Recent unrest within the UK brings with it not just anxiety about the future of the country but a whole host of worrisome thoughts about the effect that recent events could have on our day to day lives too. It’s important to give yourself some space to digest the huge shifts that are happening around the world right now but, with families and jobs, homes and parents to take care of, we can easily forget to take care of number one – ourselves.
If you’re a busy parent then you’ll likely not even remember what it means to unwind, destress and, dare we say it, relax. In this post, we wanted to pass on some handy hints and tips that can help you to put the demands of day to day life aside for a moment, or have your health on the up and see your energy levels increase.
Say goodbye to sugar
To kick us off we want to talk about sugar. Yes, the dreaded “S” word. We know most parents are clued up about how to keep sugar intake low in their children (although in our experience an apple hardly ever proves as tantalizing an option as sweeties do so it’s an uphill struggle) but have you ever looked at what’s in the cereal you eat each morning, or the ready meal you might make yourself when you’re on the go? Hidden sugars are everywhere with regular suspects coming in the form of a teaspoonful in your tea (multiply that by a few cups a day!) and in low-fat “healthy” snack bars. Sugars are an essential part of our diet but when it comes to destressing they can be foe rather than friend. The sharp release of energy you feel after a sugar boost will help power you through the school run but what about afterwards when the slump hits? Then it’s all too easy to lose concentration, get off track and beat yourself up about not getting the jobs done. A healthy diet can lead to a healthy mind so get yours in check to kick start your relaxing routine.
Get some air in your lungs
Second on the list is fresh air. It may seem a little too simplistic but getting out and about in the brisk British weather can prove a real starter for ten for your mood. Many people only pop outside their house or office to have a cigarette rather than getting some fresh air but giving up smoking is a big life change and a way to improve shortness of breath, wheezing and other more sinister conditions. There are more details about quitting smoking here but there are lots of things you can do, with walking therapies becoming increasingly popular, going beyond the garden fence for a 15-minute mind break can increase your levels of serotonin and lift your mood. Plus, it can focus your mind on other things for a few minutes – the weather, traffic (and not smoking) – and give you some space from the day to day grind.
It is good to talk
Whether it’s to your best friend, a parent, partner or even a professional, having a blether about yourself can really take a weight off your shoulders, even when you didn’t think there was one there. It’s can be difficult to admit when stress is getting us down but you’d be surprised how many people are in the same boat so get yourself a cup of tea (no sugar!) on the go and have a good old natter.