Wellness is the current buzz topic and the current governments focus on it is doing a lot to highlight both the needs and resources available.
Practically applying the principles does make a difference - the secret of course lies in the application. Living WELL and enjoying the benefits of wellness lies in finding, creating and maintaining a balance. With all the competing demands for your time, attention, skills and abilities from family, friends, work, social groups, clubs and more it can be a challenge to ensure you take time for yourself.
Here are a short quick checklist for you to refer to for some physical and mental tips to apply to keep yourself WELL and operating at optimum all day.
Watch your thoughts - You get more of what you focus on, so be deliberate about focusing on more of what you want. Make your mind your friend - speak well to yourself and about yourself.
Water is an essential part of who you are - about 60% to be more precise! The brain and heart are composed of 73% water and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.) Drinking a couple of glasses of water when you wake up re-hydrates your body, flushes out toxins, improves metabolism; Increases brain power, boosts the immune system. Keep a bottle of water on your desk and aim to drink more water than coffee.
Exercise your mind! Your mind is a muscle and responds well to exercise! Make it fun - word games, chess or scrabble competitions at work are great. Have team members bring in a weekly challenge or put a daily challenge up on a white board. Eat brain food - health snacks enjoyed through the day can keep energy levels and mental alertness up.
Exercise can be fun. If the gym is not for you, consider what you could do to be more active at work - biking to work, standing desk, skipping, games room with table tennis. Have fun team challenges such as “most steps competition” or form a work team for frisbee or volleyball. Offer a prize to the winner(s). Include weekly updates. Take a before and after survey how employees feel after each challenge. If you're not into exercise at all - work on breathing well! Exhale deeply! Simply changing your breath while sitting at your desk can help reduce stress, increase alertness and boost your immune system. Extending or lengthening your exhale triggers the parasympathetic nervous system (This is the rest and digest part of our nervous system). Start with 5 breaths and work up to five minutes and work towards making your exhale twice as long as your inhale. This simple technique can quickly change your physical and mental state.
Listen to internal dialogue and ensure that the incoming messages you receive throughout a day are healthy. You do not have to accept all that is said to you - notice how you respond to it - be aware of your emotions. “Feelings” are merely messages to the brain - if you do not like the feelings consider the Face-it, Trace-it and Replace-it technique. Look at your surroundings - posters on wall, filing system, desk top etc - create a work-space that is good for your mindset
Listen to your body - diet plays a huge part in how you feel. Taking multivitamins can ensure anything your diet might lack is covered. Ergonomics helps ensure your work space is set up well - from desk height to how you sit. It is worth getting someone in to look at this for you. Have a timer and take breaks. Stretching regularly is a great way to stay supple and help blood flow.
Self awareness is a key part of emotional intelligence and if you find yourself stressed a useful acronym to remember is: HALTS - avoid making key decisions when you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired or Stressed.
Getting good amount of sleep (7-8 hours is recommended), eating healthy food and staying hydrated are the basic building blocks for being well.
Learn stuff! Learning keeps your mind active, gives you something to work on and look forward to. Learning can be applied to a skill - like a musical instrument, or a language or simply expanding your knowledge. I love watching Ted Talks and reading self improvement books. Host “Lunch & Learn” style sessions and get your team to share from their interest points or bring in people on a monthly basis to help your team learn about nutrition, ergonomics, financial wellness etc
Laugh - make time to enjoy life and friends and the beautiful country we live in. You can involve the whole team and create a fun culture by theming some of the days - Mindfulness Mondays and Wellness Wednesdays and do something around the theme.
Look for things to be grateful for - this actually rewires your brain creating an attitude of gratitude
Trust these are useful - would love to hear some ideas from you.
Here's to your success!