Published: 3 January 2023
(Kaylee Garrett via Unsplash)
January 3rd is International Mind-Body Wellness Day. It may sound clichéd, but the new year is a great time for change. One big change you can make is better looking after yourself both mentally and physically.
It is not uncommon in countries like the UK where winter means shorter days, longer nights, and colder weather to start feeling a bit down and not yourself. This is totally normal and is a phenomenon known as seasonal depression, also referred to as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). There are various ways to counteract this and they all link in with both your mental and physical health. In conjunction with the University of Sunderland in London Health and Wellbeing Team, here are some ways to better look after yourself mentally and physically on International Mind-Body Wellness Day and beyond.
Get more vitamin D
There is a shortage of sunlight in the winter months, and this often results in a deficiency in vitamin D absorption. While you can try and get outside at the sight of some sunlight peaking through the clouds, this isn’t always easy if you have to work or study. Vitamin D is important in the absorption of calcium, improves your immune health and is also a great mood regulator, so the more vitamin D in your system the better you’ll feel. Top it up in the winter months by buying vitamin D tablets from your local pharmacy or supermarket, while you can also incorporate more B vitamin-rich foods to your diet.
Practising yoga is great for both the body and the mind. Yoga can help increase muscle strength and tone as well as increasing your flexibility. It can also improve your cardiovascular health along with boosting your energy and vitality. Join a class at your local gym or sports centre, or simply buy your own yoga mat and follow a flow online. We’re big fans of Yoga with Adriene.
Drink more water
It might sound simple, but it can make a big difference. Drinking more water will keep you hydrated, it can regulate blood pressure, improve kidney function, clear your skin and so much more. It also has calming properties which can help reduce anxiety.
Meditation can help you improve your self-awareness and give you new perspectives on stressful situations. Meditation can take many forms, such as being mindful, spiritual, focused and even movement-based. Something as simple as going for a walk counts as meditation, as does sitting and listening to music. Find a way to calm yourself and your mind and you’ll reap the benefits.
Take a walk
Exercise doesn’t always need to be high in intensity. Going for a long walk increases your heart rate and as a result benefits your cardiovascular fitness. It can also contribute to weight loss, increase energy levels, and clear your head. Check out Time Out’s list of some of London’s best walks.
For more tips on how to improve your mental and physical health, reach out to our Health and Wellbeing Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.