Jane Fowler - Head of Customer Support Services
Happy New Year!
Well, 2021 has not started in the way that we had hoped for back in December when many of us were expecting that Argyll and Bute might go into Tier 1. Nevertheless, I do hope that you managed to get a bit of a break from work and enjoy some rest. We are starting off our Wellbeing Wednesdays again to try and bring you some hints and tips from me and the Wellbeing Team, so I hope you will find the things we bring you helpful. The good news this Wednesday is that Blue Monday, apparently the saddest day of the year, is behind us for 2021!
For many people, winter is a time for big jumpers and cosy nights in. For others, with Christmas over and short, dark days and poor weather ahead for a few months yet, winter can seem a difficult time of year. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. January can be a great time to reset habits, take care of yourself and move forward to a healthier future.
Keep moving: Adults should do some type of physical activity every day – we all know that, but do we do it? Any type of activity is good for you and the more you do the better, so try to get out for a walk each day – even if it is only for 15 minutes, particularly in the middle of the day at lunchtime, when it is light. Even if you tell yourself ‘I’ll just pop outside for 5 minutes’ you’ll feel the difference and might stay out for a whole 15 minutes!
Keep hydrated: Evidence suggests it can help mood, concentration and physical performance, so aim for six to eight glasses of water and other liquids each day to replace normal water loss – around 1.2 to 1.5 litres. Water, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks, including tea and coffee, all count.
Eat right: weight gain at this time of year, particularly when going to work means simply going from one room to another, is a reality for many. Find out what a healthy plate looks like. Health Assured have a great webinar on Nutrition available with lots of useful helps and hints. Another handy hint is to try and plan meals ahead.
Check out some healthy recipes. You can also share tips on new meals you have discovered with friends, colleagues and family.
At this time of year a little bit of natural light can make all the difference, particularly for those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. This podcast from Dr Ranjan Chattergee discusses that light can have a big impact on how we all feel during the day, how well we sleep at night and gives a few simple tips on what the presenter has found useful in their own life. This could be helpful at this time of the year when sunshine is not so easy to find! Click here to listen to the podcast: The Power of Light to Transform Your Health
Winter can see one’s mood dip like no other time of year and, in the time of COVID-19, there are lots of other reasons we may worry and this can affect our sleep. There are some great meditation/calming apps out there to try, e.g. www.headspace.com/. This weekend I discovered that the BBC Sounds app has a mindfulness collection with music, sounds of nature and, for weather watchers like me, the Shipping Forecast.
Remember - if your mood is low and you need to speak to someone to get help, try the councils EAP service Health Assured. Not only are they available 24/7, you can also download their myhealthyadvantage app and have health and wellbeing at the touch of a finger.
And lastly - Reach Out: keeping in touch with family/friends via social media/telephone/emails or in person where possible can give you a real boost. A virtual coffee on a Sunday morning with someone or an evening get together online can be just what you need. There are lots of online events that have never been available before to those of us in remote areas, so there are some unexpected social benefits from Covid. You could also check volunteering opportunities, where you can help someone less fortunate than yourself, which can also help lift your mood.
Hopefully you have found something useful in today’s quick roundup. We’re always looking to find out what you think of the information in our posts, so please get in touch with feedback either to me directly or to the wellbeing team firstname.lastname@example.org
Look after yourselves until next week.
Head of Customer Support Services