Do you feel frazzled, overwhelmed and stressed out? Do you sometimes feel there aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done? If you find it hard to prioritise your friends and family, chances are you will struggle to devote time to focus on your mental wellbeing. Yet, even when we are really busy, small changes to our daily routine can help improve our mood, keep anxieties at bay and improve overall mental wellbeing.

So, next time you feel you have no time to dedicate to self-improvement or life gets overwhelming, add one of these five tips to your day and see if it doesn’t just make you feel a little bit calmer. By reevaluating your routine and making small changes you could see a significant improvement in your mental health:

Tip one: Start your day with a purpose
When we are tired it is tempting to leave it until we physically have to get out of bed to start the day – unfortunately, this usually results in us rushing around, forgetting to do something, running late and can be a stressful experience. By setting your alarm 15 or 20 minutes earlier than you need to get up you can wake at a slower, calmer pace. Use this extra time to do something mindful – it could be as simple as enjoying the process of get-ting ready, or you could use the time to prepare a proper breakfast if you are usually the ‘I will eat when I get to work’ type. Whatever you choose to do with the extra time, make sure it is relaxing – there is no point getting up earlier to squeeze in a workout which overruns and then leaves you rushing to get showered and out the door! To start with, you may just use the time to wake up and think about what you want out of a new day – by simply listing five things we are grateful for, we set a positive mood to tackle even the most challenging of events.

Tip two: switch off your phone
Are you guilty of reaching for your phone the moment you wake up? Scrolling through social media over breakfast or on the morning commute? Simply put: don’t! Absorption in social media prevents us from staying mindful and embracing the present moment. If you struggle with this, try switching your phone off or turning it to flight mode so you aren’t distracted. It may not even be social media, but the buzz of work emails, call or texts. Either way, the hour or so it takes to get ready should be spent embracing the moment. Research has proven we are more efficient and focused when we are truly ready to start the working day. So allow your brain time to simply ‘be’ before engaging in busy schedules.

Tip three: meditation
Much has been written about the benefits of mindfulness and it can pay to take some time out of your day to practice this – when you choose to do this is up to you, although many people find a morning session helps to positively start the day. If you struggle in the morning, perhaps find 10 minutes after work or on your lunch break. Apps such as Headspace help build meditation into your daily routine so even the time conscious can benefit, and Insight Timer offers excellent guided meditation recordings.The more you practice the easier you will find it, until you can even take a moment on a busy train if you need too! Simple breathing exercises can also help you feel less stressed and overwhelmed on days when you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. At The Choices Personalized Retreats Program we use the practice of meditation in our daily schedule. Alongside integrative cognitive behavioural therapy, meditation and mindful-ness have been proven to offer the best results in overall psychological intervention of mental health and mental wellbeing.

Tip four: journal
Sometimes we have so many thoughts going on in our head that it is overwhelming – but writing down our thoughts, feelings, emotions and even daily goals or tasks helps lighten the load and keep us focused. Putting pen to paper and writing in a journal is an excel-lent way to achieve this. Take 10 minutes to simply write how you feel at the present moment as it is an effective way to clear the mind. writing can also reduce fears and anxieties by setting clear steps and expectations on how we will handle the day or week ahead. At The Choices Personalized Retreats Program, we support the idea of documenting thoughts and feelings as a way to address and identify negative emotions that may be hindering mental wellbeing.

Tip five: light and movement
Natural light, fresh air and moving our bodies sounds simple, but they are all things we don’t do enough – especially if we find ourselves staring at computer screens every day. Start by making a conscious effort to open your blinds and let the sunlight stream in when you first wake up in the morning. Take 15 mins to go for a walk at lunchtime, book an exercise class once a week or take the stairs rather than the lift. All these small changes are not only good for our mental wellbeing but our bodies benefit as well. Being fit, strong and healthy will also help when tiredness does hit. At The Choices Personalized Retreats Program we encourage physical activity such as yoga as a form of both exercise and relaxation.

To find out more about how our personalized program can help you improve your mental wellbeing, visit our website here: https://choicesretreats.com

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