After almost a year of lockdowns, disruption and uncertainty, we know that many people are suffering with their mental health – even those who may not have been before. It’s more important than ever that we take the time to look after ourselves, even if it feels like a lot of mental effort.
In January, we tackled fitness head-on. Thousands of you kickstarted health goals with our Weight Management products, including our C9 and F15, and we don’t want to lose that momentum. But we thought we’d take a look at all of the other ways you can love your body this year, because sometimes it’s just as important to take a rest day as it is to power through.
Eating a balanced diet
We know you’ve heard it a million times, but eating a healthy, balanced diet can really do wonders for your body and your mental health.
Be sure you’re eating plenty of the right foods and limiting things that you know will make you feel bloated, sluggish or unwell. Consume protein, healthy fats and fibre at each meal to keep you fuller for longer, and snack of fruits and veggies between meals. Plug any nutritional gaps you may have with supplements – we have a whole range here at Forever – to help you feel your best at all times.
While it’s important to make room for the days where comfort food really is the only answer (let’s face it, we all have them!) make sure you’re eating well the other 80-90% of the time, so your body gets all the love it deserves.
If you joined us on a fitness kick in January, chances are you’re already powering through your workouts. But no worries if you’re still struggling! Our minds are incredibly powerful and sometimes it’s all too easy to let it sway us away from exercise because “it’s too cold”, “it’s too hard”, or “what’s the point?”.
But think back to a time when you DID do a workout. You know that by the end of it you feel so much better. Channel that energy every morning and make yourself be active. What’s more - know that you can always start small. If you can’t manage a 5K run that’s no reason to pack in physical activity altogether. Why not head out on a 5K walk instead? A brisk walk doesn’t feel like exercise, but contains many of the same benefits – like the endorphins (the feel-good hormones) from physical activity, much-needed vitamin D, and time with nature to clear your head.
Although dedicated workout sessions are great for getting you into a fat-burning mode, even just little bits of exercise throughout the day can have a significant impact. How many squats can you do while waiting for the kettle to boil? How clean can you make your house in a ten-minute speed clean at the end of the workday? Is your favourite song playing? Stop what you’re doing, get up and dance to it wholeheartedly! Are you feeling a little stiff from sitting on Zoom calls all day? Try 10 minutes of stretching. All of these things are physical activity which – whether it feels like it or not – contributes to your overall wellbeing. Don’t discount the little things!
With the whole family home all the time, and work and school spaces encroaching on your home-life spaces, it’s more important than ever to take some time out for yourself, whatever that looks like. Whether it’s a long walk or heading to your bathroom to put on an Aloe Bio-Cellulose Mask. Diffuse some Forever Essential Oils, put your phone away, close your eyes and listen to peaceful music or an audio book. Take time out to journal – writing down your thoughts can get them out of your head and stop them from bothering you. Write a gratitude list, to help you feel thankful for every little thing that day.
If you have a family you struggle to get away from, try to set the kids up on an activity to entertain themselves for 30 minutes, or set up a rota where each parent gets an hour to themselves each day. Whatever you have to do to take time out, it’ll be worth it in the long run.
The word ‘Doomscrolling’ gained popularity in 2020. Defined as the act of consuming large quantities of negative online news all at once, it’s been deemed by mental health experts as incredibly detrimental to our mental health. It’s too tempting to scroll through trending topics on Twitter or find negative rants on Facebook or Instagram. It makes us feel informed and productive… but it also makes us angry, irrational, anxious and burned-out. When all the news feels like bad news, you’re bound to feel upset.
Instead, put your phone away or set up app limits (for instance, no more than 1 hour per day on social media) and find a screen-free hobby. Here are some ideas that may bring you a little peace, relaxation and mindfulness:
Reading a book (fiction or non-fiction can both be great)
Cooking or baking (it doesn’t have to be unhealthy… though the occasional treat never hurt!)
Cross stitch or embroidery (feel accomplished without feeling stressed)
Arts and crafts (try paper mâché, clay moulding, candle making… the list is endless)
Scrapbooking (look back on old memories and make plans for future ones)
Writing (they say everyone has a novel in them!)
Customising your clothes (get out the sewing machine and raid your cupboard)
Customising your furniture (a bit of DIY to make your house feel like home)
We’ve heard lots of people stressing out about not being as productive as they’d like or feeling anxious for “no reason”, but if you’ve been having these thoughts have you stopped to consider the fact that we’re in a global pandemic and that life has been disrupted far beyond anything any of us can control?
You’re bound to be anxious, bored, or feel less productive – it’s a symptom of barely seeing the people we love to see, not being able to do some of our usual hobbies, and not really knowing how long it’ll all go on for. Remember to be kind to yourself – if you catch yourself having these thoughts, take a moment to breathe and remember that we are all in this together. Focus on what you can control and let go of what you can’t. Simply: love yourself more.