There’s no doubt that it’s been a tough start to the year. Many of us didn’t have the same break we would typically have had at Christmas and we’re starting the working year back in lockdown, catching up with colleagues and friends on Zoom. It can understandably all be a bit overwhelming.
With the vaccine rollout in progress, this is hopefully the last stretch of harsh restrictions, which gives us a reason to be positive. It doesn’t necessarily make today’s reality any easier, however, so concentrating on ways to look after your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing is more important than ever.
Here are five tips from the HeadBox Health & Wellbeing Committee that you can use for January and beyond.
Focus on what you can control
With ever-changing guidelines and restrictions in place, it can feel like absolutely nothing is in your control. So, focus on the small things you can control. This works for both your work life and your personal life. Set yourself achievable targets or goals for the day/week/month and keep yourself accountable for them.
For example, choose three tasks at work that you want to get done that day, and focus on completing them. The key here is to ensure they are achievable, so they shouldn’t be dependent on another person or external factors.
Or, if you’re at home, choose one simple task to complete that day and don’t get distracted by anything else. Change your bedsheets, empty the dishwasher, commit to watching a whole film without scrolling through your phone at the same time – it can be anything!
Eat well and hydrate
It’s difficult to avoid all the rhetoric around diets, Dry Jan, Veganuary…the list goes on. Whilst a challenge is great, you’re also not obliged to do any of it. Carrying on the excesses of Christmas, however tempting, probably isn’t the best idea either. So commit to moderation. Eat balanced meals with lots of fruit of veg, drink lots of water and not too much alcohol.
We’ve got a Slack channel called FoodBox where we share recipe ideas and Insta-worthy pictures of our creations which is great for inspiration and motivation.
It’s cold, dark and mostly wet – we know it’s not appealing – but you will always feel better for it! It could be a 15-minute walk around the block or a jog in the park, it doesn’t matter what you do but try to do something each day. It very easy to commute from your desk to the sofa and suddenly realise it’s been three days since you went outside, so make a conscious decision to go out, you won’t regret it.
We’ve just launched our Lockdown Challenge: The Journey to John O’Groats where HeadBoxers are split into teams and have to complete the distance between Lands End and John O’Groats in 12 weeks. We wanted to encourage and motivate the team to get outside whilst raising money for Hospitality Action, creating a focus and a way of supporting each other is a great way to stay connected.
One day at a time
Usually, thinking about the ‘bigger picture’ can make things feel a bit more manageable. Uncertainty and constant changes can make that difficult because we don’t really know what the big picture looks like. Taking each day as it comes can create a bit more stability. So, set those daily goals, give yourself a break when you need it. Small, incremental changes add up to big things.
If everything feels too much. Take 5 minutes out of your day and just concentrate on your breathing. Inhale for 4 counts, hold, exhale for 4 counts and repeat until the world seems a little less scary.
It’s been a tough few months, but we’ll all get through it together. We’d love to hear how you and your teams are prioritising wellbeing – let us know on our social channels!
Some more resources:
A platform to support, educate and strengthen wellbeing for all
HeadBox panel discussion with Livitay: Looking After Your Health and Self
At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Livitay co-founders James Naylor and Jack Needham joined us to discuss ways to look after your mental wellbeing and shared their own tactics for coping.
HeadBox panel discussion: The Power of Everyday Leadership
Our panel discussed the link between leadership and wellbeing and how leaders can recognise different wellbeing needs within teams and how they can adapt to accommodate them.