How to stay Mentally and Physically Fresh

How to stay Mentally and Physically Fresh 

You know that feeling when it seems like there are one hundred things to do on your list of jobs, you should have been on your way out the door already to that important appointment, you didn’t have a great sleep last night, your phone keeps going off reminding you of the endless messages and emails you need to reply to and everything seems to be a little bit more difficult today and you can’t quite workout why?! Continue to keep pushing through these moments without listening to what you need to replenish your mental and physical energy levels and you will be heading for a burnout!

How do you stay fresh and focused in times like this? Think, proactive before being reactive. Before you got to this point there were likely many opportunities you could have taken to freshen your mind (mental outlook) and freshen how your body is feeling through internal awareness practices such as yoga and mindfulness. Here are some tips on how to stay fresh mentally and physically:

  1. Take a breath. That old saying of ‘take a breath and count to ten’ is one of the wisest bits of advice you can ever listen to. It can be difficult in stressful situations to have the awareness to stop and take a breath, it takes practice. Take a deep breath and start to count as you exhale, etc. Count your inhale etc. Noticing if you can slightly lengthen the count of your inhale and exhale. This has physiological changes on your internal environment. Your heart rate slows down, your blood pressure will lower in response, the stress hormones rushing around your body will start to be counteracted by the more relaxing hormones oxytocin and your body will soften slightly as you have likely tensed up and created tight muscles in some areas of your body in response to the stressor. 

  2. Listen to yourself. Close your eyes, get a general sense of your mental and physical energetic levels right now. If your drained or slightly fatigued, give yourself a break. If your working at a computer, get up and move about get the blood flowing around tour body. If you’re at a checkout or customer service area, take yourself to toilet, wash your hands in cold water and splash it on your neck it’ll give you a quick sensual mindful experience as the cold brings you into the present moment. If there’s lots of negative chatter in your mind, let it go! You have the power to let your thoughts go, you are not a slave to them. When you realise this it can be a quite profound realisation. 

  3. Tech break! Maybe you’ve been working hard at a computer, doing emails and updating your website on an iPad, answering Instagram and WhatsApp messages and checking out Pinterest on your phone. Whatever it is, you could benefit from a tech break, we all could. Give your eyes and your brain a rest from screens. Look out at nature if you have trees or plants in your garden or workplace, look at the birds in the sky, watch people rushing about at work or in your neighbourhood. The more of a break you can have from tech, the more your mental energy levels will be replenished. 

  4. Nutrition and hydration. This is one of the most neglected areas of keeping yourself healthy, mentally and physically. For some reason we don’t make the connection between energy spent and energy input. The type of fuel you put into your body is also as important as how much fuel you put into your body. If you constantly put the wrong petrol into a car, you’re going to do the engine some damage. Exactly the same happens with our body and our mental wellbeing, feed ourselves rubbish and we’ll feel and perform like rubbish. 

  5. Write it down! Get it out of your mind and into physical form on a piece of paper or your regular journal and it will lighten the load. As you vent off and then read back what you have written, things start to seem a little less dramatic, you gain an insight and realise that actually, its not that bad and I’m probably making the situation more stressful in the way I’m reacting or continuing to push myself without a break for some ’me time’. I’m going to get it all out on this piece of paper and then leave it there. Once you’ve engaged your more logical parts of your brain by giving yourself some time to write down what you are feeling, you can take a more logical approach to the situation, listen to your advice that comes. If you thinking that you need to stop working at home until 9pm every night then switch your laptop off when you get in from work and be mindful. If you need to go easier on yourself and stop being so negative, notice when the negative patterns of thought start again and acknowledge them as harmful to your mental wellbeing and don’t engage with them, you have the power to do this, remember that!

  6. Go to a Yoga class. Mindful movement and breath work is an essential internal practice for your health. Countless scientific studies have shown the benefits of a regular yoga practice. The more you practice, the more you get out of it. Your body will be stronger and so will your mind, you improve your mental and physical health.

If you find yourself in a stressful situation that seems out of control, remember, we are all human and will experience these emotions and situations regularly, we can do the following to help break the cycle of tension and negativity yet sometimes it gets the better of us. Yoga teachers experience this too, were not robots that don’t feel emotion. With regular yoga and mindfulness, you can gain self-awareness that grows. You gain a deeper understanding of yourself, when to slow down, when to go fast and when to go medium paced.

Let me know your thoughts on these tips, were they useful? Please share this post with someone that may benefit from it. Even if it helps make a 1% difference in someones life, that is an improvement. Communicate, help others by showing compassion and kindness.

Ash :-)

Ashley Foster