The element of our lives that is most fundamental to our happiness is our health. We all take great care in looking after our loved ones, but do we all do enough when it comes to looking after ourselves?
It can be easy to get sucked into a culture of doing extra hours at work in order to get ahead, but what use are financial and material rewards if you’re not physically or mentally well enough to enjoy them?
If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we could all do with a greater sense of perspective on life and to focus on the things that are truly important. That starts with your health and wellbeing, and here are five basic things you can do to protect those.
It’s something that so many of us take for granted, but sleep is a major factor for both your physical and mental state. If your phone battery were low, you’d plug it in to recharge, so why wouldn’t you do the same for your mind and body? Getting a good eight hours in – and not staying up late scrolling on social media or watching television – can make you feel revitalised.
A balanced diet
Are you getting enough fruit and vegetables, fibre and fish? For a lot of people in the UK, their diet consists of too many foods that are high in saturated fat, sugar and salt. This can make you feel sluggish and lethargic while it also has the potential to cause weight gain as well as a host of other health complications.
The benefits of exercise are vast and varied. It’s been proven to lower the risk of a number of serious diseases as well as mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Being physically active doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon every day. Instead, it might just be a case of going out for a daily walk, getting to the gym a couple of times a week or even popping down to your local pool for a swim. Any exercise will be valuable, and if you do it regularly then you’ll soon start to feel the benefits.
We spend a large proportion of our lives at work, so it’s vital that you have everything you need to be able to do your job properly. Manual labour, for example, can prove especially gruelling on the body which is why appropriate knee protection, hard hats, steel-capped boots and ear defenders are essential for anyone making a living in that industry. For office workers, ergonomic equipment and furniture are key in supporting your mind and body through long working weeks.
If you’re not feeling quite right, it can be easy to shut yourself away and shun your loved ones. But connecting with others is a great way to stay positive and improve your wellbeing. Even having a shoulder to cry on or someone to vent to can help you get things out of your system, while they might offer an alternative, more optimistic perspective that you’d not considered before.