Ensuring you’re keeping a healthy mind and body can be a challenge at any time, let alone during a global pandemic. So what can you do to give yourself a boost and feel revitalised for the year ahead? Let's take a look...
1. Break those bad habits
James Clear, author of ‘Atomic Habits’ says that “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement”. He adds that the effects of small habits compound over time and can take your daily life in a very different direction.
So what does this mean in practice?
Well if you’re looking to change a behaviour, whether that’s becoming more productive or eating healthier - he suggests that you need to ask yourself the following question: ‘How can I make it [the habit] obvious, attractive, easy and satisfying?’
The opposite applies to any negative habits. Even breaking one bad habit each day can accumulate into a much more positive result over time. We like the sound of that...
"breaking one bad habit each day
can accumulate into a much
more positive result over time"
2. Define your routine
The structure and organisation that comes from having a regular routine isn’t just about being more productive, it can also reduce stress and help you feel all-round healthier.
Giving your day a regular rhythm also provides comfort and supports your circadian rhythms, which can help you sleep better and feel more refreshed.
It’s a good idea to get up and go to bed at the same time each day, and spend some time outdoors during daylight hours if you can. You could also try splitting tasks up into small blocks of time to make them feel more manageable.
3. Make your workspace more mindful
Give yourself some mental headspace by creating a defined workspace at home. Try to keep where you sleep and work separate, so you don’t end up taking your laptop to bed for hours. Even just the kitchen table or a small nook in the corner of a room can become your own “work zone” - so you can feel more focused and mindful.
We have previously shared some tips on making your workspace more mindful by incorporating texture and touch. At BU we like designing with materials such as cork and bamboo as these reinforce a connection with the natural world. Our desk mat for instance, made of 100% sustainable cork leather, is hypoallergenic so it repels dust and gives you that extra little bit of cushioning and comfort as you work.
4. Practice good sleep hygiene
Almost a third of us aren’t getting the recommended seven hours sleep a night for optimal health. But if you find yourself lying awake for hours at night - don’t worry, there are lots of things you can do to help yourself wind down and feel more rested.
Firstly, try using blue light filtering settings or apps to reduce your exposure to artificial light, especially as the sun goes down and you start to wind down for the evening. This helps your body release melatonin which promotes a restful night’s sleep.
Meditation apps often have sleep programmes that can help you calm the mental chatter from the day, so you can drift off that bit more easily.
Diet and nutrition also plays a part. Make sure to limit your caffeine exposure later in the day. Some studies have also found that eating almonds or kiwi fruit a few hours before bed can help produce melatonin and promote a more restful night’s sleep.
Finally, make time for yourself at the end of the day. Why not create your own bedtime ritual? Whether that’s turning off your devices a few hours before bed, dimming the lights and taking the time to indulge in some old fashion pleasures like reading a book, catching up with loved ones or simply unwinding with a long hot bath.
5. Make space in your day for you
However you spend your day, it’s important to build in regular breaks, as a change of scene or pace can really benefit your mental health. This may mean giving yourself 30 minutes at lunchtime to go for a run, or if you feel tired it may be better spent doing some meditation or going for a walk during daylight hours.
"a change of scene or
pace can really benefit
your mental health"
If you find yourself feeling weary from too much screen time, why not give yourself a small window of time each day to do something you genuinely love? It may be sketching, making music or getting creative in the kitchen - it really doesn’t matter, as long as you’re enjoying doing something where you can genuinely switch off and feel immersed in the moment.
We hope these tips help inspire you for the days, weeks and months ahead. We’d love to hear what your positive habits are to promote good health. Share your story with us on Instagram @BU_Lifestyle