Self care, a few minutes at a time

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It is really important to look after ourselves.

You cannot give to others unless you are topped up yourself. Think of it like the emergency briefing we get on a plane. We are told to put on our own oxygen mask before helping others – looking after ourselves is just the same thing. There is lots of research that says that good mental health relies on many things – good diet, exercise, sleep and relaxation.

Everyone has really busy lives and so even with good intentions it isn’t always easy to fit it all in. I’ve been pleased to come across some things recently that recognise this and really do take only a few minutes.

Why not listen to and practice the things Michael Moseley suggests in his “Just one thing” podcasts - Click Here

The podcast about gut health fascinated me and builds on one of the television programmes in “the truth about” series. Who would have thought that gut health was an indicator of mental health?

Did you see the programme “What are we feeding our kids?” (available on BBC iplayer until Nov 2021) where BBC doctor Chris van Tulleken saw shocking changes physically and mentally after eating processed food for a month. The mental changes were very surprising. Brain scans showed that parts of his brain had rewired and he reported feeling a real change in his mental health.

Dr Rangan Chaterjee, a GP from Manchester has written several books about how aspects of our lives need to be in balance. He recognises that many people are short of time and are unable to exercise for long periods and has therefore devised a series of short exercises that can be done whilst you wait “for the kettle to boil”.

It's surprisingly effective without the need to get changed or go out of the house.

We can also get great benefit from meditation – it is shown to lower heart rate. There are two which can be downloaded on android and apple phones which offer guided meditations – one is called Calm, the other headspace, both offer limited free versions.

Why not try a 5-minute meditation?

I hope that is food for thought and you manage to fit some of the 5-minute things into your week and feel better for it.

Tuesday June 8th, 2021
Friday May 28th, 2021

Sam Hughes
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