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Today is R U OK? Day which makes it an ideal time to talk about wellness. During lockdown we have been spending more and more time at home, and missing out on the things we would usually enjoy such as catching up with friends, family and work mates, or taking holidays to exciting destinations.

As our lockdown continues, it's crucial that we continue to check in on others to see if they are coping ok, and to do everything we can to look after our own wellbeing. They may be simple, but here are a few small things you can do for yourself to help boost your health and wellness while at home…

Add some greenery to your life

Multiple studies have shown that indoor plants make you healthier and happier, offering both psychological and physical health benefits including:

  • helping to reduce stress levels
  • sharpening your attention
  • increasing feelings of well-being
  • aiding in recovery from illness
  • boosting productivity
  • improving outlook on work
  • improving quality of indoor air

Now is a great time to get your green thumb into gear and add some indoor plants to your home. There are many local retailers ready to help add some sunshine to your indoor spaces including My Plant Oasis in Kotara, Sharpe's City Gardener in Bar Beach, High Swan Dive in Merewether, and Poppy's Home and Garden in Gateshead. Make sure you check ahead for opening times, click and collect or delivery options.

Take a break for your mental health

Taking time out of your day to relax and unwind will leave you feeling refreshed, energised and ready to tackle the challenges ahead. Whether you're juggling work and home schooling, or trying to stay focused for multiple zoom meetings, taking a break every now and then will do a world of wonders for your mental health. There are many ways to take time out, and a good way to get started is to set a reminder in your calendar once or twice a day to stretch, meditate, or even listen to an inspiring podcast.

To help you get started, Newcastle-based The Happy Co provides a host of resources for self-care; nourishing body, mind and spirit for a life full of joy and abundance. Offering a variety of on-line courses including a free 7 day Anxiety Detox program to begin your journey to happiness, The Happy Co will help us to emerge from lockdown as our best selves this Spring.

Move your body

You might not always feel up to it, but moving your body every day is a sure-fire way to make you feel better. Being active has been shown to have multiple health benefits, both physically and mentally. As we spend more and more time at home during lockdown, make sure you prioritise getting out every day to exercise. Even a 10-minute walk can do wonders for your body, with studies showing a walk will immediately boost brain chemistry to increase happiness.

If you're looking to try some different forms of exercise to make lockdown a little more interesting, check out some of the amazing offerings from local businesses below to help you on your way.

KX Pilates Newcastle is offering free, low impact, low-moderate intensity pilates workouts catering for complete beginners to intermediate levels to keep your mind, body and soul in-shape during lockdown. Just follow them on Instagram and tune in at 7:30am from Monday - Saturday for your daily dose of goodness. And if you miss a session, there are plenty of pre-recorded sessions that you can follow on their live stream account 'lockdown throw downs'.

Newcastle West based studio, The Base Yoga, is looking after the health and well-being of the community by offering free 30-minute online yoga sessions on Sunday afternoons to get your mind settled and ready for the week ahead.

If you're looking for something a little more intensive, The Forum Newcastle has us covered with a variety of free workouts in their StayActive program that you can access anytime, anywhere.

Treat yourself

Been a hot minute since you made it to the hairdresser or beautician? You might not be seeing many people right now, but that doesn't mean you should forego your pampering routine! Pampering or indulging yourself has been shown to relax muscles, reduce pain and even improve concentration. There are many local businesses who are ready to help you feel your best, regardless of that lockdown slump.

New Lambton based Bliss Beauty & Body have a range of at-home pampering products so you can take time out of your day to indulge in some of life's little luxuries. If you're in need of a bit of at-home self-love and care, Bliss Beauty & Body can help you to achieve it.

If lockdown has your locks looking less than sleek, our local hair dressing salons are here to save the day! Located on Newcastle's currently not-so-bustling Darby Street, Soma Salon has thoughtfully put together some lockdown essentials packs to keep us looking and feeling our best during lockdown.

Lueur Hair Studio in Newcastle East are offering toning refresh colour masks to get you and your locks through lockdown, available for pick up from the salon on Fridays and Saturdays, while Ruby Skies in New Lambton are in store every Wednesday and Saturday so you can collect their retail products and colour kits.

Looking for more great wellness information? See the City of Newcastle's Wellbeing information pack featuring info and tips on exercise, sleep, nutrition and more!


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