May marks Mental Wellness month. F45 shares some tips with fathers on how to prioritise our mental wellbeing to help reduce stress and depression.
This May, we mark Mental Wellness month as we go through continued measures to manage the pandemic. For many of us, we continue to restrict movement by staying at home where possible, or limiting our social bubbles to those with similar “pandemic values” that we trust. This has naturally resulted in less socialisation with our larger circle of friends, as well as more time spent at home by ourselves.
Studies have shown that personal distancing was “…associated with symptoms of depression, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), intrusive thoughts, insomnia, and acute stress.”
Depression and anxiety were some of the mental health problems that people most commonly experience according to a 2020 review.
However, coping with personal distancing and associated problems requires some planning. Another study in 2020 shared several suggestions such as maintaining social connections, satisfying basic needs, exercise and to manage any symptoms.
F45 Singapore has compiled some tips to help manage our mental wellness.
Sweat it out
Multiple studies have shown exercise can have a positive impact on our mental wellness, whether it is from the released endorphins or the sense of achievement after completing a workout.
Even though gyms and fitness centres may be closed during this period, there are still many ways of getting that workout in without compromising the safety of ourselves and others. For example, going for a short run in the park, doing yoga at home or tune in to the many workout videos available online for that HIIT session!
F45 has also resumed their F45 Live programme where members are able to virtually sweat it out with the trainers who are there to correct their form and offer the same guidance they would provide in the physical studio.
Break up your routine
If you are working from home or taking time off, it is important to stop and take regular breaks. Get outside for a walk, take a moment to meditate, journal, or schedule some time to talk with a friend. We are also not getting as much physical activity in our day when working from home. Be sure to take a standing break or walk around the house every hour to help break up your routine.
Eat more of these foods
Research has clearly shown the health benefits of following a Mediterranean-style diet, particularly in relation to mental health. After six months of following this way of eating, 33 percent of trial participants met criteria for remission of major depression, compared to just 8 percent in a group receiving social support.
So, what does following a Mediterranean-style diet mean? It means filling up on vegetables, whole grains and fruit, and regularly including dairy and raw nuts. And of course, use plenty of olive oil, which not only improves mental health but also helps your body release more of the food’s nutrients.
Get enough sleep
A recent study by Philips found that the pandemic has contributed negatively to the sleep woes of Singaporeans.
Having a good night’s sleep allows us to be more alert and less prone to stress during the day. It also improves our memory allowing us to digest more from work or school. Throwing in a short workout during the day can greatly boost the quality of sleep we have at night and reduce sleep onset – the amount of time we take to fall asleep.
A good practice to have before going to bed at night is to set up a wind down period 15 – 30mins. Refrain from using electronics that emits blue light as it can suppress the secretion of melatonin – a hormone that helps us fall asleep.
Outside of physical exercise, breathing exercises can also alleviate stress and help you relax. Mindful breathing for 1-3 minutes can bring peace to your day. This can help clear your mind and reduce anxiety you may have from work or school.