My goal was to complete a post a day for Mental Health Awareness Month. I missed day 1 and day 3, but day 4 is going to be a combination of what I was going to post about on Day 3 and 4. Food and exercise are 2 things that go together that play a pretty big role in our mental wellness. In general, making sure that we eat on a regular basis and don’t let our blood sugar get too low is really important. Yesterday and today, I did not do a good job with this. I ate sugar from the time I put food in my mouth and continued throughout the day. I was already low in my sugar level like most people in the morning, and then I ate a chocolate muffin with chocolate frosting and had a half of lemon donut and washed it down with an iced mocha. Way too much sugar to start the day, a day where my stomach was already screwed up. I then waited too long to eat lunch so not only did my blood sugar plummet from the sugar, I then made it worse by waiting too long to eat. This probably did not do anything good for my mental wellness. Maintaining our sugar levels is pretty important for weight control and also for mood control. I certainly did not react as calmly as I would if I had eaten a healthy breakfast with protein, healthy fat, and good carbs and a normal amount of sugar. The food we eat can make a huge difference in how our brain reacts to stress.
Exercise is another important piece to ensure that we have good mental wellness. It is another area that I do not do well with. I need to take my own advice and move more. I am not completely sedentary, but I am also not someone who has an exercise program that I follow. I need to be better at making time to move more and actually have a routine. This is another area that that is helpful for weight control as well as mood control. Exercise is a great way to expend extra energy in a constructive way. It also gives you more energy and releases those endorphins (happy hormones). Have you heard of a runner’s high? Exercise can also be a great way to have an active mindfulness practice. Not everyone can sit and relax and center and be present. Sometimes, people have an easier time getting grounded and being present when there is movement involved. Exercise is a great way to move, be healthy, expend calories and energy, increase your endorphins, and keep your brain healthy!
Do you choose food that is good for your body? Do you eat too much sugar? Do you have too many hours in between meals? Do you exercise enough? Does exercise make you feel better?