May 20, 2022


Shopping Works Wonders

How NHS dietitian Alex Ballard of @alextalksdiet keeps her mental wellbeing ‘strings’ in tune

Retune teaches a six-string process for mental wellbeing referred to as SCALES, which stands for Snooze, Artistic, Active, Listen, Earth and Social. Like the strings on a guitar, we go up and down these SCALES above the training course of a day, week or month. It is critical to pay back attention to each and every of the wellbeing ‘strings’ so that we feel ‘in tune’ and in a position to stay a well balanced, harmonious lifetime.

In this sequence for the Indie, we location some interesting individuals, hailing from Bishop’s Stortford and over and above, ‘On The SCALES’, to discover how they look after their psychological wellbeing, in accordance to the rules of the six strings.

This 7 days it can be NHS dietitian Alex Ballard, who is particularly passionate about how our life-style and taking in patterns can affect health and fitness and wellbeing.

Retune’s SCALES program (54582437)


Rest is integral to our well being. Weak high quality or quantity slumber can influence almost everything from our bodyweight and blood glucose stages to psychological wellbeing.

I make confident I have a established bedtime schedule. This entails going to bed and waking up at the exact same times every day, making a restful ecosystem in the bed room and switching screens for a very good ebook.

Our slumber can be vastly impacted by the fluids we take in through the working day. I check out to continue to keep myself effectively hydrated and limit all forms of caffeine from lunch onwards.


I routinely discuss to individuals about obtaining a huge array of hobbies and innovative shops, as this can assistance prevent hyper-aim on one particular distinct factor of our everyday living, which can direct to harmful relationships (with perform, food stuff, excess weight and so on).

1 of my favorite inventive interests is gardening. I discover the mix of mother nature, currently being out in the refreshing air and increasing things to take in unbelievably therapeutic.

This does not have to have to require a massive allotment plot or stately garden you can experience the advantages with some windowsill herbs, potato increase luggage or pots of spinach. Alternatively, to increase a social aspect, you could get concerned with a community community yard scheme, this sort of as ‘Human Roots’.


We normally affiliate physical exercise with aesthetic targets in head, this kind of as fat loss, toning or definition. However, staying active is so considerably extra than this! It can have a substantial optimistic affect on our all round bodily, social and mental health and fitness.

I have usually preferred exercise that includes team classes. The set routine can help me to be reliable, program out my 7 days in progress and see equivalent faces.

In amongst this, I like to go for walks in destinations that make me feel content, these as quaint villages, forests and gardens. It is critical to choose a sort of exercise that you delight in and set sensible targets that are sustainable.

Alex Ballard is an NHS dietitian and former Indie columnist (54693485)
Alex Ballard is an NHS dietitian and former Indie columnist (54693485)


As a dietitian, meals (and consuming it!) is my spot of knowledge. Around a long time, human beings have transitioned from employing foods purely for gas to foodstuff becoming intertwined with our emotions and patterns. Mainly because of this, from time to time it can be quite difficult to differentiate whether or not we are truly hungry or if we are truly sensation tired, unfortunate or bored.

I choose a break up 2nd in advance of having to take into account how I’m emotion. Why am I about to take in this? There are still situations that I try to eat for motives other than nutritional achieve and that is fully fine. But currently being additional aware of how we sense about foodstuff places us again in manage of our conclusions.

I try out to strategy out my foods for the week in advance and use recipe books from the library for inspiration.


This is unquestionably an space I struggle with. I am always on the go with my brain working a million miles for each hour and I locate it difficult to ‘switch off’.

I obtain the very best way to gradual down my feelings is by holding my mobile phone in a different space (specifically in the night and overnight) and looking at fiction books, the place I can escape into the story.

If my ideas are racing, I locate journaling incredibly handy to dump all of my emotions on paper, publish a positive affirmation and just one clear, achievable target for the future day.


With occupied life, it can feel challenging to continue to be in touch with individuals most critical to us. I am extremely fortuitous to have fantastic pals and relatives residing near by and therefore I’m ready to on a regular basis see them for canine walks, dinners and film nights. With friends additional afield, we normally organise our next fulfill in advance so that it is booked into the calendar.

Socialising (especially hosting) can make us really feel underneath stress. I have alleviated this by realising that this pressure is quite often self-imposed. I do not require to clean the home from top rated to bottom or make a house-cooked, 3-training course food for close friends to appear around!

It is so crucial to achieve out to close friends or family when we are experience reduced. I genuinely do obtain that a trouble shared is a issue halved.

* To understand far more about Retune, the SCALES design or the get the job done we are accomplishing in area key schools, take a look at, e-mail hello [email protected] or adhere to us on socials @RetuneWellbeing.