the past week or so hasn’t been the easiest. last weekend, in his 90th year, my beloved grandad passed away. i don’t want to talk about it too much (this is supposed to be a happy place, after all) but suffice it to say i miss him very much. if you do one thing today, tell your loved ones how much you care.
i’d started drafting this post before recent events: a new year, looming landmark birthday & recent weigh-in have been encouraging me to think about my health more than i have for far too long, but of course taking care of myself is now on my mind even more so – though i confess to munching on pringles while writing this.
here are the simple things i’ve successfully done to improve my mental & physical wellbeing:
the health app
i only recently realised the iphone 6 i’ve had since september has been tracking my movements via the built-in health app. it’s useful stuff: for example, i’d confidently have said that i walk the recommended 10,000 steps per day but i learned this is more like 7,000 so i’m gradually building up my average. (i’d recommend myfitnesspal too, which is also free.)
quick & easy exercise
m & i discovered that alighting the train a stop earlier doesn’t make our morning commute take any longer but adds precious minutes of fresh air & exercise to our day (& is much more scenic). another realisation (thanks to the tfl strikes) is that it takes the same amount of time to walk home as it does to get the bus; it is fairly far & still freezing so this will likely only continue to happen every few days but making these little changes adds at least 13km of walking to our week – & saves us money!
free meditation sessions
‘mindfulness’ was everywhere in 2014. i’ve always been interested in how people work (how i wish i’d pursued psychology beyond a-level) & even prior to the past few days life has been exhausting & hectic so when i heard everyone raving about headspace‘s free “gym membership for the mind” i was intrigued.
if you’ve done yoga before these 10-minute sessions will be familiar enough: essentially there’s a man with a nice, calming voice encouraging you to pay attention to your body & your breathing. i can’t even exaggerate how much better i felt after just a day; a few minutes in became quite sad as i realised just how tense & stressed i was but towards the end i actually had an unexpected attack of the giggles. it’s just such a great thing to have in your pocket.