James Produced by

2nd year

BA (Hons) Communication and Media

Whilst winter brings with it joyous celebrations and sometimes the biggest sense of community, it also brings earlier sunsets and colder days. It’s common to feel gloomier and more alone around the season, although there are so many ways to improve this! This blog will centre around the best ways to improve your mental and physical health and take charge of your life this winter season.

 

Walks

Going on walks is a such a simplistic and yet powerful way of lightening your day. With the temperature dropping, many people fall into the pattern of spending less time outside. However, walks have been shown to improve moods, sleep and contribute to overall wellbeing. Walks can be complemented with a good playlist, scenery, and good company.

 

Strava (@Strava) / Twitter

Bournemouth has so many great walking routes from walking the 5k route from Bournemouth to Boscombe pier to walking through the colourful Boscombe Chine Gardens. Using free apps like” Strava” is a great way of tracking your steps and can also create healthy competition amongst friends with who is getting in the most steps. Consistency is very important and consecutively getting 10,000 steps a day will have a much greater impact than doing 20,000 steps in one day and then not walking for days after.

Diet

Diet is very important to looking after your physical and mental health and what you consume can have strong effects on your emotions. Making sure to have vegetables, fruit and water in your diet helps to get essential vitamins and minerals, maintain healthy blood pressure, and improves skin complexion. There are many cheap meals like stir-fry’s and bolognese that can be cooked in bulks to last for multiple meals that are very healthy. Whilst healthy eating is extremely beneficial, it is also important to be compassionate and understanding with your diet. Everyone is different and is going through individual journeys and certain foods will affect different people in different ways.

Meditation

Meditation is an excellent way of specifically focusing on mental health. Free trials with apps like Headspace and Calm allow you to gain and insight to what meditation is and how it can benefit you. Whilst it can be initially uncomfortable to be alone with your own thoughts, repeatedly meditating can not only improve your meditation techniques but reduce stress. With many celebrity collaborations with the Calm app like Shawn Mendes, Lebron James and Mathew McConoughey, you can listen to meditations from your icons.

Whilst the multitude of different ways of looking after yourself this winter can sometimes seem overbearing, it’s important to take things step by step. Will Smith discussed in his memoir, the metaphor of building a wall as setting out to complete any activity. He urged the importance of not becoming flustered by what you’re trying to achieve. He said to focus on laying that metaphorical brick as perfectly as you can, and then repeat the process until before you know it you’ve built a wall (achieved your goal).

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