LIFESTYLE

13 Tips to Improve Your Wellbeing

24th July, 2020
Verity A. | Author
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Wellbeing is a hot topic around the world right now – and rightly so. Especially in recent times amidst the Coronavirus pandemic that has encouraged people to seek support for their physical and mental health. We’ve had a lot of time to ourselves to reflect on many things, which can be a productive exercise but can also leave us feeling anxious and worried. Not to mention, again, that we’re facing a global pandemic! It’s understandable that we’re feeling a range of emotions.

Wellbeing and self-care have been trending more and more over the recent years. So what simple changes can we make to improve our wellbeing? It’s comforting to note that we don’t have to change every aspect of our lives to feel ‘better’ – just little things we can do when we’re feeling we need a happiness boost or a distraction.

1. Get some exercise

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Physical activity and regular exercise is great for your health and can boost your mood in many ways. It’s not easy for everyone to get up and go for a run – and nobody is asking you to do that! Any form of exercise is beneficial for your body as it pumps oxygen to the brain and releases hormones that make you feel happier. Adults (aged 19 – 64) are recommended to do some form of physical activity every day. NHS recommends you should “do strengthening activities that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) on at least 2 days a week.” As well as the physical improvements you’ll see in your body over time (if that’s your aim), you’ll also notice the gratification you receive after completing your exercise. It’s no easy feat, so you deserve to feel good. Any activity is better than none. If you want to track your exercises, reach your fitness goals and learn more about your health, try out our fitness smart watches that can help keep you on track.

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2. Listen to your favourite music

It’s a well-known fact that a good music playlist can alter your mood. It’s known to boost productivity, creativity, focus and can affect our moods in many ways; like when you listen to mellow songs when you’re feeling down. We're not saying you should do that... Sometimes it’s good to put on your favourite music that you know makes you happy – and it’s up to you whether you want to dance around the room. No judgements here. If you’re interested in investing in a new speaker so you can enjoy your favourite tunes, look no further.

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3. Be creative

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You don’t have to be Picasso to paint or Beyoncé to sing. It helps… but you can be creative however you like! Creating or crafting something can be calming for the mind. Where we’re not always able to express ourselves with words, a creative outlet lets us release our inner thoughts and worries in a productive way that leaves us feeling accomplished and like a weight has been lifted. Forbes touches on How Creativity Actually Improves Your Health and how it “reduces anxiety, boosts your mood, and even slows your heart rate.” Get creative with tech that keeps you in the zone.

4. Pick up a hobby

There’s never a right time to stop learning and finding new ways to have fun. It’s become apparent that many people have felt the need to pick up a new hobby during lockdown to keep their minds occupied. Whether it’s learning a new language, painting, learning how to code or even reading more books. Surely there’s something you’ve always wanted to try out? It’s a great way to test your brain and teach it something new, and gives you something to feel proud of when you realise you can do whatever you’ve put your mind to.

5. Go outside

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Nature is known to improve your mood and reduce feelings of stress. And guess what – it’s free! Spending time in green spaces, surrounded by nature is a great way to take your mind off things. Whether you want to exercise outside, take your dog for a walk, do some gardening, grow your own veg or sit outside and listen to the birds, it can have a positive effect. Mind charity’s publication on the benefits nature can have on mental health also recommends bringing the outside in. Like making sure you have nice flowers or, if you like to draw, why not draw animals and nature? Fresh air always does us some good.

6. Read a book

Reading doesn’t always feel like something we have time for these days. It takes dedication, focus and, sometimes, doesn’t even include technology. Can you believe it? Reading a book can take our minds somewhere else and transport us to another world. It’s also known to reduce blood pressure, heart rate and reduce stress. A study, according to MFHA England, showed that reading was better at reducing stress than music, drinking a cup of tea, going for a walk and playing video games. If you do like to use e-readers, take a look at our range below. Otherwise, a physical book would benefit you just as much.

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7. Get a good night’s sleep

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Does anyone actually get the recommended amount of sleep? Harvard Health Publishing advises us that “sleep deprivation affects your psychological state and mental health.” We know how it feels to be tired and most of us are aware that we can’t function half as well as we do after a good night’s sleep. But, like with everything, it’s easier said than done! NHS website recommends that most adults need between 6 and 9 hours of sleep every night. A good tip is to make sure you don’t go on your mobile phone while you’re in bed. The light from your phone keeps you awake and takes hours of important sleep away from you. It’s also not beneficial if you have anxious thoughts and scroll through social media or news channels so late at night – most of the time, whatever you’re looking at can wait until tomorrow.

You could use your mobile phone to listen to an audio book or sleep stories, relaxation music (some people like to relax to the sound of the waves at the beach or birds singing in nature) or any type of meditation that can refocus your mind after a long day. It’s important to relax your body and mind after a long day, preparing you for sleep. Have a browse of some of our smartwatches with sleep tracking as well as some tablets that can be used to enjoy audio books and podcasts.

8. Practice mindfulness

Our last point leads nicely onto mindfulness. Mindfulness is a big buzzword and has been for some time now – but what does it mean? According to Mind charity, “Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” That sounds good, doesn’t it? It’s not so much a technique but a state of mind. Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, says "An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs.

Meditation is a good way to practice mindfulness as it brings you to the present moment and centres your thoughts. There are also many helpful apps you can download to your smartphone and/or tablet – such as The Mindfulness App, Headspace and Calm, which are all free to download but have in-app purchases.

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9. Keep in touch with loved ones

When you’re faced with a global Pandemic and you’re told to self-isolate from loved ones, colleagues and everyone else, it can be really difficult to endure. It’s never been more beneficial for us to communicate with those who are important to us, and technology has been our saviour in recent times. Quiz nights over video calls with friends, phone calls with family members and daily messages to loved ones. When it comes to your wellbeing, it’s important to surround yourself with people who make you feel good and lift us up. And many of us don’t like being alone. Even if it’s just a phone call, make the call if you know it’ll raise your spirits.

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10. Eat a healthy and balanced diet

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It’s a well-known fact that what we eat can affect our moods. Chemicals found in food and drinks, like caffeine, are stimulants so keep us awake and make our hearts race. That’s why many people have coffee in the morning to wake themselves up! Caffeine is also found in tea, chocolate, cola and other manufactured energy drinks. You can visit the government’s website for their recommendations on a healthy diet and ‘The Eatwell Guide’. Eating a heathy diet has its benefits for mental health but of course, physical health too. There are many recipes out there that can keep you inspired, and you can enjoy some cooking tutorials hands-free from a smart display.

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11. Be productive

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Many of us are still working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic. It can be difficult to feel productive at home, especially if you’re used to working in an office building. But there are ways to do it! A great laptop or PC is a great place to start. Or maybe you’re not working from home but want to be productive in other ways? When it comes to choosing a laptop for home use, you may want something small but powerful, and easily portable so you can move it around the house easily. Laptops are a good solution if you have family and need a device you can share with everyone. It's also handy to have a laptop when you work on the go, or like to take your device with you while you're traveling. Productivity makes us feel like we’ve accomplished something, which is good for our mental health. It may feel hard to disconnect from work while working from home, but don’t forget that a work-life balance is still very important. Take regular breaks, get fresh air and take moments to gather your thoughts.

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12. Look after your mental health

Well, the fact you’re reading this article and you’ve reached point 12 out of thirteen means we’re on to something! Thanks for sticking around. It’s so important to look after your mental and physical health, even if you feel you don’t need to sometimes. We’ve touched on many ways to improve your wellbeing, but looking after yourself can mean eating well, being more active, doing activities you enjoy, being creative and taking a break. Take time to refocus your mind in a world that’s always got so much going on.

13. Set goals for yourself

Now we’ve reached the end of the article, we hope you’re learned new ways to improve your physical and mental health and wellbeing. Setting goals for yourself is a great way to feel inspired, optimistic and excited for the future. And you may just prove to yourself that you can achieve anything you set your mind to! It’s important to take time to yourself, relax and reconnect by disconnecting – and always ask for help if you need it. There are loads of resources on-hand to help.

For extra reading around wellbeing and mental health, try the below websites:

Mind.org

NHS

Young Minds

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