As it’s International Day of Happiness, we have come up with 7 top tips to help you to stay happy. Seeing as we’ve been in-and-out of lockdowns for a whole year now, we hope this blog will help to give a little boost to your happiness:
Take time to exercise
It can be hard finding all the motivation, time and space to exercise at home. Spending 20 minutes of your day to stay active will benefit your physical health as it will help to prevent excess weight gain, help to maintain weight loss and will improve your physique. It is scientifically proven that the more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. But don’t worry if you don’t fancy anything too intense because let’s be honest, it isn’t for everybody. Even a 20 minute brisk walk will add at least 2,000 steps to your daily step count and accumulated over a week, you would have done an impressive 14,000 more steps than doing none at all. Do reward yourself with days off too!
As well as physically, exercise is also extremely beneficial mentally as it stimulates various brain chemicals that should leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to boost your mood and mental well-being.
Milford Waterfront is a great place to explore, a circular loop around the permitter of the marina is just over 1 mile of flat terrain, and there is a great selection of cafes from where you can pick up a takeaway coffee and a treat on your way. The Samson Gates over the lock are accessible at all times apart from during ‘free flow’ – the period of approximately two hours before each high tide, so be sure to check the lock times before you set off.
If you don’t have time for 20 minutes of exercise or if your body needs a break, don’t be afraid to start with 5-10 minute sessions and slowly increase your time! As exercising becomes a habit, you can slowly add extra minutes or try different types of activities. If you need any guidance the team at B-Fit Health & Fitness have continued to offer coaching and nutritional advice throughout the pandemic. We’re looking forward to when they are able to re-open again!
Practise mindfulness – yoga or meditation
Yoga is a simple meditation which involves breath control and the adoption of specific bodily postures and is practised for relaxation. You won’t need much room to practise yoga and if you don’t have a yoga mat, then a soft carpet or blanket will be just fine. By practising yoga, it will help to lower the levels of the stress hormones such as cortisol and other related benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion and boosting the immune system. Don’t worry if you’re not a yoga pro yet, there are plenty of online materials available such as on YouTube for people of all expertise.
Practising meditation involves a set of techniques that are intended to encourage a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. Meditation has a history of increasing calmness and helps to deal with stress, anxiety and improves your self-awareness. Meditation ultimately trains the brain to become mentally clear and be emotionally calm. Likewise with yoga, there are plenty of resources available online.
So, if you’ve never tried yoga or meditation before, why not give it a go?
If not yoga or meditation, then why not try pilates with Beth Howes Pilates? A unique exercise method designed to develop a balance between the mind and body. The benefits of pilates are being able to build strength, correct posture and imbalances, improve flexibility, prevent back pain, create body awareness and stress relief. Beth has also previously held some of her classes in our marquees too!
Don’t forget your beauty sleep
This is arguably the most important of all to have the best impact on your mood and keeping you happy. And if not the most important, it certainly is the easiest to do, right? Making sure you get a good 8 hours sleep is crucial for waking fresh ready for the day ahead, ensuring you aren’t sleep deprived.
Sleep deprivation makes a person drowsy and unable to concentrate fully for the following day. It also leads to impairment of memory, physical performance and often develops mood swings too. By giving the brain the rest it needs, it allows us to maintain optimal emotional and social functioning while we are awake.
Finding it hard to sleep? Try minimising stressful situations prior to sleep, making sure you’re in a comfortable sleeping position and environment, going to sleep at a regular time (e.g. 10pm) and getting appropriate exercise activity during the course of the day.
We’ll hopefully be welcoming guests back to our Floatel Cabins very soon; sleeping in a floating room is a relaxing experience, so why not treat yourself to a weekend stay for later in the year and enjoy all that Milford Waterfront has to offer?
Blast your favourite tunes
No matter what music you’re into whether it be rock ’n’ roll Oasis or dance music by Pete Tong, there’s nothing quite like playing your favourite songs out loud (as long as your neighbours don’t mind)! We’re missing our usually busy calendar of events at Milford Waterfront, but if you need a pick me up, why not reminisce about Summer Fest 2019!
Listening to music has been found to release a chemical in your brain called dopamine – a ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter. So, in simpler terms, playing your favourite songs should make you feel better and ultimately will make you happy. So next time you need an emotional boost, be sure to connect to a speaker and play them out loud and hopefully, you will be feeling great!
Eating the right foods (or any foods that you love)
Eating well is the foundation for a well-functioning body. Food powers all our bodily functions and is our main provider of energy, directly impacting our physical and mental well-being. Therefore, diet is critical to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are a great source of vitamins, so implementing these into your daily diet is a great start. And, initiating a healthy lifestyle will instantly be reflected in your self-esteem by boosting your confidence.
If you think you would benefit from nutritional advice, we are lucky to have our very own fully qualified and registered nutritionist here at Milford Waterfront; Ellen Picton from Healthaspire. Ellen is passionate about using natural methods to help patients feel better and more confident and has continued to offer online consultations throughout Covid-19.
Watch your favourite movie
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like watching their favourite movie over and over again?
Although not scientifically proven, it can be said that laughter (and crying if you like a sad film) can often turn out to be the best medicine. Laughter can boost your immune system and decreases hormones associated with stress. Re-watching your favourite movie can also be found to be relaxing as our brains find it easier to process and the predictability is comforting.
If you can’t think of a favourite film, you can’t go wrong with a rom-com to put a smile on your face!
We can’t wait for the Torch Theatre to be able to re-open, and hopefully, if government guidance allows, we may be able to host a Torch Sunset Cinema or two at Milford Waterfront later on in 2021!
Try something new!
Why not try something new?
With sunnier mornings looming, you may choose to take up gardening which is a proven activity to make you feel happier. A visit to St Ishmaels Garden centre will be allowed from next week – the team there do a great job of keeping our flower planters looking lovely, and they have a wide selection of plants, seeds, planters, garden furniture and accessories you need to transform your outdoor space, no matter how large or small.
If you’d like to get the brain working, jigsaws or crosswords sure will be rewarding if you have the resilience to complete them – test yourself!
Learn a new language! With a little patience, you can pick up key words and phrases in a new language on Duolingo. This sure would be a great way to impress your friends this summer when government restrictions allow.
We hope you’ve enjoyed these 7 top tips to happiness!