Here are 5 simple steps to consider:
1. Good Sleep Hygiene
We all know how awful it feels to try and get through the day when we've slept badly. A good night's sleep can lift your mood, reduce stress, and help you think more positively.
Initially, you'll want to keep a record of how you're sleeping to help you recognise any patterns. Consider how many hours you are sleeping and how often your sleep is interrupted. Think about where your sleep problem lies: is your sleep broken, are you finding it difficult to get to sleep or are you waking too early?
It might be worthwhile considering your screen use prior to sleeping. Using a blue light filter certainly helps but staying off a screen for at least one hour before you try to sleep will produce better results.
Are there issues with the room you sleep in? Can you reduce noise and light pollution? Is your bedding too cool or too hot?
Are you being woken by disturbing dreams? Could you consider writing them down and discussing them during therapy sessions?
Are you worried or feeling anxious about what tomorrow brings? Could you jot down a "to do" list or write down your worries so that your not holding on to them so intensely in your mind?
Any exercise is great for improving well-being. Ideally, getting out in nature is best. We know that brain chemistry can be strongly affected by spending time in natural settings. For example, forest bathing has grown in popularity over the years (https://www.growwilduk.com/blog/5-simple-steps-practising-shinrin-yoku-forest-bathing)
However, you don't need a forest to improve your well-being. Just beginning to move your body more often every day will improve your metabolism and, in turn, your mood.
3. Good Nutrition
Your body needs a well balanced diet to function well. Vitamin deficiencies can present as depression, fatigue or confusion. Some of the most common deficiencies that can affect your well-being are iron deficiency, B12 deficiency and folic acid deficiency. It may be worth considering checking out your nutritional health with a GP.
4. Social Network
Connecting with others is a fundamental human need. Have you found your support network yet? You know, the person or group of people who just "get" you. Connecting with like-minded people is vital to maintaining a positive sense of well-being. Prior to lockdown we were able to hug and get all the benefits of increased oxytocin to improve our mental well-being. Now we have to find novel ways of connecting and interacting. Maintaining connection might feel like hard work at times but whatever you can manage to do to help avoid feeling alone or isolated is going to help improve your well-being.
5. Building a gratitude practice
There's something very important about feeling grateful for the things in your life that can change your perspective when you're feeling low. Have a look at this link to get a better understanding of how to build a gratitude practice and the benefits it can bring:
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