In this week's blog we are looking at why it is essential to take steps to look after your mind in order to look after your body.
At the bottom of this page we have listed some options for you to explore if you want to address your mental health or are in crisis. Please reach out if you need support, you matter, there is only one of you!
Sometimes our mental health is such that we struggle to even do our most basic self-care? I have been there myself, when just making the bed, or even getting out of it is the equivalent of climbing a mountain, when doing the dishes feels like swimming the channel and walking to the shops is like walking through treacle. Mental health can be as disabling as any physical condition, so when someone comes along and says we need to start changing our lifestyle to become healthier - this can feel like yet another hurdle for us to jump. At One You Lincolnshire we understand that mental health can play a huge role in our lifestyles.
There is a really strong connection between our mind/mental health and our body/physical health, for example - stress in the mind often leads to physical sensations like heart palpitations, perspiration and shallow breathing. But often when looking to change our physical health, we focus only on the body, however, if you were to ask a long distance runner how they achieve personal bests they will tell you that a lot of what they overcome during their runs happens in their mind - the psychological barriers. So when we are trying to improve our body or lifestyle we need to take this into consideration, we need to address the mind barriers and our mental health, alongside or even before we address our physical barriers.
Of course, sometimes you can do both at once – for instance -eating nutritious food promotes good gut health and healthy gut bacteria, which has an impact on depression and anxiety; as alcohol is a depressant, reducing your alcohol consumption can really help, and exercising also releases those feel-good endorphins too. So, there are ways to tackle both but, sometimes we need to address our mental health first and this is ok.
Making a healthy lifestyle change that has a long-term impact and is a permanent change, requires us to engage both mind and body. To understand more we need to look at how habits lead to lifestyle and to change a lifestyle permanently you need to change your habits gradually. You can read our Habit blog here
Most of us have at some point acquired some unhealthy coping mechanisms that can lead to unhealthy lives, and it takes time to break these down and address them. Seeking help, guidance, understanding and medication for these is to be applauded. We all have mental health and most of us will struggle with it at some point, it really is ok to not be ok. Just as we would address a physical illness without stigma, we also need to address a mental illness without stigma too.
So what are some ways that we can start to address our mental health?
Reach out - Don't suffer in silence, this maybe a text to a friend or a call to your doctor or a chat with a colleague. It can feel like the last thing you want to do but you are not alone, you are not a burden and you matter.
Look at what resources there are in your area, below are some links that might help.
Breathe deep - Breathing is the fastest route to calming your brain and body down when it goes into overdrive. Practice stopping what you are doing and breathing through it, doing this in nature also helps.
Take it 5 minutes at a time. You don't have to solve your whole life right now, you just have to get through the next five minutes.
Look at what we can do right now to make life a bit easier, often this is simply being kind to ourselves and taking some of the pressure off, all humans are imperfect and we don't need to strive to be anything other than who we are. As we start to accept ourselves and all our unique aspects, we can then build upon this and make the changes we want to make, to enable us to live our lives to the fullest.
By addressing our mental health and taking steps to improve it, either through therapy, medication or holistic measures, we will find that we have a bit more space in our day to make healthier choices for ourselves. Having support for the mind is also having support for the body.
At One You Lincolnshire along with our practitioners who support you to Eat Well, Drink Less, Move More and Stop Smoking, we also have Health Coaches who can help you get yourself into the right frame of mind to make lifestyle changes. If you would like our support to make some changes you can contact us here
Mental Health Support in Lincolnshire and Beyond
The information and advice within this blog are not intended to replace any medical advice, with all our clients we seek to address their individual needs and circumstances - this includes any adaptations required for long- or short-term health conditions and medications. Please seek medical advice if you have any health conditions before considering a lifestyle change. If you would like to address any of the content of this blog, please email us.