Updated: Feb 13
During the Covid 19 crisis, it has become a challenge for people to remain healthy and positive. While the lockdown measures were imposed, many people’s physical and mental health deteriorated as they were unable to see friends, exercise in gyms or enjoy going outside throughout the day.
Has being in lockdown had a damaging effect on your wellbeing?
As the UK is finally reversing the harsh lockdown rules that were imposed in order to prevent the spread of the virus, people have realised what an enormous and damaging effect lockdown and quarantine has had on their mental health and overall wellbeing.
Holistic wellbeing and wellness are phrases commonly used by practitioners of health and care, but the meaning of ‘holistic’ is sometimes misunderstood. According to the Oxford dictionary, ‘holistic is an adjective which links to philosophy and medicine.’
When used in a philosophical context, holistic wellness can mean when ‘parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.’ Yet, similarly when used in a medicinal context, holistic wellness means: ‘treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.’
Today there is recognition of ‘holistic wellness.'
It is becoming increasingly more evident that when someone is unwell, their mental health will deteriorate, and this can cause physical symptoms to appear. If someone was physically ill, then usually their mental health will deteriorate too. Mental health and physical health are interconnected and ‘holistic wellness,’ interlinks the two.
What is holistic wellness?
Holistic wellness looks at a person's health in a holistic way and is a healthy approach to life. Holistic wellness considers a person’s body, mind and spirit. Holistic medicine is used as it is believed that the body, mind and spirit work together to keep the body well. If someone has physical pain, their mind and spirit will suffer too. Rather than focusing on an illness or specific parts of the body, holistic wellness, which is an ancient and traditional approach to health, will consider the whole person and how he or she interacts with their environment. Holistic wellness is significant and helpful for individuals, emphasising the connection of mind, body and spirit.
How does holistic wellness affect your wellbeing?
During these unprecedented times, it can be challenging for a lot of people to adapt and even thrive in this new environment.
Julie Greenhalgh, yoga instructor and counsellor working in Harpenden, Hertfordshire said: ‘There are many ways you can cope to ensure that your mental health does not get damaged during this difficult time. As a holistic wellbeing expert, here are my top tips to ensure that your wellbeing and mental health remains in balance during the pandemic. Remember if you want personalised wellbeing advice please contact me on 07909 542453. I can support you with a wide range of issues including anxiety, bereavement, depression, eating disorders, drug or alcohol abuse, emotional abuse and loneliness. I can offer individual counselling sessions from my workspace in the centre of Harpenden. Alternatively join one of my kundalini yoga sessions that I run from my garden yoga studio or try my zoom yoga class.’
My Top Tips for holistic wellness
Gyms are only just re-opening so it is vital that you keep exercising. There are many work-outs you can do at home and you can use a fitness YouTube channel to motivate you. As parks are still open, you could walk or run in the park or cycle. Exercise is proven to help boost your mood and lead to better mental health, as endorphins are released during exercise, which keeps the body and your mind ‘happy.’
Speak to friends virtually or meet up. At the moment, although it may still be considered unsafe to meet large groups of people, make time to see your closest friends and socialise. Remember it is important to surround yourself with uplifting people who boost your morale. If you don’t want to meet in person you could arrange zoom calls or talk online, although this is not the same. Socialising is an important contributor to maintaining good mental health. Seeing your friends may help you feel less alone during this difficult situation.
Make time for self-care. This can include: having a hot bath, listening to music, lighting candles or watching some TV or reading. Just make sure you are doing something that you enjoy, whatever that maybe.
Ensure that you are getting enough sleep. During lockdown, a lot of people have struggled to fall asleep or they wake up in the middle of the night. Anxiety contributes heavily to insomnia and hence affects your sleep pattern. To get a good night’s sleep: exercise during the day-time, make time for self-care, turn off your phone or electronics an hour before you go to bed, read a book and make sure your room and environment is comfortable. Having poor sleep can affect your mental and physical state of well-being, as well as leading to fatigue and anxiety in the long-term.
Keep positive affirmations and remind yourself that things will get better. Your mind is linked to your overall health and by keeping positive affirmations you are becoming a more positive person. A great way to achieve your positive goals is by keeping a diary or journal and making sure you complete all your goals or by reminding yourself of the affirmations often.
There are so many positive affirmations you can say to yourself or write down, but many include: I am worthy, I am loved; and I am enough. These are helpful reminders which will give you a more positive outlook on life.
Practice yoga or meditation:
Meditation and yoga are amazing ways for you to reflect on your day and improve your wellbeing. Yoga is supported by science and is proven to help reduce anxiety and stress, strengthen heart health, increase arm strength, help your mind feel at peace, help you sleep better and improve concentration. These are only some of the benefits. Practicing yoga helps benefit your body and boost your wellbeing and holistic wellness as yoga can connect the mind, spirit and physical presence together. Similarly, meditation can also help you feel more content by improving self-awareness, digestion and emotional health.
Nutrition is vital for maintaining good wellbeing and eating healthily not only helps with digestion and improves your bodily functions, but also helps you feel better too. Drinking water throughout the day also aids with keeping your body healthy, reducing stress, anxiety and fatigue.
Try counselling or therapy:
Counsellors are trained to help you with coping methods and tactics that you can implement into your daily routine. They will also listen to what you have to say about stress or anxiety that is affecting your life or mood and offer useful ideas and things to do to improve your mental health.
Make time for holistic wellbeing in your life:
Julie Greenhalgh, yoga instructor and counsellor working in Harpenden, Hertfordshire continued: ‘These are just some examples of ways you can live a more content and healthier life during unprecedented circumstances. During a difficult time, it can be a challenge to take time out of our day to exercise or see friends, especially when we are already struggling with our mental health. Anxiety can affect everyone differently, however, it can be treated effectively.
Yoga and counselling are just two ways that you can boost your mental health and reduce anxiety. As a qualified kundalini yoga instructor and teacher, I have found that yoga has not only helped me but has also helped others. I know that it can greatly improve someone’s quality of life and help them feel content and healthy. Additionally, counselling is another way to reduce stress and anxiety. As a qualified counsellor working in Harpenden and seeing local clients from Redbourn, Hemel, St Albans and Wheathampstead, I have helped others with anxiety, and my counselling services are usually based around mental health. I can help with any worries or stress you have in your life and show you coping strategies to relieve yourself of your anxiety. For more information on how I can help you achieve holistic wellbeing call me now on 07909 542453.’
Online kundalini yoga classes with Julie Greenhalgh in central Harpenden
My yoga sessions are currently based over zoom and so the yoga is online, but I will soon be back offering yoga from my garden which is within walking distance of Harpenden town centre. When the weather permits, I also host yoga classes in my garden at the front of the yoga studio. My kundalini yoga classes are suitable for both adults and teenagers.