Happy Body = Happy Mind
2020 home office life has left many of us with aches and pains we thought we might not endure for a couple of decades! With less coffee outings and trips around the block to grab lunch, we are more immobile than ever before.
But the human body was not designed to be sedentary and in order to protect ourselves, our careers, our health and wellbeing – we need to get smart with how we care for our bodies.
Research suggests that there are four key pillars that intersect to bring about overall bodily wellbeing, these pillars are sleep, energy, stress and mood. This September, Springday puts each aspect under the microscope and looks at simple micro-habits we can do regularly, to help maintain a happy body, and in turn a happy mind.
It’s worth noting – we aren’t speaking about huge changes, like joining the 5am club or achieving 10K steps a day, it is about introducing small habits which over time start to change your brain, which then start to change your life.
“Sleep is a vital, often neglected, component of every person’s overall health and well-being. Sleep is important because it enables the body to repair and be fit and ready for another day.” – Medical News Today
Every human being has no doubt experienced sleeplessness at some stage in their life. Whether it be insomnia, jet lag, or looking after a new born we are all familiar with that groggy malaise that accompanies a sleep deprived night in the sack.
We’ve all heard the usual tips and tricks for a good night’s sleep but below we have aimed to bring you some fresh micro-habit ideas you can repeat often to create optimum sleep:
- Declutter your bedroom! Think fresh linen, and functional tidy spaces – make your place of rest a sanctuary each evening. “To create a bedroom that follows the rules of feng shui, choose a bed placement where you can see the door, hide clutter and gear, get rid of mirrors, choose restful artwork, and select calming paint colours.” – verywellmind.com
- Let in some sunlight – natural light first thing in the morning will help reinforce your bodies circadian rhythm, which helps you get to sleep and wake up more easily.
- Download your thoughts. Keep a notepad next to your bed and write down a list of the things that are keeping you awake so your brain can let go and relax.
Imagine what we could achieve if our energy levels were optimum at all times?! There is nothing greater than that feeling of clarity and productivity that accompanies a ‘full tank of gas’.
But this state is often an elusive one, with the pressures of modern life impacting our sleep patterns, and diet, having more energy is something many of us yearn for but struggle to maintain.
Below are 3 busy proof micro-habits to help you get more energy, especially during the workday:
- Grab a big glass of water and get some fresh air. Try for 5-10 minutes, a walk around the block is often perfect. This way you can feel a lift without the drop that you get after a sugar or caffeine hit.
- Go up and down on your toes 30 times during a standing meeting for an instant energy boost, standing or sitting in one spot makes your body tired.
- Do a 5 minute deep breathing meditation, flooding your brain and body with oxygen is a quick fire way to regain focus and energy.
In small doses the stress hormone cortisol can help us maintain a good level of productivity but as I’m sure many of us (if not all) can attest, too much is usually more a hindrance than a help.
As we begin to learn more about the relationship of body and mind, so too have we discovered that emotional stress (experienced in the mind) can, over time, manifest into bodily symptoms. Think migraines, back pain, feeling run down and even disease.
Hence the critical importance of understanding and being able to manage stress. To truly eradicate it from our lives is to battle our very own biology but we have compiled a few of our favourite micro-habits to repeat when it does rear its ugly head.
- Let it go. Go somewhere quiet and yell, punch a pillow or try a boxing class, by doing so you will instantly dump your stress which is good for you and also good for those you might tend to dump your stress on.
- Flip your slow breathing switch on. Breathe in for 4 counts and out for 6, repeat 10 times. This helps you rest and relax your brain, which can help you shift out of a fast breathing stressed loop.
- Make a regular habit of daily huff and puff exercise. When you huff and puff, you distract your brain from worrying about
Our mood is like the weather: some days are sunny, some days are stormy. But we can all change the weather in our head, and when you know how to blow away the clouds and shine your light, you can bring sunshine into even the grumpiest person’s day.
Here are 3 quick hacks to try when you’re feeling a little stormy:
- Smile (even if you don’t feel like it). Smiling is like streaming sunshine out of your face.
- Shine your light. Imagine there is a bright light in the middle of your chest, shine it upwards and pull your shoulders back. A simple thing like lifting your body can lift your mood instantly, and make others respond more positively to you.
- Take a break if your mood is feeling messy. Use your body to blow the grey clouds away – go for a walk, get some natural light, immerse yourself in nature, breathe in some fresh air, get some huff and puff. Sometimes it is tough to rely on your mind alone to get you out of a bad moment.
To maintain a happy body and happy mind, it’s not about adding more things to your life because for most us, we already feel overloaded. It is about changing small habits and repeating them regularly, which then start to change your brain, which then start to change your body.
So give it a go. Try some new non-negotiable self-care habits and routines this week around moving your body to enhance your wellbeing, increase energy, reduce stress, improve mood and allow for better sleep.
What else is happening this month?
Join our weekly Springbreak
A 10-minute virtual wellbeing break.
Join our Springbreak if you’d like to be guided though a wellbeing boosting activity like breathing, meditation or stretching, because sometimes it helps when someone else holds us accountable.
2pm | Every Wednesday in September
Power your team through the 3pm slump with Snackproud
Springday nutrition partners Snackproud are offering clever WFH and return to office snack packs (on top of their ongoing healthy snack offerings).
Sourcing only healthy snacks from around Australia, fuel your team with the best local goodness to support physical and mental wellbeing, and show your people you care.
Here are a few of Snackproud’s NEW offerings:
- Return to Office Snack Pack – This snack box is the perfect solution to promote wellbeing and hygiene as staff head back to the office. Each box has 50 healthy snacks with nutritionally balanced premium items like grass-fed jerky, protein balls and bars, nut-based snacks, popcorn and more. Made by local Australian businesses.
- Healthy snack vouchers – we suggest giving these out as prizes to drive engagement of surveys, in meetings and at team events.
- Home care snack pack – 20 snacks for 20 working days. A selection of healthy snacks that will convert the most sceptical. Jerky, protein balls and bars and more for each afternoon of the month.