This week marks mental health awareness week here in the UK. This year’s main focus is about body image.
According to a survey by mentalhealth.org.uk; One in five adults (20%) felt shame, just over one third (34%) felt down or low, and 19% felt disgusted because of their body image in the last year.
Those are frightening statistics. Couple that with the constant pressure we often feel when looking through social media sites it’s not surprising that 1 in 5 adults reported that images used in advertising had caused them to worry about their body image. How you think and feel about your body can have a huge impact on your mental health and it’s important to recognise that having time to look after yourself is a priority.
With your responsibilities feeling like they’re mounting up on a daily basis, it can be tough to find a bit of time for you. Sometimes it can feel as though you’re pulling yourself into hundreds of pieces to get a tick in every box. Running around after family, helping out friends, running a household and working, it all adds up and it makes carving out a few hours for yourself each week seem impossible.
With your brain telling you need to tick off everything on your “To Do” list and feelings of guilt when you start thinking that you should be doing something else, finding a balance to fit in time for yourself can be extremely hard.
Here are a few ideas to try and to make that elusive “me” time into a permanent fixture into your life, lose the guilt and added stress:
Be the first one to get up in your household:
Waking up before anyone else in the house can give you some much needed thinking time in the morning. You can plan your day or to just sit and chill out with a cuppa before the day kicks off for everyone else. Sitting quietly on your own for just 30 minutes can often be the most productive part of your day!
We’re all aware that exercise should be an important part of your life, however we often overlook the fact the it boosts your mood, even if you need to build it into your morning routine (getting up earlier could prove useful here), walking the dog, going for a run; you don’t even have to leave the house, a 10 minute yoga routine can make an amazing difference to your day.
Have some quiet time:
Switch off your phone, ignore your emails and unplug yourself for at least 30 minutes a day. Grab a book or magazine; the world will not stop if you are not on the internet for 30 minutes! Calm those stress levels down and just breathe.
Go to bed earlier:
If you have young children, it can feel like you’re on your feet all day. Build a nice relaxing evening routine that you can follow most evenings, treat yourself to long bath or just get into bed early and relax completely. Read a book, enjoy having the time to yourself.
Make yourself a priority:
On those busy weeks when you feel like you can’t possibly take any time out, notice your attitude and stress levels. Do you often snap at those close to you and don’t mean to? This is a sure-fire sign that you need some time out. The laundry and washing up can wait, find something that makes you happy and do it, even if it’s just for a little while!
You need to make time for yourself a priority in your life, turn off the distractions for a little while and you’ll feel rejuvenated and more productive.
For more information about Mental Health awareness week, check out https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week