9 ways to become a 'healthier and happier you'
- Credit: Kate Fraser Photography
A wellbeing mentor has given some tips to help people make positive changes to their lives and create a "healthier, happier you".
Jane Hannah, who is based in Norwich, launched a new 'mindful' business during the pandemic to encourage people to make small changes to promote productivity and a "better way of living".
The 42-year-old, who has years of experience from a career in sport and physical activity, was placed on furlough during the first lockdown.
She said, once the initial panic receded, she looked at how she could use time to reset her full-time busy working life, which led to her setting up her own mentoring and motivation service - Healthier Happier You.
She said people's mental health was a real concern currently.
She said: "So many of us feel that being selfish is to the detriment of others where in fact selfishness is the start of self-care.
"By starting small and taking control and allowing ourselves time to be kind to ourselves, we will all manage situations better and develop habits for life, not just for this set of circumstances.
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"For me I have been able to work through each lockdown with positivity by making sure I am grateful for the things I do have and the things that I am able to do rather than being angry with the things I am unable to control."
She said it was clear that small changes in diet and exercise, sleep, and downtime habits, could work together to make us just feel better and more motivated.
Ms Hannah left university in 2000 around three stone heavier than she is today.
Now she is the European long-distance triathlon champion in her age group and much healthier, more positive and happier.
She gives us her tips to feel healthier and happier.
1. Start your day with hot water and lemon instead of coffee or tea
"A great way to start hydrating yourself for the day and the acid in the lemon is great for your digestion system."
2. Expose yourself to daylight as early in the day as you can
"This will release a hormone called serotonin which is associated with boosting mood and helping you feel calm and focused."
3. Keep hydrated with water and herbal teas throughout the day
"This will help to improve your mood, concentration and sleep. Did you know your brain shrinks when you are dehydrated?"
4. Be kind to yourself
"Even if you can only find five minutes a day - read a book, listen to a song, do some yoga or deep breathing. Being selfish is actually self-care and will make you a better version of you for everyone else."
5. Keep moving and get outside whenever possible
"Walking is one of the best forms of exercise.
"How about switching a work meeting from online to a phone call and do this whilst out having a walk?
"If you can’t get outside make sure you move around the house. You could do some lunges in the bathroom whilst cleaning your teeth or kitchen press ups leaning on the counter whilst waiting for the kettle to boil."
6. Eat the rainbow...
"...by including as many portions of fruit and vegetables as you can throughout the day.
"Include spices like chamomile, cinnamon, garlic, ginger and turmeric to boost your mood, immune system and stimulate the brain."
7. Write down three things that made you smile each day or that you are grateful for
8. Promote darkness in the lead up to bed time
"Switching the bright big lights to lamps and candles and turning off the phone will naturally increase melatonin, which is a hormone that your brain produces in response to darkness, to help with your body clock and promote sleep.
"Don’t wait until you are tired to start your sleep routine. Brush your teeth, pop your PJs on and wash your face an hour before you usually get tired - this will help you get straight to bed when you start to feel sleepy."
9. Take the time out of your bedroom
"Cover up alarm clocks or move your phone away from the bed. It’s too tempting to look at the time if you wake and when you do it stimulates your brain into worrying about getting back to sleep because you have to be up at a certain time."