Mental health and wellness have become buzzwords and in all honesty we should be talking about it! But not just making mental health another Fad but truly getting curious.
Mental illness is not a crutch but an actual chemical imbalance.
And some people require medications to correct this imbalance and nothing is wrong with that our mental health deserves all the extra effort !
Along with therapy services and medications there are other tools we can add to our arsenal to combat mental stressors that can lead to chemical imbalances.
These “tools” affect the chemical reactions that happen in our brain and throughout our bodies.
Neurotransmitters and hormones rule our everyday functioning. These are the chemicals that are released in response to outside stimulation. For example, adrenaline and cortisol are released in situations like planning a big event, being in a car accident, experiencing physical illness and so on.
These are examples of the chemicals that are naturally regulating our body’s rhythms and responses. These hormones and reactions are purposeful and are useful to our safety and well-being. But just like anything else in excess these hormones and imbalances can cause its own set of issues.
But there are ways we can adapt, there are some hormones and chemicals we can influence through our everyday habits like nutrition and physical activity!!
Physical activity can help you lessen and maintain symptoms of mental distress.
Today I will share a few tips to help you get out of a funky mood.
Whether you are stuck on the couch feeling blue or too stressed with your to do list, using these tips can help you shift your mood.
Feel free to make it your own.
Over time you can create your own go-to routine when you feel the funky vibes coming on of “not doing enough” or “too much to do”! Because we all have down times but it's all about how we respond and adapt in those down times that counts. And movement can help you bridge the gap!
So next time you are stuck to your couch fighting the “shoulda”, “woulda”, “couldas”.
Here are a few ways you can get up and moving at your own pace.
Feeling down? Too down to get moving?
Do a mental head to toe check, start from the top all the way down, do a mental and body check in. This requires getting quiet, turning off the TV or social media, but can be done anywhere!
Turn the assessment skills on yourself my nurses, basically this means start asking yourself questions and getting curious. Not frustrated or annoyed about the feelings and wants, just open to acknowledging them.
Are you tired? Feeling lonely? Hungry or thirsty?
Grab some hydration to start. Sip cool water while you check in.
Lean into some easy stretches. In bed or on a soft surface.
Sit on the grown, criss cross, release head and neck.
Child's pose or just sit with your legs straight out and reach for your shins or toes.
Add breathe work. As you go through your check in, acknowledge the feelings that come up and breathe through it.
Inhale in through your nose for 3 seconds, deep into your belly then exhale for 3 seconds through your mouth and repeat while doing the easy stretches. This type of purposeful breathing helps calm the anxiety you might be feeling, brings more oxygen to your brain so you can think clearer and helps you just to pause rather than reacting. I use this type of breathing when I am feeling overwhelmed at work or with a difficult situation. It helps!
Stand up, change positions and try some light but faster paced movements like high knees, side lunges or reach ups and then touch your toes! If you feel up to it, start moving out of the stuck position you started in. After the mental check in and deep breathing now it's time to take some action. And you don't need any gym equipment, just enough space to move and a soft surface!
Turn on uplifting music while you move! I can jam anything from worship music to afro beats! But playing music can definitely help change the atmosphere, whatever you choose to jam out to let the tunes raise your spirits not bring you down! Create an upbeat playlist for those days you need an extra boost.
Spend extra time finding out what your body needs in these moments when your vibe is low, don't try to rush out of it and numb out. Instead be gentle and generous with the amount of time you spend on finding out what you really need!
Getting active on a regular basis will also help release those feel good hormones like serotonin and dopamine and help improve mood and energy in a natural healthy way!
You won't gain weight or develop a bad habit with these feel good activities!
Getting active doesn't necessarily mean being in the gym 7 days a week!
Movement in any form is beneficial to your mental health and when done regularly can help you focus and have a better mood.
But the key is to consistently commit to it!
Starting with 10 mins of fresh air, deep breathing or stretching is a great way to transition into bigger movements and regular routines!
Start where you are at and grow! Spend the extra effort getting curious about why these funky moods come on. Get in the habit of asking yourself what triggers you, what do you want to feel instead and what can you do right now to move closer to that?
Instead of hiding away from our feelings, let's choose to learn and grow from our feelings and emotions! Your body and mental well being deserve all the extra effort!
If you want to learn more about this you can check out my youtube video!