Sail through the end of the day, wind down for bedtime and sleep your best sleep ever.
HELP SOMEONE OUT
Whether it’s leaving a note in your elderly neighbor’s letterbox offering to collect groceries for them or taking time to call and check in on a loved one, helping others will also help you. “Getting out of your own mind and engaging with someone else who may be struggling is one of the best ways to change your mood,” says psychologist David Fox of The Relationship Room. “By being present and providing comfort or reassurance to others, like mindfulness, you focus on engaging in an activity and stop your mind from wandering.” Mindfulness aside, it also gives you a natural pep-up. Researchers measured the serotonin levels in people when they witnessed an act of kindness and found that not only did serotonin increase in those doing the nice gesture, but it also grew in those who observed it. “It shows us that how we treat each other (in public or in our own homes) can have a positive impact on our mental and emotional energy,” says David.
TURN OFF THE NEWS
Negative news (and, let’s face it, there is a lot of it right now) can activate areas in the brain that trigger the stress response system. “We’re just as much at risk of a ‘mind virus’ when we’re exposed to strong and negative repetitive thoughts and information,” explains David. “By watching gloomy news, we’re also at risk of taking on a belief system that is not our own choosing and is not to our benefit or wellbeing. This can have a negative mental and emotional stress on the body and zap our energy more than any kind of physical strain.” Rather than continue to feed the mind, David recommends taking a digital diet approach, only consuming at certain times. “Watch the news or check social media in the morning and perhaps in the afternoon but avoid it in the evening so you can unwind and engage with loved ones or take time for self-care instead.”
People shift their moods to match the tones of voice they’re hearing, one study has found. So cue up a non-stimulating podcast, or try a relaxing app such as Insight Timer (it’s free), which has many snooze-inducing recordings.
Try a twist
Muscle tension can sap your vigour and mood, but a good stretch can be a great way to help bring your energy back. “I recommend yoga poses that lengthen overactive, tight muscles in the back, sides and chest,” says Dana Santas, a yoga coach and consultant for elite athletes.
TRY THIS INVIGORATING TWIST:
Lie on the floor or on a mat at on your back, then bring your right knee toward your chest. Next, take your le hand and place it on the outside of your right leg and gently start to rotate over to the le . Without forcing it, allow your knee and head to fall to the le while reaching your right arm out to the right. Hold for five breaths. Release and repeat on the other side.