Have you listened to the BBC Radio 4 series Just One Thing presented by Dr Michael Mosely?
In each 14 minute episode the good doctor discusses the merits of one thing that might improve your mental or physical health. He has a lovely avuncular manner that entices you into thinking that you, too, could try this.
The episodes are:
1. Early morning walk - a brisk stroll to improve sleep, mood and heart
2. Eat some bacteria - fermented foods for a healthy brain body and mind
3. Cold shower - reduce stress and improve the immune system
4. Learn a new skill - for a sharper, clearer and happier mind
5. Intelligent exercises - strength exercises to boost brain power and reduce risk of heart disease
6. Green spaces - improve immune system and reduce stress
7. Stand on one leg - improve core muscles
8. Take a breath - lower anxiety and enhance decision making
9. Hot bath - help the heart and improve sleep
10. Count your blessings - boost the heart and wellbeing.
Now, I know that we are a diverse group with different physical abilities and different access to the items on the list, such that not everyone can do press ups and squats, not everyone has a bath, not everyone has a local green space, but maybe you might like to choose Just One Thing to incorporate into your routine.
Can you spend a minute or two extending your exhalations? Breath in to the count of 4 and out to the count of 6. A full exhalation automatically improves the next inhalation which increases the amount of fresh oxygen coming into your lungs.
I now brush my teeth standing on one leg. I can do this quite easily with my eyes open, but with my eyes shut I overbalance quite quickly. However, I have increased my eyes shut balance from 1 second to about 7 seconds by practicing every day. Also, it’s fun. I often giggle at my pathetic efforts and a giggle is good for the health.
Instead of waiting for the water to run hot, I now get in the shower as soon as I turn the tap on for 30 seconds of shrieking till the warm water arrives. I’m sure it makes my eyes sparkle.
Maybe you have a garden or a park nearby, where you can sit and look at a tree for a few minutes. Does this make you feel calmer inside?
Have you tried any of these things? Did it help? Do you fancy picking one to try?
A Moodscope member.