Start as you mean to go on!
As we head into 2024, we want to highlight some key wellbeing tips, which you can reflect upon and then deploy as you meet a brand-new year in the best possible frame of mind.
Prioritise your health
If you want to clear your mind, induce a sense of calm and reduce stress, regular exercise and maintaining a balanced diet can make a big impact. Wrap up warm and get out and about to fill your lungs with fresh air. Even sitting next to an open window can give you a vital boost. If you can’t exercise, there are lots of emotional and physical benefits to be found in other activities such as volunteering or activities that encourage mindfulness (breathing techniques, stretching, arts and crafts, reading and journalling). Make these central elements of your dedicated self-care routine.
Close it down, shut it off
Technology is everywhere and it allows us to be connected to work, colleagues, friends – and the world at large – all day, every day. But so much accessibility can also create unhealthy habits and also unsociable working hours and practices. Once you clock off, that’s your time. Close your laptop, put the work phone away and switch off. This is especially true if you are doing your job from home, where boundaries can easily become blurred. Head over to the Inspire Support Hub to read more about remote working, work and parenting and how to maintain a work-life balance.
Even when your job is not computer based, spending excessive time on digital devices can impact on your relationships, mental health and sleep. Over the festive period and then on into the New Year, aim to set yourself a daily tech time-out, so that you can be present around family and friends – or simply for some ‘me’ time.
Get some sleep
Sleep is a fundamental part of our physical and emotional wellbeing. When we sleep, our bodies and brains rest, recuperate and recharge. Sleep is also one of the most important components of day-to-day happiness. A good bedtime routine – one which allows us to grab at least eight hours of rest per night – sharpens focus and concentration, mood and the immune system, keeping us in top form and more able to deal with life’s challenges.
Sleep hygiene is a key component of our mental health. The Inspire Support Hub is home to a mood and sleep tracker. This is an excellent way of gauging how we’re feeling and how we’re sleeping – two things that are closely aligned.
Wellbeing Calendar – Key Dates in January
Dry January (UK) Drink Less January (Ire)
This coming January why not try to go alcohol-free or reduce your alcohol intake – giving your body a break from alcohol can have a positive impact – on your physical health, your mental wellbeing – and your wallet!
The Inspire Support Hub features our Alcohol and Me self-help guide which will help get you thinking about the things you can do to reduce your consumptions levels. The Hub also has an excellent mood tracker, which you can use to gauge how you’re feeling day to day – this can be used in conjunction with the Hub’s goal tracker as to map out how you are doing against your Dry or Drink Less January goals.
Our Wellbeing Team can provide Alcohol Awareness Webinars where participants learn about:
- the short-term and long-term effects of alcohol on their health.
- how to make informed decisions about alcohol consumption.
- resources available to help them reduce or eliminate their alcohol consumption.
If you would be interested in attending a session like this, please speak with your HR manager/Health and Wellbeing Lead to see if it’s something that can be facilitated within your workplace.
Ultimately, it’s about being mindful of your relationship with alcohol and its impact on your overall health and wellbeing. By giving your body a bit of a rest from alcohol for an entire month you are allowing it to recover from the stresses and excesses of the holiday season and setting yourself up for a healthy kick-start for year ahead.
Some external links you may find helpful for further information or for accessing resources:
Blue Monday/Brew Monday – 15 January 2024
Blue Monday is the name given to a day in January (typically the third Monday of the month) said to be the most difficult day of the year. The concept was first published in a 2005 press release by a UK travel company on the back of research carried out by psychologist Cliff Arnall.
The theory goes that this is the time of year when we’re all a bit down or overwhelmed for a number of reasons such as the cold weather, the dark days and nights, feeling the post-holiday financial pinch, and perhaps struggling to maintain or live up to our New Year resolutions.
Whether Blue Monday really is the most depressing day of the year or a PR stunt/advertising opportunity as it would now seem – the date and day does give us all the opportunity to once again focus on mental health – and the importance of spending time with people and/or doing activities that make us feel less ‘blue.’
This year the Samaritans are encouraging everyone to celebrate Brew Monday rather than Blue Monday by asking us to reach out for a cuppa and a catch-up with those we care about.
They have produced a range of downloadable resources (posters, leaflets, digital slides, quizzes and tea party packs) and are also suggesting that organisations or groups of friends could host either virtual or in-person Brew Monday events. Why not get involved? Get the kettle on, pull up a chair, have a good old natter and show someone you care!
For more information visit: www.samaritans.org/support-us/campaign/brew-monday/
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