Entertainment

7 easy-as ways to make your week ahead happy and healthy

Follow this guide to find yourself less stressed, healthier and happier after a week.

Life might not seem all that great right now. You might be lacking motivation, stressed from being made redundant or taking a pay cut, anxious about what the future holds, or you may have even developed the COVID-blues. Whatever it is, what you need right now is a mood booster. A good mood that will stick with you every day till the end of 2020 and beyond.

To achieve this, you need to develop small healthy habits every day.

We’ve pulled together 7 days’ worth of healthy habits to get you started. There’s no harm in trying it out for a week and seeing how you feel.

Like what you see? Sign up to our bodyandsoul.com.au newsletter for more stories like this.

Sunday, June 14

Eat a banana for a better snooze

Crazy iso dreams still disrupting your shut-eye? Try filling your plate with prebiotic-rich foods (think garlic, leeks and bananas). According to researchers from the University of Colorado, they can increase the amount of restorative sleep you score and help you recover from stress by upping your amount of REM (rapid-eye-movement) sleep.

Monday, June 15

Try the Pomodoro Technique

Take your productivity up a notch with this simple time-management technique. Work for 25 minutes (one ‘pomodoro’), break for five. After four pomodoros, take a longer 20-minute rest. Repeat.

Tuesday, June 16

Power up with apples

US researchers have found that people who munch on flavonoid-rich foods like apples are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease later in life. So get crunching!

Wednesday, June 17

Make a ‘happy’ playlist

Feeling blue? According to Dutch neuroscientist Dr Jacob Jolij, a playlist comprising songs with a tempo between 140-150 beats per minute and in a major key will turn your frown upside down. Click ‘add to list’ on these tunes: Don’t Stop Me Now (Queen), Livin’ on a Prayer (Bon Jovi), Good Vibrations (The Beach Boys), Eye of the Tiger (Survivor) and Uptown Girl (Billy Joel).

Thursday, June 18

Spice up your life

Spicy foods like chillies, capsicums and turmeric not only rev up your metabolism and fight inflammation, but they can also trigger your body’s happy hormones for a good mood. Pass the hot sauce!

Friday, June 19

Pop on a podcast

Cool down after your happy dance party with one of these mood-boosting podcasts…

1. Owning It: The Anxiety Podcast

Join Caroline Foran as she teaches listeners how to tackle anxiety-inducing situations — from sorting your finances to working from home worry-free.

2. Lemonade

Along with the uplifting chats host Elizabeth Anile has with people who have made ‘lemonade out of lemons’, the Midweek Squeeze segment also has lots of mental-health tips.

3. Better Than Yesterday with Osher Günsberg

As someone who’s suffered poor mental health, each of Osher’s ‘conversations’ are aimed at making each day a little better than the last.

Saturday, June 20

Get your hands dirty

This may seem counterintuitive given all the hand washing you’re being encouraged to do, but getting your hands dirty in the garden can do wonders for your mental health. In fact, the friendly bacteria found in soil has been found to activate the same neurons in your brain as certain antidepressants. And studies show that gardening in general can also help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and boost your overall life satisfaction.

If you don’t have a backyard, you can still reap the benefits by building a garden on your balcony or in your kitchen.

This article was brought to you by fresh Aussie fruit, veg and nuts – it’s The Good Mood Food.