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5 SIMPLE ways to Improve Mental Strength in these Strange Times.

Ever wondered how humans survived when we didn't have technology? Social media and TV? It almost seems as though that modern technology has kept us from toppling the insanity hill. We may be staying away from our friends, family, loved ones to protect them as well as reducing the burden our heroic key workers are performing to keep the "everyday" going.

To begin with this, I saw no real difference if I'm honest, but as the weeks move on, it has definitely had a huge impact on my mental health and physical health. Mainly how much i miss physical intimacy, a hug here there, holding someones hand, the act of stealing someone heats because I'm cold and they are radiating like the sun, but mainly seeing a physical face to talk to and not through a screen. Its great and it help fill the void but it doesn't fix the age old desire that ultimately we are creatures who like company, whether all day long or for moments, we do like physical bodies near us. Or i certainly do.

So i decided to embark of looking at this in a new way, how can i make this the best thing that could happen to me, so by the time we are able to have dinner with friends, hugs family etc I am at my best possible mentally and physically. So I stopped... Stopped everything i know and routinely do and looked at what was helping and what wasn't.. Slowly replacing the bad with good, and old with new ways to look and do things... I am still learning and growing but so far *touch wood* i am finding this to be a healthier, happier path.

I'd like to share a few tips that have helped my mindset and heart along the way.

1. Every morning, I now get up, pop the kettle on and make myself a liquid shot of chocolate with Aztec Gold Spice. The power house drink is packed with immunity boosting benefits that no matter what, it makes my brain feel i am on the right path, so if i become ill i am at least not making it worse and can be strong enough to overcome it.

If you have the spice - try it - I promise after 2 weeks straight, I am thinking clearer, lighter and happier, if not, here is the recipe to make your own version (just omit the milk and make it with pure hot water)

2. Every evening I meditate, whether thats with an app like Calm, or by myself, I take 10 minutes to stop, focus on my breathing and do Loving Kindness Mediation. (AKA Metta Meditation), which is the practice of reciting specific words and phrases meant to evoke warm-hearted feelings and is also commonly found in mindfulness and vipassana meditation.

Before I do this meditation though, There are 2 things I do: I forgive everyone in my life for everything, no matter how big or small it is, and I forgive myself for everything - no matter what. I say it out loud, and if there are people who I feel hurt by I visualise them when I say I forgive you. That in itself it hugely awakening and up-lifting. Try it and see for yourself.

For me, my mantra is:

May I be filled with Loving Kindness

May I be well

May I be patience and at ease

May I be happy

May I be patience and free from suffering

May I be at peace

Repeat, repeat and then change the I to you, and visualise specific people or everyone, it's up to you.

3. Eating, well it sort of went all over the place when we first went into LockDown. Now I have my cacao drink in the morning and then try to eat as mindfully as I can. The luxury of being at home, is that you can make more of an effort with your foods, don't just go for the regular dishes you know well, branch out a little. Dig deeper into your cupboards to see what you have and then root through your cook books to find inspiration. Food ALWAYS tastes better when thought has been put into it. Whether its making a cake or a sandwich, try to add vegetables, and good stuff to your body. After all you want to be fighting fit to life your best life whether indoors or not. At the same time, if you fancy eating pizza or something you 'think' is unhealthy - go for it.. do not feel guilty! Live with your choices happily and make the most of what we have.

I will be putting up exciting recipes soon on The Greatness Guide so don't forget to follow and see whats coming up.

4. Vitamin D, whether in supplement or fresh out door sunlight, I have tried to do this. Due to where I am, its actually safer to be indoors, so I have been supplementing my Vitamin D with tablets instead of outdoor space, and I noticed a huge difference in my thoughts and wellbeing so where ever you are, go outside (safely), or get the supplement.

5. Exercise. Now this is a tricky one, I have gone from running to stopping running as too many people out-side and actually the mental stress reliever became stress provider, so every now and again I run on the terrace for the giggles, but mainly I stick to things I can do in the house... These are my go do ways to get the heart pumping, muscles stretched and fitness levels tiptop:

  1. 30 sec dance off

  2. Mini trampoline for 30 mins listening to Abba

  3. 30mins on the pedal machine (can be done whilst working)

  4. Wearing ankle weights

  5. Finding yoga/pilates you tube videos

  6. Callanetics

  7. 7 min Tabata classes with my 5 year old niece on face time.

  8. Learning a new dance routine from you tube

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