How to make changes that last

Jan 13, 2021

Did you stay up late on New Year’s Eve to make sure that 2020 did actually leave us?  If you did, were you disappointed that 2021 was exactly the same as the day before? 

While the year transitioned and gave the illusion of something new, apart from the date what else changed?  You are the same person with the same set of skills and surrounded by the same people; nothing actually changed! So what can we do to make changes that last?

For most, the new year brings with it a sense of opportunity and a desire to make positive changes in habits and behaviours. The majority of these changes are usually focussed around nutrition and weight, exercise and routine.  

When it comes to habit formation and real change there is one concept which is important - success.  Whether you want to change your posture, your desk setup or your entire life you want to avoid making changes that can’t be maintained. Smaller changes with achievable goals are usually...

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Think 20, 20, 20 in 2021

Jan 08, 2021

As we settle into 2021 we often think about the changes we want to make to our health and wellbeing. Here's a tip for developing healthy new working habits.

Simply apply this rule when working and it will help you to rest your eyes, body and brain.

Every 20 minutes stand up for 20 seconds and look at a distance of 20 feet away.  

20 minutes: Standing every 20 minutes helps reset our posture, offload the discs in our spine and lengthens some of the muscles that get tight when we sit down.

20 seconds: This short period of time away from the screen creates a succinct but useful window to reset our brain and restore our concentration.

20 feet: By lengthening the focus of our eyes, we decrease eye strain which can occur when we stare at a computer screen for too long.

By consistently practising this easy rule, you will alleviate the symptoms of stress on your body to remain focused and productive.

Remember to keep your work life well in 2021 and think...

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Could we become as adaptable as COVID-19?

Dec 22, 2020

We’ve all learned a lot about viruses in the past year, probably more than we ever thought we would need or want to know. The interesting thing that we are noticing now, particularly in the UK, is the emergence of a new mutation of Covid-19. 

So what can we learn from Covid-19 that we can apply to our lives? 

Adaptation helps survival!  The virus replicates itself so often that it makes small errors or mutations in its’ genetic blueprint. Sometimes these lead to disadvantages (decreased contagiousness) and other times these lead to advantages (increased contagiousness). Naturally, the disadvantages die out whereas, in this particular case the mutation has led to the increased speed of spread so the virus can infect more people more quickly; a significant advantage.

How can we adapt like a Coronavirus? 

Now unlike Covid-19 we aren’t able to keep replicating our DNA and hope that one of those mutations leads to an advantage, this...

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Tips for when you start planning your Holiday feast!

Dec 09, 2020

There’s always a temptation at this time of year to think that no matter how badly your nutrition is for December it’s okay, as you can sort it all out in January! However, the research suggests that when you use the mindset that you’ll sort out today’s bad habits tomorrow, it creates two new problemsFirstly it sets up a “what the hell” mindset today, as you excuse all your good work and secondly, it creates a “what’s the point” mindset tomorrow.  Meaning, that when you’ve gone so far away from where you wanted to be, your brain can’t see the route back and gives up at the first hurdle.

So, what nutritional plan should we have navigating our way towards the holiday period?

  1. Plan, plan, plan -  As the old saying says - failing to plan is planning to fail.  If you can plan out your meals for the week, ahead of time, then you can keep yourself more on target with any long term plans that you...
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What are the other effects of COVID 19?

Nov 18, 2020

Over the past few months, we have all become experts in virology whether by choice or not. However, while we are all used to the idea that Covid-19 can lead to a fever, cough and loss of taste and smell, researchers are starting to identify other important effects on your physical and mental health.

Covid-19 has been living amongst us for over a year already and as we continue to learn more about the virus itself, researchers are also starting to identify surprising health effects that this virus appears to be causing. One of the most recent studies analysed a group of 62,000 patient records, all who had survived Covid-19. The researchers concluded that of the survivors, there was a sharp rise in psychiatric disorders in this population as well as dementia and insomnia. They noted that this group were more likely to suffer anxiety disorders as part of these psychiatric disorders.   

Supporting these findings, Adam Hampshire and his team at Imperial College London, ...

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What would life be like without stress?

Nov 03, 2020

2nd - 6th November marks Stress Awareness Week - but as you open your eyes on Monday morning and progress through the week, the team at WorkLifeWell ask you, what would life be like without stress?

We’ve all had times in our lives where we felt exceptionally stressed - but have you ever noticed that while you may be finding it difficult to breathe, your colleague, who is under similar pressure, appears to be acting like he’s on a two-week vacation. How can we all be so different at handling stress? How likely are we to suffer with anxiety and mental health challenges as a result of this stress? To answer these questions, we need to travel back to 1977 and look at the model proposed by Zubin and Spring.    

These researchers proposed a theory which suggested that we are all susceptible to suffering mental illness but our susceptibility varies due to different ‘vulnerabilities’ and our exposure to these factors. They proposed four main factors...

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As Covid-19 restrictions tighten what is the everyday looking like tomorrow?

Oct 22, 2020

 Covid has disrupted families, broken hearts and affected minds and with the latest statistics on mental health just emerging, what do we see? According to Eddie Hawthorne, the chief executive of Arnold Clarke (a large car retail group) “mental health concerns have hit the roof”. Combine this with the latest from the University of Glasgow who found that lockdown had a major escalation in suicidal thoughts, depression, loneliness and self-harm and one can see that as we tighten up restrictions again, the resilience of our mental health is once again being put under fire.

Over the past few months, mental health teams have reported that patients with existing mental health conditions have suffered from significant relapses in their conditions and most surprisingly, people with no known mental health issues have presented in acute crisis.  

There’s no definitive reason why some took lockdown like a beach holiday and others felt as though they were...

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A Holistic Approach to Mental Health

Oct 15, 2020

 

What do you think when we say the words, “mental health”.  Just pause for a second.  Did you think wellness or sickness?  Did you think of a depressed relative or an individual in quiet, zen-like calmness as they practice a mindful meditation class.  Unlike physical health, throughout history, society has become prejudicial to mental health and more importantly mental illness.  But, our past doesn’t have to be the deciding force in our future!  And thankfully, things are changing.

If we think of mental health more like working out at the gym, it helps move our focus towards training both our mental health and our mental fitness.  The buzz word in psychology for this is mental resilience.  So what type of mental sit-ups and press-ups can you do to train your mental health muscles.  What is the WorkLifeWell mental health workout - follow these easy daily steps.

Eat right - They say, you are what you eat, but what...

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How fit am I?

Sep 17, 2020

As we ‘run’ towards the 23rd September 2020, we approach an important landmark in the UK calendar. It is National Fitness Day. So if you are now wondering, “how fit am I?” it begs a pivotal question which is, what in fact does it mean to be fit?

Believe it or not there is no standard definition of physical fitness. If we use the dictionary definition of fitness we get:

noun 

  1. The condition of being physically fit and health
  2. Being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task

The above definitions are not really useful, as they fail to take into account fitness from both a physical and mental health perspective. However, for the purpose of today's conversation, we are only concentrating on physical fitness and let’s bring this back to a practical level.  

If you can run a marathon but can’t touch your toes, are you fit? If you can stand on one leg with your eyes closed for two minutes but have a resting heart rate of 95 beats per...

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How to avoid sitting disease

Aug 24, 2020

For those of you that watch star trek, Captain Picard sits in the bridge for hours on end, gazing into the depths of deep space, boldly going where no man has gone before.  The story would be different if after a few minutes he got up, limped around the room with a crook neck and sore back, stopping at an inter-stellar Chiropractic clinic for some well-needed adjustments.  In the bridge of the starship Enterprise, the Captain's chair has good armrests, a headrest, soft material and well centered to the viewing screen in front.  Now take a look at yours, would you be happy to sit like you are for hours on end exploring the galaxy, perhaps not? This is where good ergonomics comes into play.

Ergonomics is the study of people in their working environment with the aim of increasing comfort and productivity.  Now as most of us are in a new, most-likely less efficient workplace, good ergonomics is vital.

Last time we discussed that poor workplace set-ups lead to pain,...

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