This Thursday 12th September is R U OK? DAY – a day that encourages people to talk and help build more connected communities to prevent suicide. Everyone has the ability to ask these 3 simple words and it may change the lives of those around you.
As a Nutritionist, I am a big advocate for inspiring others to take action to improve their lifestyle and overall health. An initiative such as R U OK? is a good reminder, that all of us, can too help to encourage others to take action when they may be down or just not feeling their best.
In honour of R U OK? DAY, here I share actionable ways you can inspire others to live a lifestyle to support both mental and physical health and also how you can fill up your own cup.
Socialising in an active way is a great way to help others get out there and be active. A few ways to achieve this is to invite a friend for a long beach or bush walk before going out for brunch, invite someone to try a new exercise class outside of your comfort zone such as aerial yoga or simply link up with a neighbour who may need some company and go for a walk around the block a few nights per week. All of these ideas don’t take much planning or resources but can really change the course of the day for others.
Invite friend over for dinner
Nothing beats a home cooked meal and home cooking is also a good way to help inspire others to get in the kitchen. If you regularly dine out with friends, why not invite a friend in need over, get them to help you in the kitchen and then share the fruits of your labour together! Getting others involved in cooking, especially if they have lost touch with this, is a good way to show how simple cooking can be yet the great impact it can have on health and happiness.
Experience new things together
There is nothing more inspiring and invigorating then experiencing new things – it can be as simple as trying a new café or food to as complex as travelling to a brand new city! Whatever it may be, new experiences get us excited and stimulated by life and doing this with others is even more fun and strengthens the bonds we share. Think about some new things you’d like to try such as a trip to a new farmers market, comedy show, movie, suburb you haven’t been to, type of exercise or even a cooking class in a cuisine you have never consumed and invite a friend along who you think could benefit from the same.
Giving back to you
Fill your diet with wholefoods
There is an undeniable link between the foods we choose to eat and both our mental and physical health. Food plays an integral role in our life, both at a biochemical and emotional/spiritual level and a nourishing relationship with food can drastically improve our quality of life. One of the most effective and simple ways you can give back to you is by filling your diet with a wide variety of wholefoods – which offer the most nutrient density. If you are unsure what I mean, here are some examples of wholefoods:
- Protein – lean meat, fish, eggs, legumes and nuts/seeds
- Complex carbs – brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, corn, peas, pumpkin, legumes, fruit and whole rolled oats
- Healthy fats – fatty fish, nuts, seeds and avocado
- Vegetables – broccoli, spinach, kale, cauliflower, red cabbage, tomatoes, capsicum, zucchini etc
- Herbs/spices – coriander, parsley, basil, turmeric, ginger, garlic, chilli etc
A healthy balanced diet and regular movement/exercise, go hand in hand when it comes to filling up your own cup. I have heard time and time again from friends, family, colleagues and clients, that they feel their best when they are regularly exercising. The best kind of movement is movement you enjoy because you are more likely to keep it as part of your routine and it wont cause you to dread the idea of doing it– which causes stress on the body!
Give yourself permission to say no
Saying no to social invites, requests from others or similar can be hard for most of us, especially A type personalities who feel the need to achieve everything, all at once! Saying no can come with a lot of guilt because you feel like you are letting people down. However, in saying yes, you may actually be letting yourself down. A happy balance is being open, upfront and honest when responding to people. If you already have too much on your plate, rather than coming up with an excuse, tell the person exactly that – would love to help but am incredibly stretched at the moment, if my situation changes I will let you know or if it’s a social invite – I will need to take a rain check because I need some quiet alone time at the moment etc. Be ok with vulnerability because it will help to let those around you also show their vulnerability and in turn, this will inspire connection and openness with others.