Put yourself first - the 3 steps to helping you de-stress


Take time for yourself

Between work, exercise, and social events, it can be difficult to find time for yourself. And when we say time for yourself we mean being able to completely switch off from stress, stop over-thinking, and focus on you. If you want to watch Netflix, do it. Watch half a season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine in one sitting; we won’t judge you.

If you’re easily distracted and aren’t doing the things you actually love, it’s time to detox, get back to basics, and put yourself first. No distractions. No social media. Just you.

Technology

An activity as basic as sleeping has become disrupted by the use of technology. You get into bed at a decent time and promise yourself that you’re going to have an early night except oops, look at that, you’ve opened Instagram. And now it’s 2 am.

We spend up to 40 hours per week on our phones and 37% of adults check their smartphone before switching off the lights for bed and look at them within five minutes of waking up. Unless you’re turning off your alarm, checking your notifications as soon as you wake up isn’t going to help you de-stress. Try showering or eating breakfast when you wake up before looking at screens or try setting your phone to do not disturb mode.

You don’t need to go cold turkey but it can be healthy to monitor how much time you really do spend on social media and slowly start to cut down on this time. There are many apps that can help you measure your technology time or even block you from using other apps for specific lengths of time. In fact, for Apple users, they’ve launched a new feature that tells you what time you spent on what apps.

A good way to get into the habit is to stop reaching for your phone when you’re waiting for the train, boiling the kettle or brushing your teeth. Leave your brain to take things easier for a few minutes.

Exercise

Once you break your technology habits, stop being a workaholic, and find time for yourself, you can spend time doing what you love. Whether you’re in the kitchen practising for your star turn on the Great British Bake Off or working your way to becoming the next Van Gogh, put time aside for these activities. Exercise is especially critical. If you need a break from the real or digital world, try going for a walk, run, cycle, or swim to clear your mind while increasing your endorphin levels and staying fit.

They’re all examples of meditative exercises, meaning that they hit your VO2 max aerobic capacity state - or steady cardio in English. The repetitive action of these exercises helps your brain go into a meditative state. The increase in endorphins and the increased blood flow can help you unwind.

You don’t even have to treat it as a big workout; just take things easy and unwind. Exercise is essential for maintaining not only your physical health, but your emotional health too. You don’t want to overdo it, but taking some time out to exercise will help to put things into perspective. It’s a chance to stay healthy, ditch your phone, and burn off calories and negative feelings.

You are what you eat

When we are stuck for time, we often end up eating greasy foods and take outs, and snacking on biscuits, chocolates, and crisps. Taking time out for yourself means you can cook up a storm in the kitchen like the next Gino D’Acampo and eat something that isn’t covered in grease, salt, or sugar.

Not only can you cook yourself a mouth-watering meal, but you can also spend time meal prepping. It might take a bit of time now, but it’ll pay off during the busy work week. You won’t end up back on the Greggs meal deals all week and can prepare healthy breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Eating a balanced diet makes all the difference to your health.

In an age of counting macros and specific diets for different needs, it can be difficult to know what a balanced diet even is. But it can be as easy as cutting out excess sugar, salt, fats and mood lowering chemicals such as MSG (think, takeaways and fast food). Instead, make healthy swaps like this roasted sweet potato salad. Or treat yourself to this delectable glazed chicken with broccoli and mashed sweet potato. Fancy a bit of fish? Have some omega 3 rich halibut with peach and pepper salsa.

It might sound wishy-washy, but other than feeling healthier, getting more sleep, and eating well, there are other benefits to taking time out for yourself. One major benefit of self-care is that you’ll start to realise that you’re important. It’s easy to burn out and think little of ourselves if you’re constantly scrolling through Instagram, but some quality time to yourself can help to refocus your outlook.

 

At Designed2Eat, physical and mental health is critical. We don’t believe in overworking, over-exercising, or overeating. A healthy routine and diet are essential. That’s why we created our baked brownie - so that you can reward yourself with a delicious, healthy snack without worrying about gluten, dairy, egg, and other ingredients. Visit our website to get yours today!


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