Need a brain ‘spring clean’?

We all lead very busy lives these days and it is easy to let life get the better of us.  Feeling tired all the time, using sugar and caffeine to give us a boost, and keeping on the treadmill of life without taking a break.  Looking after our mind is so important so here are so ways we can take some down time and keep healthy.

  • List the good stuff. It’s really easy to get bogged down in all that is a challenge in our lives, so take some time out and write down everything that is good in your life and take time to reflect on what is good.
  • Cut back on sugar. If you need that 3pm sugar boost to get you through the afternoon, why not try something else rather than a sugary snack.  A protein snack or a handful of nuts can stop the hunger without the accompanying sugar crash.
  • Make some time for yourself. We all need some time to ourselves without distractions, screens or family interruptions.  Taking some time for yourself can help increase your confidence and reduce your stress levels.
  • Rising early. Getting up a little earlier every day to get stuff done can really help you.  Making a list and ticking items off, especially when your mind is fresh, is really satisfying and can stop those feelings of overwhelm.
  • Take some tech time out. Most of us are permanently attached to our smartphones, even when we go out for dinner and our phones are out at the table. Evenings out are full of posts on Instagram and selfies, or our evenings can be spent playing mindless games.  Putting your phone and tablets away will help to keep your stress levels down.
  • Get some Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps increase your serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, and low levels can lead to depression.  All you need is 20 minutes of sunshine a day to obtain the mood boosting effects of the sun.
  • Give something back to the community. There is nothing better than a worthy cause.  Whether it’s a bit of fund raising, or helping at a local Brownie group, giving back to the community can really help you improve your mood and focus you on something external for a change.
  • Cut back on alcohol. When we feeling busy and overwhelmed, it’s easy to reach for a glass of wine to relax in the evenings.  The following day you may feel fuzzy and your mood is lower.  Alcohol has that affect so if you are feeling a little low, stick to some water or soft drinks.
  • Spend time with friends. Having a good chinwag with a friend can really cut down your stress levels.  Getting some of the everyday worries off your chest is beneficial and you may help you find some answers to your worries too.
  • Get some exercise in. The endorphins from regular exercise can help your mental health.  We all feel very virtuous after a workout, find a boost in energy and it’s good for you.  What’s not to like!