2020 has been an unexpected year, to say the least. While it started off fine, things went haywire in the aftermath of the global pandemic. Notwithstanding the obvious damage done to life due to the virus outbreak, other aspects of life also have been gravely affected due to COVID-19.

Life gone haywire

Work seized, lockdown and the lack of social interaction has taken its toll on the people.

While anyone suffering from heightened stress levels needs to visit the best psychiatrist in Islamabad, there are other hacks on improving lifestyle and redeem this year!

1 Challenge your mind

We so often lament and laugh about the memory issues or not being able to concentrate well. What we fail to neglect it is that we need to take active steps to cater to the wellbeing of the cognitive health.

Our brain needs fuel to work and challenge to keep going well. When our brain functions well, not only does it improve the functionality but our entire disposition as well. Better performance in our jobs or academics leads to better rewards and thus surge in energy.

One way to improve cognitive functioning is by eating well. All foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are great brain foods. These not just sharpen the brain, but also help prevent cognitive impairment and therefore, diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Similarly, exercising the brain is also important. Try using brain-applications that help with improving memory, critical thinking and concentration. Moreover, learning and thus challenging the brain is also important. So, acquire new skills, language etc. This helps burn new neural pathways.

2 Exercise is key, always!

There are two types of people who love exercise, and others who defer it to death. You know who gets to live healthier and longer -the exercise fiends!

Exercise is not just to keep you fit, it has so many other benefits. It promotes cardiovascular health, improves circulation, prevents dangerous diseases like diabetes. Exercise releases the good hormones, endorphins, that give you a euphoric feeling. They also combat stress hormone levels as well.

So, this year, start exercising. This does not mean that you start pumping iron or start taxing yourself in the gym to the brink of self-loathing. Exercise is not supposed to be done grudging; enjoy this activity.

There are many different types of exercises that you can do. Moderate workouts include walking, low intensity cardio etc. Some people love dancing, while others like cycling outside in the nature, and some love the pace of yoga. Just pick an activity that you like.

Moreover, it does not have to be a solo venture; get your friends and family involved. Working out together will help you socialize and also, it’s fun!

3 Sleep well

Sleep is when your body rests, your brain assimilates information, the aches and creeks are fixed. If you deprive your body of this down time, you are endangering your health.

 Adults needs around 7-9 hours of sleep and sleeping more or less, both, have extreme effects on the mental and physical wellbeing. Hence, modify your lifestyle to account for a proper shuteye.

Moreover, many people have the bad habit of sleeping through the day and being night owls. That just messes up the circadian rhythm of the body. So, it is important to sleep at a decent hour and be up and running in the morning.

Some things that are helpful include having a fixed bedtime routine, not using phones or stimulating before bed, not eating in bed etc.

4 Gratitude

We can recount the injustices on our fingertips, but seldom are we grateful. According to research, gratitude has numerous benefits for us, including improved health, better social relationships, reduced toxic thoughts, better mental health, good sleep quality and improved conduct as grateful people are more empathetic and less aggressive.

Hence, make gratitude an important part of daily existence. Keep a journal, a jar, a sticky note, anything to daily log things you are grateful for.

5 Meditate

Meditation is underscored for the sheer amount of benefits it brings to the body. Alongside improving focus and concentration, it aids in improving self-awareness and esteem, improves cognitive functioning and decreases cognitive decline, and also fosters compassion.

Mindfulness involves sitting in a quiet space and breathing gently and consciously. It can take anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes, depending on the person.

6 Eat well

The importance of a healthy diet cannot be discounted by anyone. However, many people hold the perception that healthy eating is boring and flavorless; but it is not!

To eat well, you just need to introduce more natural foods in your diet and cut down on sugar and processed food. Having a cheat day or taking a break from healthy diet is also okay, insofar that it doesn’t become a recurring theme.

7 Mental Health

A taboo still, mental health goes neglected by so many people still. Without having a healthy mind, you cannot live a quality life, period.

Stress and anxiety can become an all-consuming force in life. Channeling them out is key; exercise, meditate, eat well, and visit the top psychiatrist in Lahore if need be. Your mental health comes first, always!