Six ways to boost your wellbeing
It is easy to stay busy “doing the holidays”. But our brains and bodies need something else. Here are a few ideas to help you, your brain and your body replenish while you have some time away from work.
Get as much sleep as possible. Sleep and rest are extremely good for you. The brain needs time to sort ideas and memories, make connections and repair itself and your body too. After a long year full of many stressors, we all need a time out; a time to rest and recuperate.
As part of that rest, you might consider turning off device notifications that continuously keep you in an alert and engaged state.
The new science of sleep: Everything we know about how it affects your health and brain
Let yourself be bored
After a period of intense work and a lot of adrenaline, time out can seem boring. But boredom might just be a sign that you are detoxing from all that adrenaline.
Let yourself be bored. You do not have to be driven by that internal voice that says you must accomplish something every day. It’s OK to slow down for a while, this does not mean that you are a lazy or bad person.
Why Neuroscientists Say, ‘Boredom Is Good For Your Brain’s Health.’
Most of us have been sitting at our desks and looking at a screen for hundreds and hundreds of hours this year. This isn’t good for us and a little stretching can do a world of good for your body as well as your mind. Yoga is a great practice, but you don’t have to get a yoga app – make it simple and just learn a few basic stretches to release tension from your muscles.
Stretches to Do at Work Every Day (or after working all year!)
Gratitude is healing for the brain. There are so many things to be grateful for. Your physical health, mental health, your income, the successes you had during the year, a place to live and people in your life. It might not be as much as you liked, and it won’t be as perfect as others you could compare yourself to, but you are succeeding, you are moving through life, you are contributing; you matter. Be grateful for these things. Gratitude floods you with serotonin – a sustainably feel-good chemical that supports your wellbeing.
How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain
Reflect and learn
Take some moments to examine the parts of the year that didn’t go as well as you had hoped. If you reflect on them, you might realise that what happened wasn’t as bad as you think – the brain regularly exaggerates feelings about things and stretches them out of proportion. Instead of avoiding these uncomfortable memories, reflect on them and see what you can learn – then you can consciously commit to doing things differently next year. We all make mistakes; burying them only makes them worse by festering and undermining you in the future.
Written a couple of years ago, this is still relevant: 2020 Hindsight: Harnessing the Power of Reflection for a Great New Year
Helping other feels good. This is a very difficult time of year for many people – it can be very lonely for those with no family, and it will be especially hard for those who have lost someone close to them this past year. Don’t let them grieve on their own. You can’t fix their pain, but you can sit with them and give them company and comfort.
There are also many people struggling financially this year. Consider donating to a cause that will help provide food or heat for those who cannot afford it. Helping others creates dopamine for you and it will help you feel good about yourself. We are not suggesting that your feel-good factor is the only reason to help, but let’s admit that it does feel good to help others.
The Secret to Happiness Is Helping Others
Have a great break!
With a few minutes here and there, you can enrich your holiday break, get the rest you need and be fully ready to embrace the new year with a clear mind and clear direction. We wish you a peaceful and rejuvenating year end.What causes poor communication in the workplace and how can this be improved?Is there a dark side to Emotional Intelligence?