We know that sleep and mental health are interconnected. In fact, getting good, quality sleep is one of the best things you can do to protect your health and #restyourmind. But is there anything else we can do to ‘hack’ our well-being so we can sleep better?
Ahead of World Mental Health this Sunday, Dr Alex George explains 9 ways you can do just that:
Passion - when was the last time that you did something that you enjoyed for yourself like reading your favourite book or picking up an instrument or investing in your hobbies and interests? Making time for things that you love is vital for your happiness and health.
Move more - human beings are not designed to be sat in one place and sedentary. Not only is movement important for our body, including cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health, it is great for the brain too. Movement increases blood flow to the brain, improving a sense of clarity, focus and attention. It’s great for an endorphin hit too.
Diet - eat well to feel good. For a long time, we’ve talked about nutrition in terms of physical health but let's not forget the benefits for the mind too. Many of thebuilding blocks for serotonin, one of our most important mood hormones, is found in our gut. Nurturing a healthy gut with a balanced diet is super important for this process to take place. Think of food as fuel for both the body and the mind.
Exercise - exercise is amazing for our physical health and our mind. When we go for that run, swim, or yoga class, we get a lovely endorphin hit. In nature, endorphins are released during exercise as a natural pain relief, but it also has lovely side effects, giving us euphoria and boosting our mood.
Relationships - having healthy relationships, both romantic and otherwise, is vital for our well-being. Surround yourself with people who reflect who you are and who you want to be, people who support you and are always with you.
Nature - stay in touch with nature. Being in nature has been shown to reduce anxiety, promote a sense of calm and improve creativity, all of which is great for our mental health. Whether you are in the city and you have a local park, or you live in the countryside, make time for that daily stomp.
Create more - Creativity is brilliant for being present and calming the mind. Whether its painting, writing, playing music or just working on your favourite colouring book, engaging this part of your brain is hugely beneficial to overall well-being.
Connect more - no I don’t just mean online, meaningful connections with the people you care about matters. When was the last time you went to the cinema with your best friend, hung out with your family, or binged Netflix with a mate? - make time for the people you love!
Digital detox - create boundaries around your social media use. A good example is keeping your phone away from your bed at night, preventing you from that mindless scrolling at midnight when you should be sleeping - we’ve all been there!