Are you struggling to get motivated or feeling more anxious and depressed than usual?

If so, you’re not alone. Many of our members are finding life challenging. With the latest lockdown, winter weather, and January blues, it is more important than ever to take care of your mental health.

Here wellbeing coach and The IBS Network adviser, Mike Lawrence, shares his advice on staying positive and motivated during these difficult days.

The most important advice to remember is that whatever is happening in our life and whatever problems we are facing, we can still make choices and take control of our lives.

Limit your news consumption

We have 80,000 thousand thoughts per day, and 90% of these thoughts are negative. In addition, 80% of the information that we read daily is negative. Therefore, limiting the amount you consume will dramatically improve your mood.

Exercise daily

This doesn’t have to be high-intensity workouts every day. Getting outside for a walk is enough to boost your mood and give you time to think and clear your head.

Meditate or practice mindfulness

You don’t have to go out and buy apps such as Headspace, Calm or Breathe. There are so many free videos on YouTube that work wonders. Harvard University studies prove that mindfulness meditation helps the brain reduce distractions, helping you to be calm.

Use coaching and mentoring strategically to combat mental health issues.

Between 70-75% of people with diagnosable mental illness receive no treatment at all. When used strategically, coaching and mentoring can ensure that you don’t reach the stage of poor mental health. There are many reasons for investing in a wellbeing consultant, executive coach, or mentor. (In a corporate environment companies have found they reach almost 74% return on investment when using the coaching approach in their business).

Put some fun back into life

Try to look for ways to put more fun in your life. Humour triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of wellbeing and can even temporarily relieve distress. This could be something as simple as putting some music on and having a dance around the kitchen.

Plan ahead

Alan Larkin, an American author on personal time management, said, “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” Planning ahead matters. Although there are currently many restrictions in place on travel, work, leisure and hospitality, it is still not impossible to plan and find other ways to engage in activities we enjoy.

In a quick google search you can discover a variety of activities that will motivate you. For example, have you ever visited Barcelona? Did you know you can take a virtual tour of Gaudi’s Barcelona?

We understand it’s a difficult time. If you need us, we are here.