Many of us have felt the impact on our Mental Health and Well-being over the last year.
If you have been feeling stressed, low, anxious, or lonely, please know you are not on your own. Along with the signs of spring, comes hope for life returning to some form of normality.
There are many little things that you can do to help lift your mood.
Get moving – go for a walk and take in the nature around you, notice the colours, the sound of the birds, the sky and feel the sun or breeze on your face. If you can, meet a friend for a walk. Staying connected is important.
You can turn up the music, find some uplifting tunes, maybe ones that give you great memories, then dance and sing. Music has an amazing effect on our mood and children love getting involved too – why not play musical statues with them for some fun or get them to express how they feel using the music. Melancholic music is good for us too, because it can match the way we feel and helps us feel understood, without having to try and voice how we feel.
Using colour is another great way to boost mood or calm you. Wear bright colours to lift your mood, even if it is just a colourful scarf. Blues and soothing greens help calm us. Focus on these colours in the nature around you. Or – sit quietly, take some slow breaths, and imagine yourself in a beautiful place, like being on the beach, a blue sky, sea lapping on the shore and an endless horizon. Maybe you have your feet in the sea or are relaxing in a hammock with the sun on your face… Look at photographs of happy times or places you would like to visit and imagine yourself there.
How about baking some bread, or making cakes? The process is therapeutic, smells amazing and the best part, you get to eat the end product. Cooking foods that have lots of colour, and flavours are not only good for you nutritionally, but they also lift your mood, as they are a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.
If you feel quite stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious here a couple of suggestions to help
Try writing everything that you feel on a piece of paper, to get all your thoughts out of your head. Then without reading what you have written – rip it up, shred it or throw it on the fire if you have one.
Another thing to try which is helpful if stress or anxiety is escalating – stop, take a calm breath, then focus on 5 things you can see (you can say out loud if it helps) 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch and if you can, add in 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. This brings you into the present moment and helps you feel calmer.
For more help and advice visit www.andreabarker.co.uk