The Daily Unwind
Before you go to sleep it is important to have a period of quietness or relaxation that allows your body and mind to slow down. Taking a 30 minute walk, maybe with your partner or dog; meditating or stretching; listening to music; or reading a non-work related book, will allow you to clear your head and calm you down from the daily stresses of work and life. It is also important to find the time to get proper perspective and clarity about your priorities. Writing a daily journal, diary or notes takes the chaotic noise of messages in your head and compartmentalises them at the end of each day. Find something that works for you so you get a full and uninterupted sleep each night.
Take a 1 in 60 Break
Take a mental break is important for you to deliver high quality work. Try taking a 1 minute break every hour to stand up, stretch a little, go for a walk or do some other form of exercise. The break allows your mind to consolidate the information you have been processing. It also lets the mind recover and prepare to work at its optimum for a longer period of time.
Self-regulation has been identified as a vital element of emotional intelligence. Having good self-regulation allows you to adapt effectively to changing situations. First you need to be aware of your emotions, then your ability to manage what you are feeling. Self-regulation is about dealing with and expressing your emotions in appropriate ways at the right time. Reacting impulsively to emotions and feelings that you have ‘bottled up’, can lead to negative consequences. In the workplace you need to have the ability to think how your emotional expressions will impact others. You can improve your workplace self-regulation by finding hobbies or physical exercise outside of work that help you to release stress. Understand that you cannot control everything and therefore you need to develop habits that ensure you keep your cool when things get stressful. Remember, to take time to think about how you will act before making decisions. Being able to remain calm, consider all of the possibilities and have a clear head to make rational choices will serve you well and ensure relationships aren’t strained.
Walking meetings have a number of benefits to both your personal and work performance. New ideas and solutions to problems are common due to the exposure to nature and changes of scenery triggering new neuro-pathways in our brains. Walking meetings allow you to integrate physical activity while discussing valuable work with your employees or customers. Movement improves blood circulation, which leads to increased energy. When executives and employees walk together, hierarchal boundaries are broken down. Personal connections can be strengthened as it is easier to relate at a more personal level when moving rather than sitting.
Stretch it Out!
Woke up this morning feeling stiff and found it a struggle to get the body moving! Daily stretching releases muscle tension, prevents muscle cramps, improves lymphatic flow and blood flow, increases range of motion and can help you improve your performance in physical activities. These benefits can also lead to improving your posture, prevent back pain, release stress, calm your mind, decrease tension headaches, make you happier and control your breathing. With all the sitting at a computer, driving or watching TV, our hip, back, shoulder, neck and leg muscles tend to tighten up, which reduces blood flow and potentially your neural performance. You only need a couple of minutes of stretching or yoga per day, to make you feel better. Try stretching in the morning a little and a little more at night before bed.
Apologise to Me!
How comfortable are you in saying sorry? We naturally value our ego more than our relationships and therefore it takes strength and courage to be able to say ‘I’m sorry’. Emotional intelligence helps you to comprehend that by saying sorry you demonstrate humility and by apologising it doesn’t always mean that you are wrong. Humility is an important quality that improves relationships and naturally draws others to you.
How Are You Behaving?
Are you emotionally aware of your actions and behaviours? Try observing your behaviours when you are experiencing different emotions. How do those behaviours effect the way you live your life and how you interact with others? If you are conscious of how you react to your emotions, you then have the ability to control and manage them.
Say Hello to H2O
Playing a game of tennis, taking a spin class, pounding the pavement, hitting the hills, shooting some hoops or doing a yoga session? Then grab a bottle and fill it with H2O. Water is crucial to optimal performance in the workplace and while out exercising for up to 60-90 minutes. It’s always important to hydrate so you can stay energized and enjoy a great workout. Water is vital to regulate body temperature, maintain blood volume and allow muscles to contract effectively. It is important to drink water often as it i
Weigh to Go
Do you want to lose or maintain weight? Then you will want to accurately monitor your weight regularly with a consistent measure. Your weight can fluctuate quite a bit throughout the day, depending on what you eat, how much fluids you consume and also other factors such as stress levels. To effectively track your progress, the best time is to weigh yourself in the morning, as soon as you wake up, after going to the bathroom first. You don’t want to become a slave to the numbers, so it can be beneficial to only check your weight 1-2x per week.
There is nothing worse then enjoying a great workout when that sharp pain hits you in the side, just below the ribcage. Yes the dreaded stitch! It usually tends to hit when you are working at high intensity and when you least expect it. It’s known as a side stitch, and it can be a major nuisance. So how do you get rid of it? You can press on the pain point and take continuous long deep breaths, while continuing to walk. Sometimes it helps to drink some water or do a side stretch, where you raise the arm on the same side above your head and lean to the opposite side. Usually you can get back to exercise within 30-60 seconds.
Police Your Portions
The size of meal portions at many restaurants, cafes and fast food joints seem to be forever increasing. What is fascinating is that it is quite common that the less you pay the more you get on your plate. Go figure! You have to police your portion and sometimes, leave some on the plate. Gone are the days where you have to finish every piece of food on your plate, to be polite. If you feel full after eating the meal, then you have most likely eaten too much and you risk your body processing the excess and turning it into unwated fat stock piles in your body. Be aware of how much you are about to consume.
Blueberries Your Superfood
Blueberries are not only delicious, but they have lots on nutritional value. They are packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, these berries are also high in potassium and vitamin C, making them the top choice of doctors and nutritionists. Blueberries can also lower your risk of heart disease and cancer and they are anti-inflammatory. The darker the colour the more antioxidants they have. Make sure the next time you are at the grocery store you grab blueberries and incorporate this superfood into your diet.
Apple a Day
Eating fruit provides many physiological, physical and psychological benefits, every single day. They are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, potassium and fibre, which help us stay healthy and even reduce the risk of disease. Fruit often contains phytochemicals that have antioxidant properties, which help to remove free radicals from our body, may help in slowing aging, and preventing diseases like cancer and cardiovascular conditions. Potassium and magnesium found in fruit are linked to lower blood pressure. Colourful fruits, especially orange, red and yellow, contain carotenes, which are thought to assist in immune function. Water is abundant in fruit and helps to prevent dehydration throughout the day. Buy fruit for snacks.
It wasn’t that long ago where we survived perfectly fine without mobile phones. So why are they now attached to us like a 3rd arm? It is important that we allow time for our mind to relax, away from distractions such as mobile phones and the numerous apps we get lured in to check every 5 minutes. Try taking a break from the mobile phone when you are exercising, having meals, in a meeting and most importantly when you enter the bedroom. If you know the phone is with you, there is still part of the brain waiting for a ring, an alert and a vibrate or light flash can disrupt your all important sleep. Free the mind!
Give it a Rest
It is amazing how many people disregard the most important technique for stress management, productivity, mental health, physical health and performance, GET A GOODS NIGHT SLEEP! People who get less than 6hrs sleep double the likelihood of weight gain and diabetes because of raised cortisol levels and the affects it has on insulin metabolism and blood-sugar control. Getting 8 or more hours sleep a night has a positive affect on your biochemical balance, predisposition to chronic diseases, performance, mood, energy levels, helping you to lose weight, controlling your stress response and vigor. Prioitise the time you go to bed.
It is so easy to get bogged down writing a long email, considering the way you have written it and whether it is appropriate or not. If an email is longer than 2 paragraphs consider walking to their desk or office and have a chat instead. You will speed up the response time and you get the added value of some exercise as well.
Play with Puzzles
Stimulate your creativity, intellect and memory through playing puzzles on a regular basis. Creativity and intellect are two things that, unfortunately, don’t get used enough during our jobs. Whether it be the Rubix cube, Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, chess or more advanced puzzles like Zahnradlabyrinth double gear maze and Calcudoku, you need to continue to challenge your take your brain to the next level of thinking.
Stairway to Heaven
How often do we take the easy way out? Instead of using the lift, take the stairs. Instead of using your allocated carpark by the door, park on the opposite side of the carpark and walk over. Get off the train or bus, one stop early and walk the rest of the way. Walk instead of using the travelator when transiting in airports. Not only do you get some extra exercise, it also gives you a chance to free your mind.
Get Active in the Workplace
Extended periods of time spent sitting can result in chronic back pain, cardiovascular disease, muscle deterioration, decreased productivity and even poor mental health. It supports a sedentary lifestyle that could also lead to weight gain, poor cardiovascular health, weakened muscles, stiff joints, and even diabetes.
Having trouble sleeping? Try switching off your digital devices 60-90minutes before going to bed. The blue wavelength light from LED-based devices (phones, tablets, computers) increases the release of cortisol in the brain, which makes us more alert, and inhibits the production of melatonin, which is needed to fall asleep. Read more…
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