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Maintaining Your Well-Being and Health

Looking after your health and wellbeing is an important task, especially when normal activities and routines are curtailed. Each day we should be doing something to look after our physical and mental health to provide a greater sense of well-being. 

Whether you live on the coast, the edge of a forest or in the middle of a town or city, we wanted to share a selection of wellness activities that you can do whatever your lifestyle and living conditions, which will help to enhance your mind, body and spirit.

Take a moment

The easiest thing you can do at home is to take a seat at the kitchen table, beside your brightest window, in the garden, or a porch, at the brightest part of the day.  Getting some daylight and taking a peaceful restful moment can have many mind and health benefits.

  • It only takes 20 minutes for your body to be fuelled with vitamin D from the sun which helps to build strong bones, teeth and muscles.
  • If you have a countryside view, some time spent watching and listening to nature will help you feel at peace. 
  • Simply being outside in the fresh air has been linked to better mental well-being and can reduce stress. Opening a window to let in fresh air can help.
  • Listen to some music or read a book.  

Activities

Play with a pet
Your pet’s happiness is infectious – you are sure to feel happy when you watch them having a good time. Even if you can’t get out very often, throw a ball about the garden or play with them indoors. Petting a dog for just 15 minutes can lower blood pressure by 10%, research has revealed which in return reduces your stress and anxiety levels.

Browse our local shopkeepers for inspiration on pampering your pooch to keep you and your pet entertained.  We recommend taking a look at Stan’s Pals Pet Shop Swadlincote, Harriets Hounds Bolsover or Falsgrave Pet Shop Scarborough

Walk outdoors
Walking is a chance to practice mindfulness, as you notice the scenery and wildlife. If you have a garden it could be as simple as a stroll around it taking in the flowers, trees and bird song, or potter about and plant some seeds and watch them grow.  Or you could go for a quick walk around the block, street trees, fresh air can all help to make us feel closer to nature.

Exercise

There are lots of tips on health and wellness activities available on the internet. There is a huge variety – for some, the only equipment you need is mat or a chair.  Take a look at ways to relax when you feel worried or stressed or books or online reference for ideas and tips on how to exercise safely at home.

Once you have an exercise you enjoy, add it to a daily routine. Your muscles will strengthen, your stamina will be built and your body will be healthier. Always remember to refresh yourself afterwards with a glass of water. If you have any health concerns, please do take advice from your doctor on starting any new routines.

Yoga and Pilates

Yoga is not about doing the splits or standing on your head! Yoga reminds us of the importance of accepting others and accepting ourselves. At its core is the practice of training and focusing the mind, and being present in the moment. Maria from yoga rocks believes that through the practice of Yoga with its focus on breathing and movement we can learn to pay attention to the ‘now’ rather than allowing our minds to dwell on the past or future. 

Pilates helps to strengthen your muscles, stretch and loosen your limbs and helps build a healthy body and routine.  There are a number of online classes available for both Yoga and Pilates which you can do from home. As always if you have any health concerns, please do take advice from your doctor on starting any new routines.

Relaxation and Sleep 

Being confined to your home can be distressing. Whether you are working from home, trying to home school your children or you are feeling frustrated by the lockdown,  it is important to find ways of allowing your mind and body to rest. 

Scents can be a very powerful way to help you to relax, by creating a bedtime or evening routine this can help you wind down after a busy or stressful day and it can help those who are feeling fatigued sleep deeper and improve their energy levels the following day. Using natural, scented products in your bath or as a cream before bed can help improve your sleep.. Here are some handpicked shops which provide products to help you relax

Relaxing scents and products:

Work your brain 

The brain is divided into two - the left side processes information in a verbal, analytical manner and the right is more visual and intuitive. It is important to exercise both sides as much as we can alongside our bodies.

  • Right brain activities– read a good book, colour a mindfulness book daydream and doodle or watch your favourite comedy show. Laughter will always be good for your mental and physical health.
  • Left brain activities– solve a puzzle like Sudoku or do a crossword. Limit yourself to expressing your thoughts on a post-it note or do a brain challenge puzzle book or, quiz.

Music 

Music can relax or energise you.  Find your favourite tune or a new tune, composer or artist and sit back and relax. Acoustic or ambient music is best listened to while doing some stretches or yoga moves in an open space and listening to classical music has benefits for your physical, mental and emotional well-being such as enhancing productivity and brainpower.

Better yet, why not start learning that musical instrument you always said you wanted to but never got the chance. Learning a musical instrument not only sustains and feeds the brain, but it also improves so many other cognitive and physical aspects of the human body.  Good music shops to take a look at are greensleeves northallerton, Nathan rose music wolverhampton and whitby music shop 

Getting creative

Being creative can help you to relax while also giving your mind a workout.  There are many crafts activities that make great hobbies from painting and drawing to candle making.  You may discover hidden talents like many of the businesses that have joined us on ShopAppy.com.  Take a look below for inspirational online courses. 

Or take a look at the amazing craft shops for inspiration and ideas for projects you can start or do with the family.

The Fabric Den – Bolsover

Stitch! Enfield

It Started With a Stitch, Grimsby

Crafts of Thirsk

The Paint Box Cleethorpes

Wulfrun Wool and Crafts, Wolverhampton

Ewe and Yarn Thirsk

Material Moves Scarborough

The Sewing Rooms Putney

Freezywater Haberdashery Enfield

Itsajadecrafts Bolsover

And So to Knit Taunton

Wensleydale Longwool WoSheep Shop, Leyburn

Healthy Eating

It is important to keep your body healthy as well as your mind.  Buying local produce isn’t just good for British producers and suppliers such as greengrocers, butchers and bakers; it is also good for you. Locally grown food means it is fresher and often seasonal. Local food is grown and harvested within 100 miles of your home, so it also travels much less to reach you which is also good for the environment and keeps money from purchases within your local community. 

Stay healthy and happy by tucking into a nutritious fruit and vegetable box and create a new healthy eating plan. You could buy something fresh you have not tried before to experience something new. You may be surprised with the variety of products that exist. Why not challenge yourself to cook three new dishes you have never made before from a recipe box. 

Many local shops offer fresh vegetable, cheese, drink or meat hampers. From Somerset to Scotland, there is a vast range - you could even send one to friends and family to make sure they know how much you love them.

ShopAppy.com has a number of hamper delivery services to choose from with many various selections simply look up your town and search ‘Hampers’.

Here are a selection of recommendations:

Eat and Live Wellness in Enfield

Malton Brewery

Aroma Coffee Shop, Glaston

Cup and Saucer, Claycross

Farehouse Trading, Wimborne

Botham's of Whitby, Whitby

Communication

Call a friend, neighbour or family member for a chat - a video or phone call can make us feel more connected. 

Sending cards or letters can be a great way to remind someone you're thinking of them and gives them a nice surprise to lift their spirits (especially for children, it's like Christmas all over again!)

Not many people put pen to paper these days so sharing a story via a post is becoming more meaningful to some people. Write a letter to someone you have not seen for a while or to a companion who lives abroad to make their day. Sit down with some pretty writing paper, a nice pen and tell them what you have been up to recently, or you could write something different, like a poem or short story.

It’s good to talk

Lockdown has been difficult on us all and it can affect people differently.  Talking is a great way to lift spirits as a problem shared is a problem halved. 

For help and support, here are just some services available online across the UK on ShopAppy.com:

In summary

Doing just one simple thing each day can make a huge difference to your mindset and how you feel.  Thinking about someone else too and surprising them with a small gift or letter will also put a smile on their face as well as giving you a warm glow.  Now more than ever, it is time to look after ourselves and each other – we all need some ShopAppiness.