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6 ways to keep your mind and body healthy

We’ve all been through one of the toughest events made in history, the pandemic has altered our lives enormously. For many of us, it has taken a real strain on our mental health and well-being and it’s so important that we try and look after ourselves. You may eat well, or exercise daily but when was the last time you gave a thought about the health of your mind?

So, I would like to share my tips on how to keep your mind and body healthy during the pandemic. Some are simple, some are exercises, some you might be able to incorporate as part of your everyday routine, while others are things to pursue. The one thing they all have in common is that they can aid you in your efforts to develop and maintain a strong and healthy body and mind!

It’s all about finding out what works best for you and making little changes each day, for you.

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” – Irish proverb

Morning Routine

Having a morning routine in place is so important to me. This is the ‘make or break’ for the rest of my day. If I wake up late, don’t make the effort to undertake my skin routine, brush my hair and look presentable – I feel like I’m spending the rest of my day catching up and unorganised. However, if I’m being intentional about my mornings, the rest of my day tends to work more smoothly, and I always feel much better within myself!

This really helps me to stay on track and reach goals throughout the day. It could be something as simple as making your bed, drinking a glass of water first thing or writing down the things you are grateful for, before you start your day. Everyone will have different routines that work for them and once you find that routine, it really can ensure your day gets off to the best start possible.

Rise early

Waking up early really helps you to prepare for the day ahead. I love feeling like I’ve ticked things off my task list before 8am. I feel that this enhances your productivity and I love watching the rise of the sun! Secondly, I put on my workout clothes and drink a glass of water. You may not feel it, but after a long night’s sleep your body wakes up naturally dehydrated.

Time to get moving!

Spring is here and if you are ready to reboot for the summer ahead as lockdown restrictions ease, this is the perfect time to start!

On a Sunday night, when I think about my week, I tend to schedule my exercise just as you plan for work and other commitments. Mix up your workout routine, go for a walk, run or follow a simple 30 min hit workout from YouTube (Joe Wicks work out sessions are amazing and easy to follow!) - this will also prompt our bodies to release chemical messengers such as endorphins. I always feel a million times better when I’ve started my day off with some exercise.

There are other times to exercise besides the early morning, of course, but I’ve found that while exercising right after work is also very enjoyable, it’s also liable to be cancelled because of other things that come up. Morning exercise is virtually never cancelled.

My favourite exercise to complete in the morning is running, this instantly puts me in such a great mood! Especially when it’s a glorious day.

Here’s some lovely shots from my latest morning walk 😊

Research shows a simple, 30-minute exercise a day will keep your heart and blood flow happy.

Breakfast time!

After I’m done working out, I head into the kitchen and make myself a nutritious and yummy dish! Breakfast time must be my favourite meal of the day. This also gives me time to catch up with my partner before he heads out for his commute to work.

My favourite breakfast recipe is Eggs, Salmon and Avocado or Porridge with berries! These both give me the burst of energy I need to start my day.

Narrow down your source of sugar

While ditching the sweet stuff can result in a physically healthier you, it’s the effect sugar has on our mental health that’s worth taking a second look.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot and tried so many different things with regards to cutting down on Sugar. I’m quite easily persuaded into eating a whole chunk of chocolate, as many of my friends and family know. When we are feeling tired or when we are hungry it is something we crave.

We’ve all heard of the term “sugar-rush” and I’ve easily turned to eating a chocolate bar at lunchtime to give me that extra boost during a long day. However, research indicates that sugary treats have no positive effect on mood.

Since the start of January, I’ve reduced my sugar in take – especially in my morning coffee. So here is my advice… 😊

If you usually add sugar to your coffee or tea, maybe cut the amount you put in by a half or try a sweetener. By cutting a little bit more each week and, soon, you’ll be used to not adding any sugar at all. I’ve also swapped out sugar with fruits like bananas around lunchtime.

Even though I’m taking baby steps, I feel this has led me to improve my sleeping routine and productivity.

And lastly….

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

For a healthy brain, you need at least 8 hours a sleep a night. For me, keeping off my phone an hour before bed, really helps me to drift of and have a great night’s sleep.

Katie Conway, Cohort 29, Marketing Co-ordinator at Alliance Learning


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