This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and I want to share how I use the 5 ways to wellbeing. The 5 ways is a tool that was created to help people maximise maximise their mental health and wellbeing by helping to affirm positive experiences and thought processes.
I try to incorporate them in my daily to-do lists (not all of them at once, although as we go through the week you will notice that it is highly probable that an activity will tick more than one box).
So for day one I thought I would start with the method that I suspect is most familiar to most people: Be Active.
It's well known that exercise and being active are good for our physical and cardio-vascular health. But do you find after exercising (maybe after a rest) that you do actually better in yourself; perhaps more calm? This is the key, not only is exercise burning off the calories that we want to get rid of, but it is also allowing us to process and minimise the chemicals that build up in our bodies by the stresses we face everyday, such as cortisol or adrenaline. Chemicals that left unprocessed, can have a detrimental effect on both mind and body.
So putting my money where my mouth is, I gave myself the task of going on a long bike ride ( and actually gave myself the target of the longest ride of the year so far). I'm glad to say that I achieved my target today, but I would like to repeat some words that were given to me: "Andy, exercise does not have to be a xx mile bike ride - you can go for a walk!!"
This is a key point, it really is best choose an activity that suits you best - both from a fitness point of view; what interests you, AND making it achievable. Giving yourself unachievable targets that you don't or can't hit could actually add to your stress!
Tomorrow I will share how I am going to use Take Notice. I promise to try and not go on too much I am aching from my bike ride!
Stay safe, everyone