LEISURE AND RELAXATION
Improving recovery and wellbeing ideas
- Enjoy some sunshine. When the sun does shine, make it a priority in your day to get outside and enjoy it. Even a 10-minute walk or eating lunch outside will give your mood a lift. Plus, sunshine and natural light will help you sleep better. Daylight helps get your circadian rhythms aligned, and increases melatonin (a natural hormone), which also improves sleep quality.
- Do something kind for someone. As well as benefitting others, many research studies have found that acts of kindness make us feel good at the same time. Try providing home baking for colleagues, helping out at a community event, visiting an elderly neighbour or offering to pick up shopping for a busy parent.
- Take up a new hobby or project. Either of these will help to give you a sense of achievement and satisfaction, which is useful for giving your mood a boost. You may want to learn something crafty or take up a night class, or build the new kitchen cupboards you put off all summer. Get ideas from family, friends or colleagues if you can’t think of a good one, visit a hobby shop or sign up to an adult learning class.
- Plan a day off or a weekend away. Either is an excellent option for giving yourself some recovery time. Think about and plan what kind of recovery you most need – good sleep, lots of physical activity, spending time with a loved one, or doing something fun? Planning and anticipating the break can be part of the enjoyment, as can savouring the experience afterwards.
- Make fun a priority. Schedule pleasurable activities to look forward to – ideally at least one every day. Anticipating something enjoyable gives your mood a lift, as does the activity itself. Brainstorm some ideas ahead of time if you have trouble thinking of something on the spot. Better still, plan fun things into your diary. Include other people if you like or do things just for yourself. The activities don’t have to be big things – could be browsing in a garden centre or taking 10 minutes to read a favourite magazine, or coffee with a mate.
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