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Physical and mental health – you can’t have one without the other!

I recently came across an article on mental fitness in a Smiling Mind newsletter.

Cute child lying on lawn cuddling a puppy

It highlighted that “your mental health needs constant and proactive attention, just like your physical health.”  It went on to provide a great definition of mental health saying, “there can be no health without mental health”.

This is such an important point.  We very often focus on our physical health because it has an outward consequence and is critical to our mental wellbeing, the reverse is also true.  If our mental health is not up to scratch, our physical health will suffer.  So, what can we do to make (and keep) our mental health as much of a priority as our physical health?

Consider what things you can do in your daily life to support your mental fitness.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

Practice meditation – sitting still to meditate isn’t for everyone.  Great if you can do it but if you can’t, try meditating a different way such as a slow walk or doing something relaxing out in nature where you focus on your breath.

Use a reflective journal – these can be great if you’re not too comfortable sharing your feelings with others.

Take a mindful walk – take the time to really notice the things around you.  The colours and patterns in the flowers, the sounds of nature, the way nature interweaves.  Just taking time to get away from the rush of the day, the screens, the pressure and endless stream of less-than-ideal news.

Connect with people you love spending time with – meet up with a friend, cook as a family, start a regular get together.  Weave these connections through your week.

Develop a gratitude routine – this is a great one to do on your own or as a family.  There is considerable research now highlighting the benefits of having a daily gratitude practice.  It not only helps your mental wellbeing; it helps your physical wellbeing and helps build resilience for the harder days.

Focusing on your mental health doesn’t need to be overly complicated.  Start small with little things that can make you feel a whole lot better and help you deal with the day.  Create routines that will nurture both your physical and mental health.  These habits will support you and over time they will help you develop your mental fitness and support you to maintain good mental health.

If you’re looking for tools to help you create healthy habits, check out our range of habit trackers for all age groups or if you’re looking to start a gratitude practice, take a look at our gorgeous gratitude jars.

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