Are you looking for a way to feel more inner peace and joy during these crazy times?
Here are 7 tips to support your mental health that have made a big difference to me. I hope they will help you to live a healthier and happier life too.
1. Spend time outside in nature.
A daily walk in the countryside with my miniature dachshund George is one of my favorite ways to clear my mind. Try going outside during your lunch break if you don’t have time in the morning or evening. Preferably somewhere in nature: a forest, the countryside, a park in the city…
Countless scientific studies have shown that nature walks help to lower blood pressure and stress, improve sleep quality and increase your inner feeling of happiness. Daily walks in nature help me to unwind, focus better at work and feel more connected to all that is.
2. Move your body at least 30 minutes a day (walking counts) and practice deep belly breathing.
Even a short walk can raise your endorphins (happy hormones) and help you to look at life from a more positive perspective. Movement also helps me to feel better in my skin and lower stress levels, which in turn leads to easier weight loss.
3. Take a cold shower in the morning.
Cold showers are a great way to strengthen your immune system and rejuvenate your body by supporting its natural detoxification system. Do you prefer hot showers? Start with lukewarm water and lower the temperature gradually as you’re taking a shower. You could also start by only putting cold water on your feet and legs until you get used to it.
I take a deep breath in through my belly when I step under the cold water and then a deep breath out, that seems to really help. After 20 to 30 seconds the water doesn’t feel cold anymore, it’s amazing how quickly our body adjusts to colder temperatures.
4. Cook with natural whole food ingredients, lots of fresh vegetables, herbs and healthy fats that will help to stabilize your blood sugar level.
I’ve found that replacing sugar and quick carbohydrates with more healthy fats has done wonders for my mental health. I’m less prone to anxiety, I feel more ‘grounded’ and relaxed, and I don’t get hangry in between meals.
An essential ingredient that helped me to beat sugar cravings is MCT oil, short for Medium Chain Triglycerides. It encourages your body to produce ketones and burn fat for fuel, excellent to boost your brain power, reduce your appetite and experience a more stable mood.
I would have never thought that healthy fats could have such a big impact on my mental health!
This ‘Keto Made Easy’ eBook package will show you how to activate your natural fat-burning metabolism and strengthen your immune system, with simple recipes that take less than 15 minutes preparation and an easy-to-follow meal plan program too.
5. Think about 3 things that you are grateful for to train your mind into thinking more positive thoughts first thing in the morning and right before bedtime.
You could also write them down in a ‘gratitude journal’. It helps to approach life from a more positive perspective and it also helps to consciously enjoy the small things in life: the laugh of stranger passing by, a beautiful bird flying by your window, a song on the radio that takes you back to a sweet memory, the soft cozy sheets when you go to sleep at night…
6. Listen to your favorite music and only watch uplifting movies and series that make you smile.
Most of what is shown on regular tv is negative news. If you listen to this news on a daily basis, chances are that you get stuck in spiral of anxiety. The result: your body goes into a chronic ‘fight or flight’ mode, constant stress that has a big impact on your physical and mental health. The more you can protect yourself from negative news, the better.
Your thoughts really do create your reality. Life is challenging enough as it is so try to keep it light and choose music, movies and series that warm your heart and bring a smile to your face.
These are a few books I recently read and very much enjoyed:
- A new earth, by Eckhart Tolle
- The big leap, by Gay Hendricks
- Harry Potter and the cursed child, by J.K. Rowling - any Harry Potter fans out here? :)
A few days ago I also discovered Netflix series ‘Once upon a time’ thanks to my sister. If you like fairytales and fantasy stories, have a look ;-)
7. Stay in touch with your family and friends, and surround yourself with positive people that love you for who you are and make you laugh.
Avoid talking about ‘the news’ and everything that is going on in the world. Instead agree to keep it light and positive so you don’t get stuck in a negative spiral of worry and anxiety.
A few final words that I wanted to share with you…
Although it might seem like I’ve ‘made it’ in life, I often feel insecure too. A lot of people think of me as ‘that famous cookbook author’ but inside I’m just a young woman looking for her path in life, with all its highs and lows, beauty and pain.
My biggest challenge in this life is to have the courage to show up and be vulnerable. To show the ‘real me’ and not care about what others might think of me.
If you ever feel like you’re not good enough or doubt your self-worth, know that you are not alone. It’s ok to be you. You are enough! We’re all in this together so why wouldn’t we support each other?
I believe we are all part of 1 consciousness. Different yet one at the same time. At night we go back to that bigger consciousness to recharge our batteries. Whatever happens, our soul is always safe and I truly believe that ‘good’ will conquer in the end, no matter what.
Dare to be you! As one of my mentors Marie Forleo says: “Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams, because the world needs that special gift that only you have.”