Made a promise to stick to your resolutions of staying healthy this year but struggling to commit to it even after 6 months? If this sounds like you, this article is just the one you need.
The pandemic has taught us that maintaining a healthy body and mind is more important than ever. Therefore, this wellbeing week, we give you three essential tips on boosting your physical and mental health in 2021.
1: Pay attention to the basics
You’ve definitely heard this one time after time, but let us explain. Putting our basic needs before everything else is vital for our overall health. Eating, sleeping and moving our bodies can do wonders for us by improving our mood, productivity and general happiness. Here are a few ways you can ensure you’re getting adequate amounts of all the basics:
- Eating: Healthy eating is all about balance and making sure your body is getting everything it needs to function correctly. Try to follow a practice called ‘Intuitive Eating’, which involves listening to your body’s cues to decide how, when, and what to eat. Meal prepping healthy snacks for the day will also allow you to keep sugar cravings at bay and help you focus better throughout your day. Lastly, make it a point to eat at least one meal without any distractions, like phones, tablets etc.
- Sleeping: We know it’s easier said than done, but try to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night. We all have a lot of stressors throughout the day. Getting this much-needed sleep allows us to reset every night and take on the coming day with renewed alertness and motivation. Some best practices that you can follow before going to bed are keeping your phones aside at least an hour before bed, reading and practising breathing exercises to unwind.
- Moving your body: Moving your body doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym 7 days a week. It is about doing activities that you like. Practising yoga, walking or simply doing your favourite dance workout can be just as beneficial for your mental health as your physical health.
2: Mind Your Posture
Whether it’s a long day at work or we’re just catching up on our favourite TV show, it’s easy to find ourselves sitting down for a majority of our day. Our spines have a natural curvature that needs constant support. Without this support, our bodies tend to compensate by slouching, leading to back pain over time. Therefore, maintaining the correct posture is extremely important, especially if you’re working from home. Avoid working from your bed or couch, as this can strain your muscles immensely. Invest in a good office chair and an office desk that has a depth of at least 80cm, and of course, take adequate breaks to step away from your desk.
When it comes to your health, prevention is always better than cure. Our partners, Spectrum Optimise, are Ireland’s leading ergonomics experts with a team of physiotherapists that will assess your workplace for you and give you some solid advice on correcting your posture and working comfortably. Learn more here.
3: Take a break from virtual socialising
“Zoom Fatigue” or “Video Call Fatigue” refers to the exhaustion you feel while participating in video calls. Between working from home, zoom meetups, and other things we attend online, feeling fatigued by virtual socialising is extremely common. If the thought of another online video call leaves you feeling drained, perhaps it is time to unplug and think of alternative ways to connect with friends, family and colleagues. Here are a few ideas:
- Processing information verbally is a lot easier than processing audio and video simultaneously. Therefore, evaluate if a video meeting is necessary at work or if it can be done via email/audio call.
- Don’t schedule back to back calls. Spread calls throughout the day and remember to stretch and stay hydrated in between calls.
- Follow the 20-20-20 technique – Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will allow your eyes to refocus and reduce strain on them.
Did you know that we need to give our bodies 7 different types of rest to feel energised? Read all about it here.