Woking’s ultimate wellbeing guide.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going – which is why it’s now more important than ever to look after yourself, eat well, sleep well and take care of your mental health. Thankfully, there’s plenty of good advice available to ensure you stay tip top and in the best shape you can. So if you’re not over it already, why not take a quick read of our Top 10 tips from local and national experts designed to help keep your body and mind on track.
“It’s important all year round to look after your physical and mental wellbeing, but winter can be a tough time for many reasons”, said Tony Bennett, Chief Executive of Woking Mind, a local mental health charity which has been supporting the local community for more than four decades. “Now more than ever, we all need to take the time to look after all aspects of our wellbeing and especially our mental health during what has been a difficult year so far.”
1. Get Your Steps In
A great way to motivate yourself to keep moving is to set yourself a daily step goal. While the most common goal is 10,000 steps, it doesn’t matter how high you aim as long as you get yourself moving every day. According to Active Surrey, just 10 minutes spent walking briskly per day can improve your energy levels, mood and health. There’s plenty of scenic walks around Woking. From Horsell Common to Woking Park, take your pick and get your daily burst of fresh air and daylight! There really is no excuse.
2. Mind Your Head
Just as exercise is essential to our general wellbeing, it’s also incredibly important to look after your mental health. Check in with yourself every day to see how you’re feeling. Feeling stressed, tired and burnt out? Maybe it’s time for a break. Just sitting down with a hot cup of tea and relaxing for 15 minutes can help reset your stress levels. If you’re struggling with low mood, loneliness or anxiety, turn to Woking Mind’s Community Wellbeing Call service. Available without referral, this unique telephone support is here to help with a range of issues no matter how small or big you think the problem is.
3. Eat Your Greens!
Eating plenty of fresh fruit and veg every day does wonders for your energy levels. Leafy greens really are the best. Packed with vitamins and minerals, they offer a multitude of health benefits including reduced risk of blood pressure and obesity. And it doesn’t have to be a salad – you can get you’re a big ‘vit hit’ daily from soups, smoothies and juices. Homemade is best, but only if you can.
4. Get A Good Kip
Never underestimate the power of 40 winks! While sleep requirements vary by as much as a few hours from person to person, the recommended amount of sleep is between seven-nine hours per night to allow you to function at your best, reduce stress levels and improve your mood. Try and keep clear of your phone, laptop and TV in the run-up to bedtime. All of these devices emit blue light, which disrupts the production of melatonin and disturbs your sleep. Instead, get lost in a new book before sleep and try and get those eight hours in. You’ll be glad you did.
5. Stay Hydrated
Ditch the fizzy drinks and focus getting your 8-10 glasses of water in every day. Besides helping to keep your skin healthy and your body functioning, water helps to keep the muscles energised and keeps you feeling tip-top throughout the day. Keep a bottle of water nearby to encourage you to drink continuously. Fruit and veg are rich in water too so munching more of these during the day will help to keep your levels up. More water really does work wonders – and it’s free.
6. Find Your Zen
Slow-paced, calming activities such as mediation or breathing exercises help to slow your heart rate down and help you focus on the here and now. Meditation can help to improve your focus and concentration, improving your self-awareness and self-esteem and lowering your stress and anxiety levels. Tried and tested apps such as Calm or Head Space can help, or a quick google search will bring up lots of free exercises from a variety of accredited sources and experts you can easily do at home. Maybe rule out Joe Wicks for this one! Try the NHS on YouTube for some great options. The number of views alone are out of this world.
7. Stay Connected
With travel limited and social gatherings subject to restrictions, it’s really important to maintain relationships with friends and families. There are plenty of great ways to stay in touch. Using your social media, phone calls and instant messages are tried and tested, but for something more genuine try a handwritten letter or card. Or just drop what you’re doing and pick up the phone. It’ll mean a lot.
8. Get Your Blood Pumping
The NHS recommends that adults between 19-64 get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week. Moderate activities include brisky walk, riding a bike, dancing or hiking while vigorous activities include jogging/running, sports such as football, rugby or netball and aerobics. Raising your heart rate while exercising helps you to burn off stress, maintain a healthy weight and improves your cardiac health. Plus, you won’t feel guilty when you’re scoffing your Christmas dinner!
9. Take A Digital Detox
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by bad news this year. Try to limit the amount of time spent watching or reading the news, as well as checking social media for updates. Give yourself allotted times to check for updates, and make sure you’re using trustworthy sources for your news. Consider turning off breaking-news alerts on your phone, so that you’re reading the news on your terms.
10. Find The Fun
Make an effort to keep doing your favourite hobby. Whether it’s baking banana bread, knitting scarves or painting landscapes, carve out time that is for you and you alone. Quizzes, book clubs and music live streams have all continued throughout lockdown, so you can even stay social online! Max Cacace, owner of new La Palestra gym in Woking and brother of Strictly Come Dancing star Flavia, told us to remember that exercise should ALWAYS be fun! Remember that it’s not meant to be a chore, so find something you really love. From yoga to dancing and cycling to rollerblading, there’s you’re bound to find the perfect activity for you.
This winter, make sure you look after yourself both physically and mentally. Encourage your friends and family to do the same. With these simple adjustments, you’ll feel better now and long into the future.
Share your own health and well-being tips with us with us by tagging #WeAreWoking on social media or email us to firstname.lastname@example.org
We’d love to hear from you!