Mental Health

6 easy ways to enhance your wellbeing in 5 minutes

Busy schedules can leave us feeling zapped of energy, particularly as we gear up for a bustling festive season. Quick and simple wellbeing hacks can help to equip our minds with the right tools to navigate stressful moments.

According to research conducted by Opinium, in collaboration with the This Girl Can Campaign by Sport England, 61% of women with children feel guilty about taking time to exercise. Many said that they were more likely to prioritise tasks revolving around family, housework and cooking, over physical movement.

Enhancing our wellbeing doesn’t have to take hours. In fact, we can elevate our daily routines with simple yet impactful practices. From the tranquillity of deep breaths to an invigorating icy blast, read on to discover quick, transformative actions for better wellbeing.

6 quick fixes that’ll enhance your wellbeing in 5 minutes (or less)

Take a deep breath

For centuries, people have reaped the benefits of breathwork through practices including yoga and Tai Chi. Now science is catching up, too.

Studies show that breathwork can help to reduce anxiety, improve mood, and give us access to greater clarity and creativity. Simply carving out five minutes to focus and slow our breathing can help to improve our emotional control and wellbeing, according to a study in the Frontiers of Human Neuroscience.

Try a yoga pose to ward off headaches

Yoga can be a great tool for destressing and improving your physical wellbeing. A 2020 study published in the medical journal Neurology, found that people with migraines who did yoga for three months reported fewer and less intense headaches than those who just took medication.

This is thought to be because some yoga poses can relieve tension and reduce pain in the back and neck. Spending a couple of minutes in child’s pose can help us to reap some of the wellbeing benefits. Perfect for when we’re struggling to fit in a whole practice!

Clean the space around you

A tidy house makes for a tidy mind. In fact, one study from Indiana University revealed that people with clean houses tend to be healthier than those with messy or cluttered homes.

Another study from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health revealed a strong link between good living conditions and self-rated health and wellbeing.

Scheduling a quick five-minute spruce up of our workspace can work wonders. Wiping down our desks, reorganising paperwork or emptying the paper bin can make a big difference to our mindset.

Pick a pep-me-up fragrance

Scents can be great mood boosters. Lavender oil, renowned for its calming properties, has been scientifically proven to alleviate anxiety and promote better sleep, as highlighted in a study published in Nature. Elevate your bedtime routine by incorporating a few drops of lavender essential oil onto your pillowcase for a restful night’s sleep.

Orange and grapefruit essential oils are secret weapons for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, too. Applying these energising scents to pulse points can elevate our mood, helping us to power through the rest of the day.

Prep your snacks for the week

Nuts and seeds make for a great healthy snack, especially when we’re short on time.

One study from the Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that low-to-moderate nut consumption, the equivalent of up to one serving of 30g a day, was linked to a 17% lower risk of depression. Simply mix walnuts, sunflower seeds and almonds and divide between five tupperware containers, each weighing 30g each, and enjoy!

Incorporate a cold blast

Cold plunges are all the rage at the moment. The good news is that we can get similar benefits by lowering the temperature just before we get out of our morning shower.

Research conducted by the University of Chichester showed that cold water immersion for as little as five minutes can elevate our mood. Trying for just a few seconds a day, and then gradually building up over time can help us to reap the benefits of this chilly practice!

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