5 Lessons Football Has Taught Me About Life And Mental Health by Rose Atkinson-Carter

(image: Unsplash: Konstantin Ekdokimov)

It’s true what they say: the best lessons are taught outside the classroom. We’re all constantly learning and growing in the most unexpected ways and dedicating yourself to any sport or hobby is bound to teach you more than you imagined, if you’re open to it.

I’ve played football for almost 20 years and learned a thing or two about dedication and persistence, which have affected my approach towards my mental health. Sure, there have been times when I’ve felt like the cons have outweighed the pros — training in a blizzard is never fun — but when all is said and done, football has helped me weather my own personal storms.

Along the way, I’ve picked up a few practical life skills and lessons that extend beyond the football pitch, to that big game called Life.

1.   A healthy routine can get you through tough times

The first lesson football taught me is to consistently show up for myself, especially on the days when I don’t feel like it. Growing up, building habits was never something I gave much thought to. Football practice was just second nature.

My football “habit” has been essential in getting me through times of low motivation and stress. Motivation is not a flat line — it’s something that fluctuates. There will be days when motivation alone will not be enough to get us to lace up and buckle down, and taking a mental health day is never something to be ashamed of. However, playing a team sport, or at least having a schedule to follow, is a great way to help yourself along on days when you need an external motivation to keep going.

2.   Prioritising ‘hobbies’ can create balance

When work piles up, it’s easy to stop prioritising your own wellbeing and to lose sight of what’s important in the grand scheme of things. Playing football has forced me to consider my priorities and this has, in turn, helped me create balance.

Sometimes, playing a sport when you’re busy with other things adds pressure. It’s tempting to cut out the ‘non-essentials’ — the hobbies and things that don’t seem to contribute to your career or relationships. However, I’ve found that prioritizing football has had a net positive effect on my life. It feels counterintuitive, but letting your mind take a break allows you to clear your mind, reduce stress, and work and feel better.

3.   You don’t always have to get along to produce great results

You don’t need to get along with everybody to get results. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you don’t all need to be BFFs to win a game.

Teamwork isn’t about creating a group of like-minded individuals who see eye-to-eye on everything. It’s about identifying everyone’s individual strengths and using that aggregated power to pull in the same direction. So while you don’t have to love everyone’s company, the team — the people you surround yourself with — is incredibly important in shaping your experiences.

4.   When you feel like quitting, ask yourself why

Wanting to quit something is quite natural, especially the longer you’ve spent doing something. When the urge to quit strikes, it’s good to explore where that feeling is coming from. For me, playing with strangers at university was incredibly stressful, but I eventually had to acknowledge that the problem wasn’t football, but social anxiety.

One thing that has helped me find answers has been to first recognise the feeling, and then try to drill down and understand where exactly it’s coming from. Asking myself ‘what is it that I think will happen if I don’t quit?’ helps me identify the elements of activities I dread or have negative feelings about (e.g. “I will have to keep seeing stressful person X every day”), which then means I can make conscious decisions without rushing into quitting.

5.   Quitting doesn’t make you a quitter

Then there are the times when you try a few more times, and the feeling of wanting to quit still remains. While football taught me a lot about perseverance, I’ve also had a hard time knowing when quitting might actually be the best thing for me.

A common misconception is that quitting is the easiest option, or that quitting “makes” you a quitter. But think about it this way: leaving something behind involves making an active decision to change. The trouble is, if you don’t know what you’re trading it in for, it’s much easier to just keep going with the status quo.

Quitting something after careful consideration can actually be the best way to continue to show up for yourself. Ultimately, there’s a huge difference between giving up on yourself and giving up something that no longer brings you joy and comfort.

Football, to me, has always been more than just fancy footwork. From showing me how to get up after a few tackles to accepting defeats and working hard towards my goals, it has been one of my most influential teachers. As the final whistle blows, I hope some of the lessons it has taught me can be useful to you as well.

Rose Atkinson-Carter is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects authors hoping to get published with the world’s best book editors, designers, and marketers. She loves to advise authors on topics like book formatting and literary copyright — and to play football, of course!

Tips for Identifying and Overcoming Seasonal Mood Changes by Brian Thomas.

(image: free image)

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that some people experience with the changing of seasons. Usually, it is associated with the transition from fall into winter, but it can also happen during the summer. Either way, there is a noticeable pattern with signs of SAD due to many external factors. Here are some ways you can identify SAD and work to overcome some of the symptoms. 

Spend Time Outdoors 

SAD is thought to be caused by fewer hours of sunlight due to the shift of the planet’s position going into the autumn and winter months. It is also believed to be linked to the production of melatonin, a hormone that we produce when it is dark outside. Not getting enough sunlight can affect your mental and physical health. Therefore, it is important to remember to get outdoors and soak up the sunshine even during the colder months. 

Snow activities, such as snowshoeing, skiing, and sledding are all fun ways to spend time outside in the cold, if you’re in a country where you have snow. Weather permitting, a walk around the neighbourhood is a more manageable daily outdoor activity that you can do with a furry friend or family member.

Not only will you be able to maximise your vitamin D intake, but you will also be able to spend quality time with your walking partner. If you’re finding it difficult to leave the house to get your vitamin D, consider taking a supplement or buying a sun lamp. 

(image: free image)

Increase Exercise 

Exercise can help boost energy levels by producing endorphins, giving you that “runner’s high” feeling and keeping your SAD symptoms at bay. Some of the outdoor activities listed above are also great methods of exercise, but if you can’t get outdoors to get active, have no fear. There are many at-home workout videos on the internet that you can follow along with. Whether it’s yoga, Pilates, or HIIT, find what works for you and get into a routine. 

If getting outside of the house is high on your priority list this time of the year, we hear you. Try taking a tour of a local fitness center or gym that you’ve never been to. You may find that you enjoy being around other people who are as motivated to move as you are. Not every “New Year’s Resolution” has to start on January 1st, you can set goals on your own time.

Seek Professional Advice 

If you feel like you’re experiencing more than just a case of the blues, consider talking to your doctor or therapist about next steps. Medication may not be right for everyone, so it is important to consult with your healthcare professional about what is best for you. These conversations are not always easy to have, but keep in mind that your mental and physical health always come first. 

If addressing your mental health seems intimidating or you don’t have a therapist, consider an online teletherapy service. Over the past few years, virtual appointments have grown in popularity because of their practicality. Many people feel more comfortable in their homes than in an office,which is important for a productive session. 

Get Creative 

Writing and journalling are two ways to get your thoughts onto a page and out of your head. This tip is especially important to consider if you feel like you’re stuck in a creative rut. You can draw, write fiction, or find prompts to follow online.

Gratitude journalling is a great way to reflect on what you are thankful for in your life and is especially relevant with Thanksgiving coming up. This holiday season, consider sending a Thanksgiving card to the people in your life that make you feel grateful. It will make them feel appreciated and you are sure to feel good about it too. 

You can even try a meditation colouring book. In the past, it may have seemed like an activity meant for a younger group. But now, it is gaining popularity because it can be calming and a great way to focus your mind for a while. When you’re finished, you’ll have a piece of art that you created and can hang up wherever you’d like. 

During these cooler and busier fall and winter months, it is important to make time for yourself and your mental health. SAD is not something to be ignored or swept under the rug. If you are looking to read more about mental health, check out our other blog posts! 

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Consult a medical professional if you are seeking medical care or treatment. 

Brian Thomas is a contributor to Enlightened Digital. He enjoys reading and researching tech and business. When he’s not looking into the latest trends, you can find him out cycling.

How To Stay Motivated And Keep A Good Mindset Throughout Physical (Physio) Therapy by Sierra Powell

Photo from Pexels

Physical (physio) therapy sticks out as an important part of the recovery process if you find yourself in pain or overcoming an injury. Continuing to do your physical therapy may seem overwhelming, so you could end up losing your motivation. This means you should find some ways to keep yourself motivated, so you can enjoy all the benefits of physical therapy.

Ask Someone to Help You

If you struggle with motivation, you can always talk with people close to you for some help. For example, if you have a family member you trust, you can mention your lack of motivation. From there, you can ask that person to keep you motivated and check in with you, so you can stick with the physical (physio) therapy and overcome your injury.

Sometimes, motivation simply requires another person to help you out. If you let someone work alongside you, then you don’t have to tackle the challenge on your own. Having the additional support can help you remain motivated and stick with the therapy process.

Remember the Potential Benefits

Sometimes, people don’t like to go through physical (physio) therapy since they may feel pain and spend multiple hours tackling the process. For example, if you deal with sciatica pain, you may feel excruciating back pain while you go through therapy. Since you may not want to deal with the pain, you may lose your motivation to continue.

You need to remember the benefits of physical (physio) therapy, so you can stick with it. After all, you can lower your pain in the future if you effectively treat it now, so make sure you remember this point whenever you want to quit.

Make Note of Your Progress

When you go through physical (physio) therapy, you may overlook the progress you make if you focus on the negatives. For example, if you don’t like spending an hour every few days working on your physical (physio) therapy, you won’t realise the progress you made. If you change your mindset to focus on your progress, you may build your motivation up again.

This means you should remember how much time and hours you put into the process to help you stick with it. That way, you can get a better understanding of how much it helped you out since you can see how much you have progressed compared to the beginning.

Enjoy Every Victory

On top of tracking your progress, you should also celebrate each victory you experience. For example, if you go through physical (physio) therapy to help you walk again, you should celebrate once you take your first step. Even though it may not seem like much, reminding yourself of each of these moments can help you feel motivated to continue.

Even the smallest victories can help you with motivation, so make sure you never overlook them. You can enjoy the first step, but you should also celebrate every step you take. You can apply this type of thought process to any therapy you need to participate in.

Create a Timeline for Yourself

Sometimes, people need to know how much they must dedicate to the process if they want to keep themselves motivated. For example, if you need to go through physical therapy twice a week for a month, you can note how many days you have left. This means if you just finished your second session, you only have six more to go through.

Creating a timeline like his can help you visualise what you still need to do. You can mark these days on a calendar to keep track of each important date, so you can make sure you go through the whole process and finish it.

Conclusion

Maintaining your motivation requires you to focus on your mind, since doing so will help you look at the situation positively.

Make sure you keep yourself in a good headspace and boost your mental health, so you can get through the recovery process and get back to your usual life. Self care is so important.

This requires tons of effort on your part, but you can help yourself to get better and recover.

Sierra Powell is a content writer from the USA.

Fitness and Mental Health: A Career to Help You Glow

Photo by kike vega on Unsplash

Breaking into the fitness industry might seem like a bit of a challenge, especially if you are switching careers. But if you know that nothing is exciting as lacing up your sports shoes and getting started, then here are a few tips for you to break into fitness as a career. It can help your mental health as well as your physical health!

Education

Even if you are an avid runner, you shouldn’t be giving others running tips beyond anecdotal stuff. This is because the body is a finely tuned machine, and a step out of place while running at full speed, even if it works for you, can cause damage to others.  Equally, things like nutrition should be handled by a professional. 

So one of the most important things that you can do alongside enjoying your fitness is to make sure that you have the education and training to do the best job possible. Thankfully there are plenty of options for online courses, and you can even take a test now to kickstart your career. 

Options

You have hundreds of options within the fitness umbrella. As you invest in education and put that education into improving your own fitness routines, you can explore multiple options. 

You can talk to other fitness professionals about how they got to the point that they are at; most often, they’re so passionate that they’ll be happy to talk to you about it. 

One of the things that are an overriding subject in the professional fitness community is that they want to do the best for their clients.

Passion

If you have only been running, jogging or taking part in yoga for a short time; you might still be riding high on that new hobby energy. Once that new hobby energy starts to wane you might not find it as enjoyable as you did? 

However, if you have been doing it for years, and the passion is still there, then the chances are that you should be going into a fitness career and enjoying a natural feel-good glow.

Within fitness, you’ll find things like writers, fitness instructors, teachers, coaching, sports and fitness photography, gym owners, personal trainers and more. 

You’ll need to decide which one you’re passionate about drives you towards and which one you can picture yourself doing for the long haul.

Experience

Once you have your certification, it’s time to get some experience; you might find it a little bit difficult to get paying clients immediately. 

This is where your friends and family can help you out; ask them if they can be your guinea pigs for a short while and see if you can help them meet their fitness goals.

Once you have some experience, you can use that feedback to improve or add social proof to your website.

And of course, one of the most incredible things about helping people with their fitness journey is that you might become part of their recovery and support.

Looking after their mental health, as well as their physical health is so important and it is proven that fitness has a huge positive effect on mental wellbeing too.

This article was written by a freelance writer.

4 Ways to Make Your Mental Health a Priority in your Life by Emma Sturgis

Because of the stress and fear caused by the pandemic, more people are coming forward to talk about their mental health struggles. Mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, affect millions of people around the world. The inability to cope with stressful events as well as other factors can lead to an increase in mental illness.

When you make taking care of your mental health a priority, you will be surprised at how many ways there are to help a variety of mental health issues. Here are four simple but effective ways to improve your mental health.  

(image: Pexels)

Practice Mindfulness 

According to the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, mindfulness improves mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.   Some people are skeptical about how mindfulness can create such positive results, but it really only takes a few days of regular practice to prove to yourself that being aware of what you do when you do it focuses your mind. When your mind is focused on a task in the present moment, it won’t engage in depressing or anxious thoughts. Definitely give it a go and see if it works for you.

Exercise Regularly If You Can

Physical activity is an excellent way to manage depression and improve your mental health.  Physical activity boosts the release of mood-enhancing chemicals in your brain. These endorphins can help reduce any feelings of sadness or anxiety, alongside other treatment. Exercise also increases blood flow to the brain, which can make you feel more energised and happier.  Furthermore, physical activity can help people cope with stress better by improving their coping skills due to the endorphin boost or just being outside in fresh air. Exercise is also a great way to spend time with others in a social setting such as an exercise class or do some gentle exercise at home.

Eat Healthy Meals 

Diet is an important part of our lives, we should make sure that we eat a balanced diet in order to nourish both our bodies and souls. There are many healthy food options to choose from which help you to look after your body and mind. For example, why not try the nutritional goods on offer on the Gold Bee website, such as the natural honey and coconut oil that can be added to many meals of your choice. 

Get Professional Mental Health Assistance   

Talking to a psychiatrist can help you learn how to deal with your mental health condition. It’s especially important to be able to get professional assistance when dealing with a life-altering event or trauma. Talking about your feelings, fears, and worries alleviates stress and can help mental illness. 

Try these four ways to improve your mental health. Mindfulness increases productivity and reduces stress. Physical activity benefits your mental health in many ways. Following a balanced diet nourishes both body and mind. Talking to a mental health professional can help mental health recovery.

What are the Benefits of Personal Training for your Mental Health? by Life Force Fitness

(image: Unsplash)

Exercise, including personal training, helps to keep your body healthy and strong. However, did you know that physical activity can also improve your mental health?  

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, mental health has become an increasingly popular topic of conversation, especially as people have been stuck at home trying to get through the seemingly interminable lockdowns.

So, what are the mental health benefits of exercising?

  1. You feel a sense of achievement

Exercising on a regular basis can provide you with a sense of pride and satisfaction. Nevertheless, personal training requires:

  • Hard work
  • Determination
  • Perseverance

If you possess these qualities, you will not give up easily and this will enable you to significantly improve your mental wellbeing. 

  1. It can keep you calm

If you have a stressful job or challenging lifestyle, exercising is an excellent way of releasing a lot of the tension. Unfortunately, gyms can be overcrowded and this may even add to your stress. Private studios may be a better option as they only allow a few people in at a time and you will also have the benefit of a personal trainer supporting you. Even if the exercises are intense, the quiet and spacious room will keep you calm and focused.  

  1. A healthy alternative to anxiety and depression

Exercise, especially if performed regularly, can prove effective in helping you fight off anxiety and depression. Indeed, physical activity can work as a standalone treatment or in combination with medication and therapy.   

The fantastic thing about exercise is that there are few if any side effects. In addition, compared with taking antidepressants or undergoing psychotherapy, you will not experience any form of stigma.

If you are having some issues with anxiety, exercising regularly can help reduce your tension. One of the main advantages of exercise as a form of treatment for anxiety and depression is that it incurs very few costs. Despite this, it can significantly improve your mental health.   

  1. It can halt or at least delay the onset of cognitive decline

Modern healthcare strategies have increased people’s life expectancy here in the UK. However, there has also been an increase in the number of cases of dementia and cognitive decline. Fortunately, physical activity can help protect you from this type of disease, or at least delay any further decline. Also, a regular workout can reduce your chances of suffering from depression by around 20–30%.          

  1. It will increase your mental resilience  

Personal trainers have pointed out that many people tend to quit exercising after their first few days due to a lack of willpower. However, if you give up too easily and don’t stick to the programme, you may develop low self-esteem and depression. If you book sessions with a well-respected personal trainer, they will help you push on so that you go beyond your comfort zone. Indeed, as you get used to the routine, your mental fortitude will also be strengthened.     

  1. Regain your mojo 

Your mojo is a quality that will attract people to you, make you successful and give you lots of energy. When people say they have lost their mojo, it means they have lost their enthusiasm and zest for life. Fortunately, a suitably designed training programme can help you regain your mojo.  

Personal training supports self-improvement

In general, people like to see if they can improve themselves. Personal training can certainly help in this regard, especially when it comes to self-confidence. When you complete an assigned exercise routine, it gives you the confidence to extend yourself even when confronted by a difficult challenge.    

How much exercise do I need?

To achieve the best possible results from your physical activity, you need to do it on a regular basis. The NHS recommends that you perform at least a 2½-hour intense workout every week or 30 minutes of exercise per day. Although this may seem daunting, especially if you are a beginner, as you get used to the routine, it will become much easier. 

Physical training is a good start

Bearing in mind the current Covid-19 situation, it is no longer advisable to exercise in a crowded gym. Fortunately, physical training offers you some elbow room. Due to the wide open space, you can focus on doing your exercises with little or no distraction. And, by practising social distancing while you perform your physical activities, you will also gain peace of mind. 

Conclusion  

As well as looking after your body, it is imperative that you take care of your mind as otherwise, you may potentially find yourself requiring a significant amount of medication or therapy. However, exercise, including physical training, is a healthy way of helping mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and dementia. You can also obtain some notable benefits from your physical activity, ranging from feelings of accomplishment to regaining your self-confidence. Remember, it is vital that you start exercising as soon as possible in order to improve both your physical fitness and your mental wellbeing.  

Note from Eleanor: it is important to note that if you are very unwell, exercise may not feel achievable. Be kind to yourself and look after your energy.

Using Yoga to Improve Productivity when Working from Home: by Daisy Moss

(image: Unsplash)

Life can often be overwhelming, especially when working from home. Dealing with work deadlines, disagreements, constant emails and stressful situations is difficult enough, but trying to process those issues in your home environment can be confusing and difficult. It is likely that you are lacking motivation and potentially feeling anxious after working at home for months on end which will be impacting your productivity.

If you are in need of a serious boost, set aside some time each day and unwind by practicing yoga. We’re going to discuss how yoga can help you to overcome anxious, stressed and overwhelmed feelings in order to significantly improve your productivity when working from home, as well as talking about a few other tips that will ensure you are getting the most out of the time you spend doing yoga. 


Overcoming Barriers

Yoga has endless benefits for our mind and body, firstly being it can substantially reduce stress and anxiety. Practicing yoga regularly can really help to clear the mind of negative thoughts and enable you to focus throughout the day, helping you to be productive when you need it most.

Yoga can also help you to sleep much better, giving your mind the time it needs to rest and recover to function as productively as possible the next day. As well as this, yoga can improve your overall well being and confidence, helping you to have faith in yourself when working on overcoming negative thoughts or stressful situations.

Finally, and most importantly, yoga boosts our happiness, which will do wonders for both your productivity as well as your general wellbeing. All of these fantastic benefits that help to reduce negative feelings simultaneously help us to become more productive. 

Fitting Yoga Into Your Routine

Working and living in the same space can be testing, but setting aside even 10 minutes to practice yoga in the morning can help to completely clear your head space ready for a productive day ahead. Alternatively, doing yoga in the evening can help you to unwind and truly relax when your body needs it most, helping you to be more productive the following day. If you struggle to maintain focus throughout the day, why not try setting aside 10 minutes of your lunch break to clear your headspace.

You will eventually workout the time that works best for you, whether you can spare 10 minutes or an hour. Something that works well for many people is completing shorter sessions throughout the week and then spending around an hour at the weekends in order to improve your strength and ability to fully relax, which will in turn help you to make the most of your weekday sessions.

The best thing is the only equipment you need is a small space and a yoga mat if possible, so you can do it anywhere, anytime!

Pair With a Healthy Diet

To maximise the benefits of your practice, having a healthy diet is important. Consuming a variety of different fruit and veg, plenty of protein to support muscle recovery, and foods that help with joint pain or stiffness such as fatty fish, will all help you to make the most of your yoga experience

Integrating turmeric into your cooking is also a great option, as it has been used in Chinese Medicine for centuries to help with all kinds of health problems such as reducing inflammation and helping muscle recovery. In terms of vitamins and minerals, magnesium supplements have multiple benefits such as regulating the nervous system, supporting muscles and helping to convert food into energy. The last point is particularly important for those struggling with a lack of productivity, as you will find you have that extra bit of energy needed to get you through the day, as well as the strength to help you get the most out of yoga. 

Summary

Overall, yoga has endless amounts of benefits that can completely change how you work and alter your outlook on life. All of these benefits help you to become happier and more productive, enabling you to prosper in every aspect of your life.

Many people are sceptical of yoga before practicing it themselves, but if you are in need of an intervention then give it a go. You potentially have so much to gain, and nothing to lose! 

This article was written by freelance writer Daisy Moss.

The UK went into Lockdown and I went into Meltdown: Guest blog by Nicole

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(image: Nicole_no_filter)

The UK went into lockdown and I went into meltdown.

When I heard the announcement on the news, I was on my Mum’s sofa and I immediately felt the usual sick way that I do when I get anxious. I needed to get out of the house, so I quickly escaped on a walk with my dog. My thoughts were far from pleasant and I silently cried while I slowly paced around my local area. This marked the start of a tough couple of weeks.

I fell into the behaviours that you would probably expect from a person with anxieties, I was obsessed with updates on the lockdown, it became my most frequently searched term on Google! My skin condition, urticaria, flared up which happens when I experience stress. My sleeping got worse than usual and I was easily irritated by silly things. Most of all, I fixated on the negatives of my situation, such as the impact living alone would have on me.

I’m not going to pretend that I had an epiphany on day fifteen and I’m now thriving in my new life of one daily walk and it being a glam day if I put on jeans!

However, I’ve now established a flexible routine and I’ve settled into working from home.

I check the news once a day and I appreciate that I am lucky to be healthy and still have my job. However, I don’t give myself a hard time when I have a bad day and I don’t pay attention to unhelpful comments online, criticising people for struggling as there are others with more serious struggles. Of course, this is true, but I heard recently that, ‘you wouldn’t tell someone not to be happy, because there is someone happier’ and that has stuck with me ever since.

The most positive outcome of this situation for me, is that I am in touch with my thoughts, emotions and my behaviour, more than ever.

Some things that have helped me are:

  • Reawakening my passion for writing: As a Careers Coach, I regularly create resources and assist others with writing about themselves. However, it had been so long since I wrote for pleasure. I now record my thoughts in a journal, you are currently reading my second blog post and I rediscovered my love for writing poems. Writing has felt a bit like offloading to my best friend; I get out my thoughts and I then feel better. 

 

  • Walking: I think it’s amazing that so many people are focusing on their fitness, but I was previously anxious about my weight, so I don’t put pressure on myself to follow a rigid exercise routine. Pre-lockdown, when I had a crap day, I benefitted from getting out of the house and being around others; walking isn’t a substitute for this, but it helps me to get rid of negative energy by doing something active. 

 

  • Keeping my space tidy: This won’t work for everyone but a clear space, means a clearer mind for me. I also find cleaning quite therapeutic as it helps me to focus on the task in hand and not overthink. 

 

  • Paying it forward: I have been trying to spread some positivity remotely, for example, I suggested to my colleagues that we each send a card to another person in the team with a positive message. I also started an Instagram account to raise awareness of mental health and share experiences and strategies with others. As a people person, helping and connecting with others always lifts my mood. 
  • Revisiting coping mechanisms for anxiety: I have done a lot of research into cognitive behaviour therapy techniques over the last few years, as some of the principles are useful for my job in supporting young people. I have also personally been through this type of therapy; this helps me to reframe negative thoughts and therefore gain better control of my feelings and actions. 

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I still regularly think that I can’t wait for this to be over! I miss the little things in my life, but the lockdown has caused me to have a deeper appreciation for all the good aspects of it.

I have also realised that the little things ARE the BIG things. Being forced into this situation that I have no control over, has helped me to put less focus on other things that I can’t control.

I was previously anxious about being single as I am about to approach my 30th birthday, but I have gained a more positive perspective on this. I may not be able to control what happens TO me, but I can control what is IN me, which are my thoughts and how they make me feel and react.

Nicole is a careers coach and freelance writer in the UK and is on Instagram @nicole_no_filter

5 Ways to Evaluate your Body, Mind and Soul: Guest post by Daniel Torres

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(image:  https://unsplash.com/photos/h7qhDX6ExD4)

Many people think about their wellness in terms of exercise, nutrition, weight management, and physical health. However, wellness involves much more than you think. Your well-being must include mental, spiritual, and physical aspects. You need to engage your mind, nurture your spirit, and strive to get the general body balance. 

The balance of mind, body, and spirit is more about living your life to the fullest. It is a personalized approach and lifestyle decision. It allows you to maximize your potential. To attain the best health, we need good self-stewardship for those we care for and for ourselves.  

The body reaches a state of energy balance when you meet emotional, physical, social, intellectual, environmental, financial, and vocational dimensions. You need to pay close attention to all these dimensions as neglect of one will affect others. However, you do not need to balance them equally. The most important thing is personal harmony, which will feel authentic to you. Everyone has their aspirations, approaches, and priorities.

Making the correct choice to balance the mind, body, and soul can be a challenge. Many factors influence human behavior. What you want to do, how you intend to do it, and the chances of you succeeding should be your point of focus. They play a critical part when it comes to our habits, self-regulation, and wellness. 

There are several ways you can evaluate your body’s well-being, including:

 

The food you eat

Many people downplay the significance of the food we eat on our body and mind. You need to eat foods that are dense in nutrients to improve your health. By doing this, you will feel energised, rested, and will be able to tackle day-to-day challenges. 

There is a direct connection between chronic depression and the kind of food you eat. Avoid fast foods as much as you can. Moreover, consuming foods rich in nutrients and vitamins such as the best MCT oil that will help keep your athletic body in balance. It also has fantastic results on your nails, hair, skin, and more.

Getting enough rest

Some people are addicted to work. They will keep pushing to the limits even when the body has had enough. One thing you need to know is that your body needs rest, or you will burnout. You need to evaluate yourself and understand what is essential to your health and well-being or work.

Taking a break and resting increases your productivity and the satisfaction you get from working. Engage in outdoor activities like jogging, do the body in balance yoga and pilates, or get a massage. Engaging in these activities will work wonders in your body, mind, and spirit. You need to take good care of yourself before thinking about anyone else. Taking time off to meditate is an excellent way to unwind after a day’s hard work.

Working out

When you experience pain, it is mostly a sign that your body is not balanced. Your body is trying to convey information that there is something wrong. Keeping your body in balance through physical therapy tries to correct any dysfunctions that you may have. Physical therapy is a safe way that gets rid of the pain without having to take medicine.

Being free of pain is right for your mind, soul, and spirit. There are several techniques, which you can use to release facial, joint, and muscular pain. You can keep your body in balance through chiropractic care to help you recover without having to take medicine or surgery. 

Disconnecting from Technology

In recent times, people have become so dependent on technology. Lifestyles have been changing rapidly hence, the need to be connected at all times. Engaging with your phone and laptop is a daily occurrence.

Over usage of these electronic devices has come at very high-cost health-wise. Sometimes, leave your phone at home and take a long walk. You should strive to be more connected to the reality of day-to-day activities. Moreover, being too attached to sites like Facebook and Instagram may lead to comparisons, thereby lowering your self-esteem. 

 

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(image: Unsplash)

 

Read books and learn something new

When you have the urge to watch television, keep reminding yourself that you have to read a book. You will be able to create a balance between watching television and reading. The more you read, the more knowledgeable you become. It also helps your mind relax.

Another thing that will help to keep your mind, body, and soul in shape is challenging yourself to do something new. Encourage yourself towards personal growth and visit new places you may like. 

 

At the end of the day, the little things count. Keeping your body in top shape should be at the top of your priorities.

Do you sometimes feel like you have neglected your body, mind, and soul? Share with us in the comment box below how that made you feel.

 

Bio: Daniel Torres is a fitness and wellness coach. Aside from his work, he is also a writer, and he has written on various topics, fitness, and wellness topping the list. Currently, Daniel is working with the youth from his local church on a fitness project for the community.

Life Changing Habits to Bring into the New Year: Guest blog By Vanessa Hill

(image: http://gandlblog.com/17-inspirational-new-years-quotes-for-2020/)

The start of 2020 is a special time. Not only are we lucky enough to be able to start a new year, but we also have the privilege of beginning a new decade. We have the opportunity to define the next ten years of our lives, which means we should probably be starting it off on the right foot by developing good habits. Here are three life-changing habits that you can start doing right now to ensure you have a great decade.

Eat Healthy Foods 

The first habit you need to bring into the new year with you is making your health a priority, and one of the easiest ways to do this is by maintaining a healthy diet. Your diet plays a huge role in how you feel mentally and physically. It’s where your body sources it’s energy from, so when you put good things in your body you feel good. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to completely give up your favourite guilty pleasures. Try thinking of things you can incorporate into your diet rather than thinking of things you want to get rid of. Commit to eating more leafy greens rather than swearing off chocolate. Choose to eat whole grain rather than avoiding carbs.

If you’re not entirely sure where to start, you can always sign up for healthy eating program that shows you exactly how to transform your eating habits. Even if losing weight isn’t your goal, you’ll find that making healthier choices with your nutrition will leave you feeling better, and give you the energy to take on the year.

Please note to speak to a doctor before you start any new eating program and take care if you are struggling with your mental health alongside. 

Develop a consistent sleep routine

Sleep is an underrated body function that too many of us take for granted. Our bodies use this time to repair damages, replenish our energy, and restore us to a functioning state. Lack of sleep negatively affects every part of your body. If you’re tired of struggling with brain fog, lack of energy, and irritability, then developing a good sleeping pattern is the place to start.

Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day– even on the weekends. This may be a bit tricky if you’re younger and you find yourself spending your weekend nights out on the town, if you travel a lot, or if you have young children. But once you come up with a schedule that works, try to stick to this as closely as you can. You’ll find that your days are more bearable and you might even get deeper sleep at night. Don’t be afraid to consult a sleep specialist if you’re having trouble getting a good night’s rest. They’ll be able to help you get the best sleep possible, which will turn into you living the best year possible. 

Practice Gratitude

While people are eager to think of the things they want to change at the beginning of the year, it’s important to show your appreciation for the things that you do have and for where you are right now. You can show gratitude on a macro-scale, where you’re thankful for your friends and family, for your amazing job, or the events that you’re lucky enough to experience. On a micro-scale, you can be thankful that you had enough money for coffee today, for example.

Either way, taking the time to notice and appreciate the things that are going well around you will give you a positive outlook on life, and it will remind you of all the reasons you have to smile. You have so much to be thankful for, you should regularly remind yourself of that.

About the Author

Vanessa is a content writer who’s passionate about spreading knowledge and joy to the world. When she’s not writing, she enjoys exploring the streets in a foreign country where she can immerse herself in different cultures.