Connect with those you care about
Ever find yourself saying âI didnât have timeâ? Perhaps more often than youâd like… We communicate every day with texts, email or social media, but still crave more meaningful connections.
Our first tip is to understand the importance of keeping in touch with your family, spending time with your children and your loved ones. Relationships that you have with your family provides a huge influence on your health including alleviating stress, helping with mental health illness, giving you energy and providing a sense of contentment like no other.
If you surround yourself with support, you can weather the bad times with less stress and add years to your life.
Get outside at every opportunity you can
Our next tip is whenever you can, push yourself to get outside into the fresh air. If the sun is shining take the kids out and go to the park, organise a picnic, visit a National Trust site and go for a walk. We spend lots of time sitting down, so to counter the effects of enforced immobility itâs a great to move around and get outside.
âThereâs no question that cognition, and concentration are improved by minimal levels of physical activity,â says Dr Andrew Pipe, chief of the division of prevention and rehabilitation at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. âWalking at a pace where you can have a conversation with someone for 10 or 15 minutes every day can substantially improve your overall level of health.â
Get creative ï»ż
It’s time to get creative! Simply engaging in creative behaviours (even trendy colouring in books) improves your brain function, mental health, and physical health.
Did you know that the average person has about 60,000 thoughts in a day? Partaking in a creative act releases dopamine, a natural anti-depressant which helps reduce anxiety, depression and stress.
Activities such as drawing, writing, knitting, gardening, DIY and dancing are all included so why not think about a new hobby?
Overwhelmed? Get it down on paperï»ż
Writing has been proven to provide calm and order to a highly productive brain. We call it âhabit stackingâ. Simply categorising your to do list can help break down larger tasks and make them manageable. Block out a time each day in your calendar, say 2-3pm and batch tasks together. For example, use this time to go through your emails, or make some phone calls.
Lastly, make sure you play to your strengths – if you are more productive in the mornings use this time wisely to crack on with your priorities.
Focus on you and your concentration
Itâs easy to get caught up in your colleagues printing disasters, or to attend that meeting instead of doing that task you said youâd do last week.
Our tip would be to try where possible to alleviate distractions and concentrate on the task at hand. Itâll keep you focused and motivated to keep going. Try and find a fun way of telling colleagues you’re âout of officeâ and we donât mean literally! Simple post it stickers with âinâ or âoutâ politely tells your team youâre in the zone, and not to disturb.
I was delighted to answer the call from Express Medicals Limited looking for specialist input as part of âStress Awareness Weekâ. One of their clients, Dragados, had asked for a speaker to help everyone understand the subject of stress, what it does and how to tackle it.
It was an early start at Bank underground station: the talks started at 7.30am. Their questions and interaction were fascinating – here Iâm revisiting some of the key points I made, so that you can read what I covered too.
When we think of exercise we think of sports, the typical but structured process of a regular routine. Either where we join other people or work out in the gym on our own. This requires a lot of effort and often doesnât suit us all.
Instead, think of a simple process: moving more often!
Many of us are far more sedentary than is good for us. If going to a gym or organised sport feels too much of a commitment, aim for something simpler!