Physical Well being for mental health

Great mental health begins with your body. Your brain is an organ, and like any other organ its well being is dependent on your physical health. Today I’d like you think about how well you ‘maintain’ your body.

Do you have an equal balance between input and output?  Like a high performance sports car our bodies are designed with incredible precision to perform at their best.  And like a high performance sports car our bodies need maintenance, care and servicing in order to continue to perform at their best. It’s a simple equation; the better care you take of yourself, the more you will be able to give of yourself.

Maintenance needs: adequate sleep, great nutrition and regular exercise.

Adequate sleep means between 7 & 8 hours of quality sleep every night.

Great nutrition means eating a balanced diet that lets you operate evenly throughout the day.

Regular exercise means 2 hours of ‘make you puff’ exercise every week.

Care needs: giving and receiving love and affection, having a massage, resting when you’re tired, living peacefully.

Giving and receiving love and affection means everyday you interact both verbally and physically with people or pets you love.

Having a massage means at least once a month (although a fortnight is better) you need a full hour of uninterrupted time where someone else does the work to release the tension in your muscles and tissues.

Resting when you’re tired means making the time to listen to your body and actually rest when it tells you its running low on energy.  Sit or lie down with or without a book or some music to listen to and just chill.  Nothing is more important than meeting your own needs at this moment.  It is important to note that this isn’t a time to run over things that you’re worrying about or reliving negatively.  This is a time to focus on your energy levels.

Living peacefully means choosing to walk away from conflict ridden situations and choosing to let things slide when required.  It means looking on the bright side and working to resolve issues without force but with kindness and negotiation.

Servicing needs: holidays, celebrations, time spent doing things YOU love.

Holidays mean getting away from your usual routines and having a change.  It doesn’t have to be difficult, it doesn’t have to be expensive but it does have to be different from the usual daily grind.

Celebrations can be either planned or spontaneous and may involve personal rituals that are important (often seen at birthdays, Easter and Christmas).  These also involve a change of routine and a stated reason for the celebration eg reaching a goal or a milestone.

Time spent doing things you love is just that.  It is so important to follow your interests,  passions and do something just for you.  No people pleasing allowed here.  This time is yours so go and use it.

What’s your care plan like?

Stop and have a think.  How well do you attend to these needs?  How much priority do you place on them?  How much energy do you have as a result?  And what connections do you make between your physical well being and your mental health?

Most importantly, what can you choose to change?