It’s important to keep in optimal physical health – particularly if you’re currently experiencing mental health challenges.  However, I accept that motivation is often low at times like these and so it can become a vicious circle…

 

I recently heard that, if we are low in motivation and therefore not taking the necessary actions to move forward, simply taking the first step may provide enough encouragement alone to get over the much larger hurdle of whatever we need to do.  For example, if we feel low and know that going for a walk may help – but we cannot be bothered to move, by starting the process anyway (ie. allocating a time for it in our planner, buying some comfy trainers, inviting someone to join…) we may naturally become encouraged and then start to enjoy the overall experience much more.

 

My article in Podio’s Spring edition focused on changing habits to change long-term behavior – and I want to reiterate the importance of this here. Sometimes, we have days when we don’t want to do something even when we know that it’s good for us. If we push ourselves to do it, repeatedly, it becomes a positive habit. It consequently doesn’t seem such an ordeal long term because it becomes the norm; in fact, it may well feel strange if we don’t do it – the reason being is that the behavior has become automatic.

 

It’s like going to the gym. How many times have you put off going to the gym when you had a membership? Eventually, you head down, and it’s great. And you wonder why you didn’t head down sooner?! Before you know it, you’re back in that positive habit of working out regularly, instead of being trapped in that vicious circle.

 

So what are you waiting for? What’s the one thing you know you should probably start doing right now? Put Podio away, and do it. Get cracking. Take that first step.

 

If you need any more nudges, here’s a list of some physical and mental health benefits of taking regular exercise:

  • Helps fight depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges
  • It helps balance our energy levels and sleeping patterns.
  • It can help us to get out of the house – which may help our mood.
  • May allow for social interaction with others – also good for well being.
  • It gives us something else to think about – rather than focusing on the negatives.
  • It can help maintain a healthy level of weight or improve our overall fitness levels.
  • It helps us feel better long term as we are actively doing something to help ourselves.

 

So, if you’re feeling low, why not take that first step (literally) and take a walk (or embark on some other form of exercise) to help you with your mental and physical well being? Preston boasts plenty of beautiful green spaces – go and explore.

 

For more information contact Julie Lightfoot (J L Consultancy) or visit her website for further information; www.jlconsultancy.org

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