January can be long and tiring enough without designating a whole day as ‘the most depressing of the year’ (thanks, Blue Monday) and in 2021 in particular, we have good reason to be feeling more glass half empty than normal.
So, whilst we’re no experts (in anything except hair maybe!), we are everyday people just like our amazing Naturtint customers and we thought we’d share some of our favourite tips and tricks to calm our minds, boost our mood and try to lift our spirits when life is feeling a little tough.
We hope they might give you some ideas or inspiration for things you could try, and if you have any of your own you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them!
Get outside and be in nature
Nature is the inspiration behind all our hair products and we think it’s the very best tonic for a busy and worrisome mind. We’re firm believers of ‘blowing the cobwebs off’ with a countryside walk, but we know that might not be possible right now for everybody, so how about scaling it down – take a moment to go outside, stop and just listen. Think about what you can hear, try to cut through the day-to-day sounds of life and living and listen for the more subtle sounds of nature. We find forcing your mind to focus on what you can hear, can be a much-needed respite for a mind full of worry.
Scroll less and do more
We’re all guilty of this one. Our phones and tablets are simply too handy sometimes and when life gives us a moment of spare time (we can almost hear the exasperated ‘spare time, what’s that?!’ from many of you!) it’s tempting to head to social media or a news app to find out the latest goings-on in the world. And whilst being aware of what is happening can be an essential coping mechanism for many, being too consumed with the constant flow of news can take its toll and ‘doom-scrolling’ before bed surely can’t be good for the mind. So, if you find yourself with some downtime and like us, you’re a fidget and need to actually ‘do’ something, how about adult colouring books? Or a puzzle book. Or even a good old Danielle Steele. Unlike some hobbies that in themselves can seem overwhelming, books take up little space, need no prep and you can pick them up and put them down as often as you like.
Set a time to switch off and switch off. Properly.
Talking of putting down your smartphone, this is really important when it comes to sleep. We know because actual experts who know what they are talking about agree – as light levels normally fade in the hours leading up to sleep, our bodies start to get ready for rest by reducing our alertness by increasing melatonin production. Apparently of all the wavelengths, the blue light emitted by mobile phones disrupts melatonin production the most, which can lead to difficulties falling asleep! A lack of sleep can cause tiredness, which can make us less able to cope with day-to-day pressures and can lead to low self-esteem and even more worries and anxieties. Which can keep us awake at night and lead to even greater tiredness – a vicious circle indeed. If you can, set yourself a cut-off time when you will no longer look at your phone. If you use it for your morning alarms, set them before this cut-off point and put your phone out of reach. Tell your friends and family that’s what you are doing, and they can help by not texting or WhatsApping (unless necessary of course!) after this time.
If you want to read more about the importance of sleep and how to get more, there’s lots of helpful info here https://www.sleepstation.org.uk/articles/sleep-tips/social-media/ and here https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/sleep-problems/about-sleep-and-mental-health/
Be kind to yourself
Don’t chastise yourself if you sneak a peek at your phone after your cut-off time – just try to do better the next night. A wise man once told us ‘don’t let perfect get in the way of good’, which we think may have been a paraphrase of Voltaire (who may even have paraphrased it from an old Italian proverb, but we’re getting into a Wikipedia hole now). Still, hopefully you get the gist – striving to be more mindful, to switch off more and to look after yourself better is a positive move in itself. You won’t get there overnight.
And similarly, it’s normal and realistic to be overwhelmed right now, regardless of your own personal circumstances. You might feel guilty for feeling anxious and scared if your life hasn’t been as significantly impacted as others, or maybe a friend is going through what seems to be a tougher time. Still, you can only deal with your circumstances, and to you, they may be more than enough right now.