Body & Mind Challenge
It’s June and in the UK that means middle summer!
The sun is out and London in particularly is a different world. An overall happier place!
I’ve decided to create a DAILY CHALLENGE blog for you. Challenges to make small, daily mental and physical changes to benefit your overall well-being. In the USA they’ve actually got the whole country going on hashtags already, so here goes!
Get ready for:
So let’s see if we can get the UK on a roll too!
Day 1: Since today is Tuesday, let’s look at #TastyTuesday. We all need food, but it’s even better to eat food that will give you optimum brain health. Here is a list of good food choices to feed your body and your brain. Perhaps today you can try and introduce some of these in to your diet.
Fatty Fish: It is rich in omega-3s and a major building block of the brain. It will help to sharpen your memory, protect your brain and improve your memory. Broccoli: It contains numerous compounds that have powerful antioxidants and anti- inflammatory effects. Blueberries: It helps protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age related conditions. Wholegrains: May help improve concentration and focus. It will release glucose slowly into your bloodstream keeping you mentally alert throughout the day. Avocados: They contain Vitamin K and folate to help improve cognitive function, especially in memory and concentration. Nuts: It may help you to prevent cognitive decline. It can also improve markers of a healthy heart and a healthy heart = a healthy brain. Dark chocolate: It contains powerful antioxidant properties to enhance focus and concentration and improve mood. Tumeric: It contains a strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits to boost memory, ease depression and help new brain cells grow. Pumpkin seeds: It’s richer in zinc than any other seeds which is vital for enhancing memory and thinking skills. Eggs: Eggs can make you happy! It breaks down bethane which is a chemical that produce hormones related to happiness and its rich in B Vitamins and choline which is important for proper brain functioning and development.
So which of these are you going to introduce to your #TastyTuesdays during the month of June.
Day 2: #WorkplaceWednesdays
Work smarter, not harder. Working smarter mean prioritising your work, concentrating on tasks that make a real difference. Leave the least important tasks to last. Accept that your in-tray will always be full. Don’t expect it to be empty at the end of the day. If you’d like to find out more on how to prioritise your time better and stop procrastinating, I recommend reading (or listening to) the audio book ‘Eat that Frog!’
Day 3: #ThoughtfulThursdays
Think about your thoughts. Whether they are thoughts about the past or worries about the future. Any unwanted, negative thoughts you may have. For the day, analyse your thoughts. Ask yourself these questions.
Is your thought true, helpful, important, necessary and are you being kind to yourself for thinking this? Then ask what would be a more true thought, helpful, important, necessary and more kind to myself?
Exercise can benefit your mind and your body.
If you haven’t been active, today is the day to start! Why wait until the start of the week or the start of the month – any day is a good day to look after yourself. If you’re not active, why not go for a walk today? If you are active already, why not take up new type of exercise? Trying something different to what you’ve always been doing. For example if you normal going for a run, try some yoga today. If you’re into weight lifting, why not go for a run? The opportunities are endless.
What can you do TODAY to be more active than yesterday.
We are social ‘animals’ and that means that we need to be connected. We have a basic need to feel part of something and what better way than by getting connected with people around us and in the process helping others.
Some suggestions would be Volunteering or if that seems like too much for a first step, maybe there is something you can do for someone, like helping the older lady cross the street, giving up your seat for someone on the train, offering to pay for someone’s coffee. We derive a lot of pleasure by helping others and in turn, this relieves stress.
In order to start sleeping better you need to recognise your sleep cycle.
Think back to how you slept the night before…
What time did you go to bed? What time did you wake up? How many times did you wake up in the night? How long were you awake for after each night time awakening? How refreshed did you feel half an hour after waking up on a scale of 1-5? Is this how you usually tend to sleep? If not, what usually happens? E.g. 10:30pm 7pm twice 15 minutes each time 2/5 Yes
You can always track your sleep through a wearable device or an app on your phone as well and log how many hours of sleep you got. Starting today, track your sleep daily to ensure you get the correct amount of sleep and good sleep.
What exactly is Mindfulness? Well, that is a whole long session in itself. For starters, starting today, BE MINDFUL. The best way to do that is to download and start using the app HEADSPACE.
Headspace is a digital service that provides guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training. Its content can be accessed online, or via their mobile apps. Other great apps are CALM and PACIFICA.
Look out for week 2!