With increasingly busy lives and many associated stresses, it is now more important than ever that we look after our individual health and wellbeing.
In between work, raising children, running a household and holding down relationships, you can be forgiven for thinking that you do not have much time to dedicate to looking after yourself.
However, it is essential for both our physical and mental health that we make time to do so.
Of course, wellness is not something that is achieved naturally, or just by accident. It requires us to set clear intentions and actively take steps towards looking after ourselves.
When we talk about wellness, we are talking about physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental wellness.
Why is wellness important? Mental and physical health and wellbeing are essential to living a healthy, happy life.
How to improve well being
What works for one person may not work for the next. After all, we are all very different beings and therefore so are our paths to improving our wellbeing.
So it will pay dividends to spend time identifying the techniques and practices that work best for you.
Some suggestions include taking time out of your day to notice nature around you, enjoying a warm bath with a good book, slowing down your routine and not piling your plate up with more than you can manage. It is also worthwhile practising mindfulness and meditation.
How to practice mindfulness
You may well have heard of mindfulness before but not known exactly what it entails.
Mindfulness has become very popular in health and wellness over the last few years.
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and aware of where we are and what we are doing, rather than being overwhelmed by what is going on around us.
Regularly practising mindfulness can help you to feel more centred, as well as helping you take notice of your mental and emotional processes.
How to be healthy
It is now thought that diet and mental health are inextricably linked. A nutritious diet is not only good for the body but it is beneficial for the brain as well.
Being healthy includes looking after both your physical and mental health and essentially boils down to eating a balanced diet, avoiding too much stress and doing daily exercise.
Exercise can range from anything from taking a lunch time walk to take your mind off work, to strength training or even a HIIT session.
Mindfulness is defined as the ability to be completely present in the moment, aware of who you are and what you are doing, rather than letting your mind wander off in several different directions at the same time.
After all, we have all been guilty of planning what we are having for dinner in our heads, when we should be doing something else!
Regularly practicing mindfulness can help you to find peace of mind, especially if you are currently dealing with a difficult situation in your life.
There are many ways to practice mindfulness, including focussing on breathing techniques, body scans and trying to focus your mind on something rather than letting it wander.
Mindfulness is very personal and therefore it can help to find the right approach that works for you.
Mental wellbeing refers to how we are feeling, either in the moment or how we are coping generally with daily life.
Although good mental wellbeing does not mean that you breeze through life, unaffected by any adversity, poor mental wellbeing makes it much harder to cope with the things you need to do each day.
Good mental wellbeing means that you will feel positive, and you will also be able to get the most out of life. A healthy mind can give you a better quality of life.
Steps to improving your mental wellbeing include connecting with other people, being physically active, learning new skills, giving something back and practising mindfulness.
Physical wellbeing is being healthy, working to avoid preventable diseases or conditions and combining the health of your body with the wellbeing of your mind too.
Physical wellbeing means that you have a healthy quality of life and can get through each day and the things you need to do, without feeling too tired or feeling the effects of physical stress.
Ah – now that is the million dollar question! Mental and physical healthiness both start with taking care of yourself both inside and out.
Physically, this means making sure that you eat a healthy balanced diet, get your five portions of fruit and vegetables each day and drink plenty of water.
As well as this, you should ensure that you follow a regular exercise routine, doing something you love. You may also wish to take a course of supplements to help support your health goals.
For your emotional health, you should make sure that you take time to focus on yourself and selfcare. Spend time doing things you enjoy and try to take your mind off the key stressors in your life.
There are lots of things which contribute to both good mental and physical health, including getting plenty of sleep and exercise.