Striking the right balance in aspects of my life plays a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy mind and body. Life stressors can manifest in various forms, leading to short-term and long-term ill-health.
Three key things that I have found that have worked well for me are:
1) Fasting. The health benefits of fasting, in my opinion, are downplayed. Intermittent fasting is proven to lose weight, improve cognitive function and most importantly, reduces our focus on food and adds another element of discipline to our lifestyle and routine. This reduces impulse snacking and the urge to resort to food whenever you feel stressed or anxious.
2) Diet. Caffeine, nicotine, sugar and processed foods can result in peaks and troughs in blood sugar level, which can directly impact feelings of anxiety or mental health. Working towards a well-balanced meal, with lean protein, carbohydrates, fibers and fats can reduce the feeling of the “sugar rush” and help maintain steady energy levels.
3) Exercise. 60 minutes, 4-5 times a week. This has a profound impact on mental health and wellbeing. Maintaining a physically active lifestyle has increased my confidence and motivated me to excel both in my personal and professional life. Those 60 minutes in the gym are my time to switch off from the rest of the world, from the stresses that come with it and allow me to recharge myself for the challenges I am yet to face.
In addition to the above, I also focus on:
4) Prayer. Protecting this time provides me with a mental break, peace, and allows me to step back from the stressors of life and take a time-out.
5) Communication. Engaging with my peers and mentors has enabled me to discuss, share and gain a wider perspective of current issues in my life.