The common adage for describing good health is ‘a healthy body = a healthy mindset’, yet it’s often our anxieties that alter our good intentions and prevent us from keeping the two in equilibrium with each other.
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme this year is ‘Anxiety’. When anxiety affects our ability to complete day-to-day tasks it has a major impact on our well-being and if it’s left to get out of control, it often leads to depression. Anxiety affects us all at different times and at varying degrees throughout our lives.
Anxiety in the workplace is rife; people might feel pressure from workloads, or how well they’re performing, their financial well-being, colleague relationships, or bullying, and so on.
3 reasons to take a break…
- Breaks are key for physical and emotional good health.
- Breaks can prevent decision fatigue.
- Breaks can help consolidate memories and improve learning.
Using your break efficiently
- Exercise is a great weapon against anxiety of all extremes, so try and include some exercise in the workplace. Exercise improves our mood by increasing the production of endorphins. Getting out in the fresh air and taking a walk is ideal, however, stepping away from your desk and doing some stretching or 10 squats is just as effective!
- Many of us spend a lot of time sitting down all day which can make you feel de-energised, so it’s important to make sure your office seats are comfortable, adjustable and provide you with the correct back support. Your PC screen should be at eye level and approx. 20-40 inches away from you to protect your eyes. Screen breaks are recommended every hour for at least 5 minutes to protect your eyes from the intense work you’re doing and to take a breather.
- Change of scenery – take yourself away from the room you are currently in. If you work from home why not sit in the kitchen and flick through a magazine or if you work in an office, head to the canteen. If there isn’t one, find a meeting room or go and chill in your car for 10 minutes.
- Snacks – the temptation when feeling anxious, irritated, and tired is to reach for a sugary snack but keep focused on healthy energy-building snacks such as yoghurt, Brazil nuts, green tea, and lunches containing plenty of Omega-3 like salmon, or foods that help create Serotonin such as Eggs! High levels of serotonin in the brain help to regulate mood, sleep, memory, and behaviour.
- Social activity both in and outside the office environment should be actively encouraged. We spend most of our life with our colleagues and the more comfortable we are with each other, the less anxious we feel. Team building events and challenges to raise money for charity are a surefire way of bringing the team together and helping others in the process.
- Power naps – if you’re able to sleep on demand, why not try a power nap?
- Breathing exercises and meditation.
- If you find it hard to mediate why not just daydream for a while and focus on something other than screens?
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and healthy.
We recognise how debilitating anxiety can be and because the well-being of our team is so important, we’ve partnered with The Printing Charity which gives our team access to specialist help and tools to manage life’s challenges.
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