7 Things to Help You Stay (Mentally) Healthy in a Pretty Crazy World
written by Jess Mally
Here we are! The first of what will hopefully be many lifestyle and well-being posts here on Season7!
We hope that by adding some of this content, we'll be able to contribute to more than just your wardrobe!
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We can't wait to get to know you all better!
I don't know how your year has been going so far, but I feel like it’s been pretty mental already.
From trying not to freak out over the various political crisis left, right and centre (literally), to life constantly getting faster, pressures getting higher and demands on our ability to do it all, do it well and ideally right now, constantly increasing; I’ve found it hard to keep my zen.
Even if you're one of those people who aren’t really affected by what's going on in the wider world around you, my wild guess would be that you've had stuff going on in your life that has caused you to feel a sense of anxiety and stress at some point in this past week or month.
So what does one do? How do we stay well and healthy - both mentally and physically - in a world that seems to be going crazier by the minute?
Well, I certainly don't claim to have all the answers, but since I've had some practice with the craziness of life over the years, I have started applying some tools (#My7Things) that have helped me stay sane and even happy and content in the midst of the madness.
So I figured I’d share them with you all in the hope they help some of you as well!
The honest truth is, like all of us, I fail to apply them as consistently as I’d like BUT like most of us have found that when I’m aware, life is better, I deal with change well and I am generally a happier and more positive human.
And that’s the goal, right?
#My7Things aren’t rocket science, but like I said, applied consistently they work!
Trust me when I say, they're the reason I am currently sitting upright at my desk, loving life and able to write more or less coherent sentences.
Yes, we’re starting with this one and no, we can't pretend this is not a thing. Trust me, I've tried.
Funny, isn’t it? We all know that what we put into our body matters and yet our default when we are in stressed is to eat crap. I have found that when I can push through (after a couple of days of pizza and ice cream that is) and go back to my greens, blueberries and other fun things full of antioxidants, the world looks so much better, pretty much immediately.
And I found this to be the general reality: When I eat healthy consistently, my mood is more stable.
So do what you will, but once you try this one you'll quickly know it works - and your body will thank you!
(If you need help coming up with some healthy meal options, you can start on here on my Pinterest Food Board)
Did you know 80% of adults in the UK alone are suffering from dehydration?
Crazy right?? Even though we have clean drinking water at our disposal 24/7, we don't make use of this incredible resource. Little things like drinking a glass of water with any cup of coffee or glass of alcohol, as well as always carrying a (re-usable) water bottle with me have made an incredible impact on my life. (Check out some of our favourites HERE)
Here are some facts about why drinking water is important.
There was a time in my life where I functioned just fine on little to no sleep. School, university and even into my early 20s.
These days are long gone and I even wonder if they were ever really there (I can't help but wonder whether my grades may have looked very differently had I actually gotten a regular 8 hours sleep...)
Nowadays I need 8 hours. I used to try and fight it, but since I discovered that science backs me up on this, I have made my peace with my new sleeping patterns.
Side note: Most ‘science-y’ people suggest we don't look at our phones from at least 2 hours before we go to bed as the screens and all the images are super stimulating. I know, sounds crazy. I think most of us could start by putting our phones on flight mode half an hour before we hit the hay and not have our phones next to our beds, dare I say outside of our rooms? Watch your sleep quality improve very quickly.
Ugh. I hate this one so much and I wish with my whole being that it wasn't true. Sadly, one doesn't have to be a scientist to know that regular exercise, of any kind is an absolute miracle worker. From endorphins being released into your brain, your general confidence being boosted and your entire immune system, blood and oxygen flow functioning better after exercise, there is no denying that this one works.
Now I am by NO means a gym girl (though I often wish I was) and I have long stopped working out for weight loss alone.
I simply can no longer deny the incredibly positive impact regular exercise has had on my well-being.
Whether it's going for long walks, choosing stairs over elevators and walking up the escalators at the tube station, to doing Yoga and other simple work outs 2-3 times a week, the more I move, the better I feel.
- It boosts your health
- It boosts your happiness
- It boosts your social life
- It boosts your self-control
- It changes your brain (for the better)
- It improves your productivity
The list goes on…Either way, you get the picture.
You can simply start by sitting in silence for 10 minutes each morning. No phone or other distractions, just you. You can even put on some soothing instrumental music to start with. Focus on your breathing and watch stress release and peace enter your mind. It really does work.
(If you need some help getting started here a reading recommendation for three different approaches:
I know this sounds old school, but this has worked for me longer than I can remember. Fair enough, I'm a writer, so writing down how I feel comes a little more natural to me. I do however have plenty of friends who aren't writers who have experienced the power of processing their emotions by writing them own.
Whether it's keeping a gratitude journal to foster thankfulness which in turn generates joy, or simply writing down all the things otherwise raging through your mind, journalling can be an incredibly helpful tool. Both when we are well and when we’re going through things - it can help us reflect and process our emotions. It has certainly saved me from the odd unnecessary argument with potentially catastrophic consequences, ha! Try it!
I've also found that keeping an aesthetically pleasing journal helps.
I like them simple (like my fave Moleskin) but there are plenty of design oriented and stylish notebooks that could work for you!
When I say friends, I mean THE RIGHT friends. Funny enough, while I was going through some of my own life stuff, I didn't just want anybody around. I craved the company of people who would understand, accept and uplift me. Not in a cheesy 'everything will be alright' kind of way, but in a way I understood and that resonated with me. I have since been a lot more intentional about investing into those friends.
There's this famous quote: 'Show me your friends and I will show you your future.'
Who are the voices you surround yourself with? Are you constantly surrounded by nay-sayers, people who talk about nothing other than other peoples’ business or even people who constantly remind you why the world is doomed and no ones is ever happy? I might be exaggerating a little bit, but I am pretty sure you have a person or two in mind even as you're reading this. Now I'm not saying cut off your friends, but I am saying that to stay mentally strong and healthy, the voices we surround ourselves with matter.
Invest in the ones who will be positive, encourage you, are real loyal and trustworthy...and be a friend like that 😉 I've noticed like attracts like in that sense.
Last but definitely not least...being intentional about having an actively good time (binge watching Black-ish or New Girl does not count) can make such a difference in our lives. It took me a while to remember what I even experienced as fun, but once I figured it out it's been amazing. For me it's things like reading a book in a beautiful coffee shop, going to a great gig, hanging out with my friends and their babies (can you tell my age?!) - for you this might look very different. Either way, figure out what it is and start doing it.
Fun, joy and happiness don’t just arrive on the scene - we actually have to go out and take a hold of them ourselves.
There they are! #My7Things to stay healthy in a crazy world.
So wherever you're at in life at the moment - whether you're in a 'get off your cute butt and make some changes' or in a 'I'm just cruising' season: You can do this, and you can be well and be enjoying the journey as you go.
I hope these tools might help you feel a little bit better about life!
Have a fabulous week!
Let us know how you get on! Have you tried any of the 7? Bought a cute notebook or fancy water bottle? Or have you swapped out some of the above with your own to make your own 7 things?
Comment in the section below or tag us in your pictures @season7_uk #My7Things
want to read more from Jess? Check out her personal blog: https://jesswrites.org/