition is key to staying healthy.  In most cases, you might think that this means upping your protein intake. Protein does help your muscles rebuild after the natural wear of exercise, but you should also try incorporating potassium-rich foods into your diet, as well. Potassium, which can be found in things like avocados and bananas, can help prevent the muscle fatigue that leads to more easily straining them.

Slow it down

Sometimes my body just tells me it needs a little time out. That doesn’t mean a day completely off, but maybe just a less intense workout. If you have been pushing yourself super hard lately, then you should think about taking it a little slower. This doesn’t mean that you should skip a workout (unless you’re in need of the extra recovery), but that you should try lighter workouts you can do at home, instead. Having lighter workout days and more intense workout days is a part of most training programs, and only working out at the highest intensities is going to put you at a greater risk of a tear or strain.

When in doubt, you should listen to your body. If your muscles feel too taut or in any way “weird” or have sharp, shooting pains, it’s time to take a rest.

Here is to staying healthy, active, and pain free

xo friends,

Mia

My favourite at home workouts

Ok I will be the first to admit I haven’t done the best job at keeping fit during this pandemic, but it finally hit me just how bad I have been. I tried to put on my “fat” jeans and they are on the rather tight side. And despite BC entering phase 3, and more gyms and workout studios are opening up, you may not be at that comfort level just yet. So I decided to test out a few online workouts and wanted to share some of my favourite that are helping me get back into not just my fat jeans but my skinny jeans too.

 

Breathe at home

I was going to Breathe Studio daily before the COVID 19 shutdowns, and I was very impressed at how quickly they were able to transition online. They started offering the same classes they did in studio through instagram live, facebook videos, and even zoom classes so the teachers could watch and interact with you. I have always loved the high energy of these aerobic, HITT, and yoga classes, and was surprised to find that same energy online. I love sweaty along to the feel good classes at home.

Yoga is the perfect exercise, whether you’re at home or in the studio. There are so many benefits to a yoga practice including increased flexibility, and improved mental health. Yoga can help you to perfect your posture, improve your balance, and tone up. Dynamic classes can help you to get your cardio fix, while gentle classes can help you to relax. When you’re experiencing aches and pains, try a yoga class or two. If you’ve recently experienced an injury, it’s best to see your Physio before attending a class.

 

Lilly Sabri 

A girlfriend of mine told me about Lilly Sabri, and I was hooked after the first class. I love that she posts daily workout videos including 7 and 14 day challenges that target all of your muscles and help both slim you done and tone your body. Along with her full workouts, she also offers lots of 5 and 10 minute videos that target specific muscles and areas.

Daniela Dib Fitness 

 

I always made sure to book Daniela’s classes when I was going to soulcycle. She is uplifting, encouraging, motivating, but also HARD. There were times I thought I was going to collapse right off of the bike. Because of this I was super excited when she decided to migrate and start her own online business. On her public page she offers a few IGTV fitnesses challenge videos, but the real workouts are on her members only page. Just a small paypall donation gives you access to some incredible pilates and fat burning classes, and trust me, her energy is so contagious you won’t even feel like you are working out (well you will because you will be sweating buckets).

I know this is a difficult time right now, but I have found that keeping up with exercise has kept me as sane as can be through it all. I hope that you will also find some enjoyment through these amazing workouts, or please feel free to share some of the online classes you have really been enjoying!!

Stay healthy my friends,

xo

Mia