I was recently kindly invited to the Liberty Living Healthy Wellbeing event. It was an amazingly relaxing and informative evening focusing on how we can look after ourselves both physically and mentally. I came away not only feeling very relaxed but that I’ve been armed with some tools to implement into my daily life. I thought it would be rude not to share.
Admittedly, although I’ve been focusing a lot on self-care the past few weeks as it’s been quite a stressful time, I’ve not been looking after myself as well as I could have been doing. The Liberty Living event, therefore, came at the perfect time.
Who are Liberty Living?
Liberty Living are an award-winning provider of UK student accommodation. They kindly put on this event to help raise awareness of how we can all improve our wellbeing. They also have a Mental Health Hub packed with information.
The evening started with a glass of bubbles and then we were divided into three groups to explore the workshops. Our group started with nutrition workshop, followed by yoga and then finally mindfulness. Here’s what I learnt from each workshop:
Why you should look at your nutrition?
I’m quite ashamed to say, but I really hadn’t given much thought to the link between diet and mental health.
Admittedly, I have a really bad habit of eating pizza and crisps when I feel stressed. I was quite shocked when I thought about it, but on an average day, I am not giving my body the nutrients it needs to function properly.
The main messages that came out of the workshop were to maintain healthy blood sugar levels by eating protein and avoiding refined sugars. Consume brain nutrients, such as vitamin D and B12 and Omega 3 fatty acids. Also, the importance of optimising the gut microbiome by eating fermented foods such as natural yoghurt and rotating vegetables daily to increase bacteria diversity. Good gut health is especially important for me as I have IBS.
Photo credit: Elouisa @egphotographer
Why you should do yoga and when?
I haven’t been to a yoga class for almost a year. Ok, so the year has flown by, but lame excuse. Yoga is about the only form of exercise I enjoy and really feel the benefit if I do it regularly, so I need to stop the excuses and practise regularly again.
Yoga has amazing benefits including helping to reduce stress, increase your concentration and energy. It can also help you be more mindful. I used the time to thank myself for being strong and attending the event. My social anxiety has got in the way of too many events. The yoga teacher at Liberty Living also popped a drop of orange oil on our hands. Apparently, orange is the scent of happiness. Who knew?!
Why you should do mindfulness and when?
I realised that I spend too much of my time in fight or flight mode. When I’m stressed I will have trouble sleeping. Mindfulness is a strategy to reduce stress, declutters your mind and promotes mental and emotional wellbeing. It also helps us to feel aware of the present moment.
Being quiet and befriending yourself can reduce stress and promote mental and emotional wellbeing. It frees up space in your mind, creating the best environment for learning, creativity and problem-solving. It also improves relationships as it helps you to be more open for social connection.
One of the best tips we were given is to take a break and pay attention to your breath daily, even if just for three minutes. This can then train your brain to settle and chill out. Making mindfulness a daily habit is key. This way your mind will know what to do when you most need to relax and be more focused.
I have really struggled in the past to get my head around mindfulness. I’ve tried Headspace app and reading books. I know now where I was going wrong; I started trying to practice for too long. Now, I have some techniques to build upon.
Photo credit: Elouisa @egphotographer
I have to say I truly felt so relaxed. I finally switched off for a moment. Plus I have got some tools to build upon. I can’t thank Liberty Living enough for such an invaluable evening. I also got to meet the gorgeous Abigail Kathleen and catch up with the lovely Afshanesque.
What do you do for your wellbeing?