- Sleep. There’s an old saying that every hour’s sleep before midnight is worth two after. It means sleep before midnight is extra valuable sleep to recharge and repair tired minds and bodies.
- Bedroom. Keep your bedroom free of clutter and mess. It should be a zen-like space without a telly, computer or desk. Your bedroom should be cool in temperature and well aired. Minimise the number of electronic devices in there including mobiles, tablets and laptops. The purpose of the bedroom is for sleeping and making love… only.
- Alcohol. is a depressant and can be easily become addictive. Make sure your weekly consumption is below the recommended 14 units for both men and women.
- Drugs. Cannabis is a demotivator. Look at The Dude in the movie The Big Lebowski and you’ll see what I mean. If you use street drugs cut down and give them up. In the long term they only make you feel worse.
- Nutrition. Our bodies are extremely sophisticated machines and the better the fuel we can put in the better they work. Cut out junk food and replace with the best stuff you can afford. Fruit and veg of course and think about buying the freshest, organic food. If you were driving a Ferrari you’d make sure you put in really good petrol in the tank even if it cost more than regular.
- Supplements. Are you low in essential nutrients? Many of us in the northern hemisphere are low in Vitamin D in winter and Vitamin C can help ward off colds. Speak to someone knowledgeable about which supplements you can take and experiment to see if they make you feel better.
- Exercise. releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel good drug. When runners complete a marathon some feel they could do it all over again.. right there and then. Amazing! They couldn’t (usually) but endorphins, the body’s natural high, makes them feel super great. If you don’t currently exercise you’re really missing out. Get up off your sofa, join a gym and/or get yourself a personal trainer to get you motivated.
- Vistas. Green grass, big open blue skies, earth, wind, sea, space. It has been shown that people feel better when in the natural world and this means getting out there… on Wimbledon Common, into Richmond Park or walking along the seafront on the South Coast breathing in that ozone. We were not built to spend our lives under LED lighting in air con offices.
- Spirit. Do something to raise your spirit, to take you out of and beyond your normal everyday world. This could be going to church, synagogue or the mosque. Listen to some great music, visit an art gallery, a beautiful garden, see a play or go to the cinema and catch a movie. It could be taking up gardening or singing in a choir. Do any or all of these to take you out of the usual hum drum.
- Talk. to someone. It could be a good dependable friend or partner, it could be a talking therapist like me. Whoever it is, open up, share and give expression to your thoughts and feelings. Let’s talk.
- Signposts. Have something to look forward to so life doesn’t just stretch out interminably with nothing to look forward to. Book a holiday, book a concert or think about how you’ll celebrate your birthday.
- Learn mindfulness. Mindfulness, meditation and yoga can all take us to a deeper level of being and can lower brain activity. A good place to start is the Mindfulness app Headspace.
- Do something new. Try a new hobby, sport or activity, learn a new language, start an evening adult education course. Life is a dynamic process, it’s about changing – just like the seasons in the natural world. ‘To everything there is a season’. Remember if you don’t feel good and want to feel better there will be no change without change.
- Set yourself a goal, something you’d like to achieve. It could be running a 5k, climbing Scafell Pike, working with a trainer to get down to a target weight or getting a GCSE in Polish, Russian or Chinese…if you don’t already have one. Whatever you choose, when you achieve your goal it will feel great, be a real success and success breeds success.
- Treat yourself. It could be to a massage or facial. If you lack physical closeness or touch in your life let someone work on your body. Touch releases oxytocin another of the body’s natural feel good chemicals. Oxytocin is the reason babies often stop crying when they’re picked up. And it works for grown-ups too.
- Self help book. Get yourself a good self help book and see what you can learn from it.
- Declutter. Give away or sell your old stuff including clothes you no longer wear, don’t fit or are out of date and stuff you just don’t need any more. You’ll feel great for doing it, lighter, less burdened. Think about getting a professional declutterer to help you get you started.
- Take breaks from your work during the day. Go out for lunch, go for a walk or go to the gym. Remember we were not built to sit in front of a screen from 7am to 10pm.
- Meds. If you’re feeling really bad talk to your therapist and/or GP about your GP prescribing some meds to help you feel better. The latest SSRI’s are non-addictive and can have few side effects. Together with talking therapy they can help kick start you feeling better.
- Hold off. If you’re feeling bad, depressed or anxious, it’s not a good time to make big life changing decisions because your lens might be clouded /distorted. Hold off until you feel better when you may well see things differently.
Twenty- one? This is the one where I ask you to share your tips and tricks for Emotional Wellbeing with me. What has helped you? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org or text me on 07520 633111. Thank you J
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You are welcome to copy or reproduce it in part or whole provided you credit Allan Kelly, Therapist, Wimbledon as author
Allan Kelly, Wimbledon, 2018