Ordinarily, you’d be forgiven for expecting this kind of article in the New Year as people set out their resolutions for the coming months. However, looking after your mind and body is a 24/7, 365 days-a-year job and it’s therefore important to reinforce the simple techniques you can adopt to keep yourself feeling positive, healthy and energised for your work and personal life.
Increase your water intake when you wake up
The temptation when you climb out of bed is to head straight for the kettle and the tea or coffee, but instead of diving head first for your caffeine fix, try drinking a glass or two of water first. This will give your body an early morning metabolism boost, ensuring your body gets the most out of your caffeine when it eventually enters your bloodstream.
Take invigorating cold showers
This tip is a hard one to commit to, especially in the winter months, but cold showers are proven to invigorate the brain, clear out the cobwebs from your overnight sleep and set you up for the day. Cooling showers are also worthwhile in the evening before going to bed, to help you regulate your body temperature and enjoy a better night’s sleep.
Include muscle stretching in your bedtime routine
You can also get a better sleep by doing relaxing yoga stretches before bedtime. Stretching is scientifically proven to make you feel relaxed. Not only that, it helps to improve the flexibility and durability of your muscles to mitigate the risk of discomfort or injuries related to physical activity.
Look after your eyes around computers and tablets
Whether you wear trendy glasses, popular contact lenses or you simply sit in front of a computer screen for hours on end in the office, it’s recommended to adopt the 20-20-20 rule for healthy eyes. Eye health experts suggest that you focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes of your working day. This allows your eyes to rest and readjust without straining them and causing unwanted headaches, perhaps from cheap contact lenses. If you’re a regular contacts wearer, you might also get more comfort from wearing monthly lenses, as these are designed to be worn overnight and won’t lead to cornea infections or corneal neovascularisation like some daily options.
Plan your lunches and snacks for work
If you work Monday-to-Friday, each Sunday take some time to plan out your lunchtime meals and snacks for the week ahead. Make sure you get a healthy balance of lean proteins, good oils, fresh salad and vegetables, as well as fresh fruit for that mid-afternoon slump at your office desk.
Be prepared to take time out
It’s also important to look closely at your mental wellbeing as well as your physical wellbeing. It’s okay not to be okay. If you find that work is getting too much, take a day off, regardless of deadlines and targets, these will always be waiting for you when you return. It’s vital to have genuine downtime to enable you to take a step back and acknowledge the good things you do and the limitations you can work on.
Laughter is a wonderful medicine
Laughter and smiling is a brilliant remedy to many of life’s struggles. Try your best to find humor in as many situations as possible. Watch a silly movie with your children, or perhaps enjoy an evening out at a comedy club. Even if you don’t feel like laughing, you’ll be surprised how contagious everyone else’s laughing will be!
Introduce regular physical exercise
Finally, in order to maintain a healthy weight and a clear mind, factor in regular exercise into your weekly routine. It doesn’t have to be one-hour work-outs. Intense ten-to-15-minute sessions will have the desired effect. If you’ve not done much exercise lately, begin with fast walking and then ease your way into running and more strenuous activities.
If you don’t learn to take time out and look after yourself your productivity and health will suffer. No-one else is going to keep your body feeling healthy and refreshed, the onus is on you to make it happen.