A myriad of local celebrities have spoken up about mental health over the years. With actor Anoushey Ashraf being no different, the star previously shared her two cents on the subject on World Mental Health Day in October last year. "It’s a topic extremely close to my heart. I was very casually asked ‘You’ve got everything, look at people around you, why would you feel this way? Be grateful’. But the answer is that this illness doesn’t choose you because of your social status, placement in society or financial freedom. Anxiety doesn’t discriminate. Neither does depression. It can come to anyone, at any time."
She continued, "I’m just so proud to be around at a time when people are speaking up about it in Pakistan. People are getting more comfortable about sharing their experiences and asking for help. Our efforts of bringing light to this topic have not gone in vain. Some of the people who helped me stay afloat are humans you wouldn’t even know of, but the difference they’ve made to my life are mention-worthy. I love each of you dearly.”
Now, taking to Instagram, Ashraf has shared six unhealthy habits that everyone should refrain from. She captioned the post, “Keep this info with you,” alongside a heart emoji.
1. Bad sleep routine
“Sleep is critical to living a good life,” wrote the TV host, adding, “Never sacrifice your sleep, even for ‘the grind’. Sorry productivity bros.” She then went on to suggest what those who struggle with hitting the sack early should try out. “No caffeine after noon and no phone after nine.”
2. Scrolling in the morning
An unhealthy habit we all have adopted in this social media world! “This is an incredible way to kill the momentum of your day,” mentioned Ashraf. She shared that flooding the brain with cortisol and unearned dopamine, first thing in the morning, can leave one feeling sluggish for the rest of the day. Ashraf’s suggestion: Keep your phone off for an hour after you wake up.
3. Eating over-processed food
Think pizzas, burgers and nuggets! “Regardless of whether your diet is paleo, keto or Oreos – this applies. Anything highly-processed will take a lot of energy for your body to digest.” Ashraf also advises to skip the take-out if one wants to feel energised. Her pro tip: Eat single ingredient foods with fewer processing steps.
4. Not moving
Being a couch potato is going to do you no good! In Ashraf’s words, “Energy is like kindness. The more you give, the more you get.” According to her, gentle stress put on our heart and lungs is a good thing. “Get moving!” she says. Try this: Make it your goal every day to have a moment when your heart is beating fast and you’re trying to catch your breath.
5. Holding onto anger and resentment
Quoting Buddha, Ashraf penned, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” She added, “Well, I can’t say it much better than Buddha. Let go of that anger. It will wear you out physically, emotionally and mentally.” She recommends forgiving and forgetting – “not for them, but for you.”
6. Lack of sunlight
Lack of sun can lead to a dip in serotonin. Low serotonin is linked to depression and reduced energy levels. “If you can’t get in the sun, you can eat Vitamin-D-rich foods or take a supplement.” She suggests taking a 10-minute walk outdoors every morning.
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