Benefits of waking up early

Why waking up early matters & how to do it

We all lead busy and demanding lives. Perhaps even reading the title of this blog makes you cringe thinking of yet another thing you ‘should’ be doing, but just don’t have the energy for.

Fear not.

Your success in life does not solely depend on waking up at the crack of dawn. Some of the most successful people in the world are late risers (Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Warren Buffet to name a few). But if you feel low in energy, continuously rushed, and left with little time for yourself, it may be worth exploring some of the beautiful benefits that waking up earlier can offer you.

Ease into the day

By waking up earlier, you can start the day without feeling rushed. You are able to begin the day with a sense of clarity, without feeling that you are already behind on your to-do list. The way we start our day can set the tone for how the day unfolds, so if you want to move through your day feeling a greater sense of ease, this smaller step can go a long way in making this your reality. Starting the day with a calm centered outlook will also allow you to be more proactive and less reactive to external circumstances.

More time for self-care

Often when we are busy and life feels slightly chaotic, the first thing to fall by the wayside is self-care. By choosing to carve out a little time first thing in the morning, your day begins to open up and there are more opportunities for you to fit a variety of tasks in. This means you are more likely to get things done that matter to you. This could include small tasks such as drinking enough water and taking mindful rests between work, as well as exercising and having time to unwind or spend time with those you love. The ability to ‘fit everything in’ becomes easier, which has profound impact for you and those around you.

Better sleep

Research indicates that people who wake up earlier, are more likely to go to bed earlier and therefore enjoy longer, better quality sleep ( Now we all can agree on this one! The latest science shows that good quality sleep is vital to our overall health, and it impacts our mood, concentration and physical wellbeing in many ways. The trick here is to ensure that if you are choosing an earlier wake up time, that you commit to a reasonable bedtime, allowing you to get at least 7-8hours rest a night.

Energy & Focus

The great thing is that the benefits of waking up earlier begin to compound on one another. If you are enjoying great quality sleep, and have enough time to prepare meals that are nutritious (as opposed to squeezing in fast food or worse skipping meals altogether), then naturally you will enjoy sustained energy throughout your day. If you feel energized from the inside out, you can achieve all that you set out to. You will feel productive, vitalised and motivated to continue in the pursuit of your goals.


Starting to think you can give an earlier wake up a try?

Here are some of our top tips to getting started!

  • Adjust gradually. If you do a drastic switch from a 7am to 5am wake-up, it will not only feel like quite a shock to your system, but you’re also less likely to maintain it. Start by gradually moving your alarm clock 15 mins earlier, adjusting in small increments until you reach your ideal start time.
  • Get out of the bedroom. Once you wake up, try to make it part of your routine to move away from your room to avoid the temptation to go back to sleep.
  • Reward yourself. Try and enjoy the process and make it worth repeating. Why not stop for your favourite coffee on the way to work, or enjoy your morning tea in the garden. Afterall, the joy is in the journey!
Well Work

Thrive at work with a well work environment

Our tips and insights into creating a work environment that boosts your work life and wellbeing.

Let’s face it, as humans we are very much impacted by our environment. A majestic view can ignite creativity, a lush garden or water feature can make us feel calm, and a comfortable home means we feel more content. Employees spend a lot of time at work, where the physical environment influences well-being, performance and productivity. With work taking up a good portion of our lives it is important that we have a work environment, whether in the office or at home, that helps us achieve our goals. Increased work life integration and work demands means we need to consciously manage our wellness in all aspects, including our environment. Environmental wellness means your surroundings are pleasant, stimulating and support your well-being. Ideally that should promote interaction with nature and create an enjoyable atmosphere for you at work. Remember a positive work environment will drive positive change.

We have put together some simple tips to help you create a work environment that boosts your wellbeing. Why not reset your workspace and try implement one or two of these this month?

What is the impact of your environment?

Studies have shown that our work environment impacts all aspects of us as people, our cognition, emotions, concentration, behaviors, actions and abilities. In the absence of an ideal work environment, employees feel burdened, unheard, disengaged, and unhappy. The phyiscal work environment is critical to performance, satisfaction and wellbeing. In fact, it is one of the most important factors in whether we are satisfied and put in discretionary effort with our work. Employees who have a well place to work are less likely to miss work, and absenteeism is a large hurdle to productivity for individuals, teams and organisations.

  • Ideally work places should meet the health and safety requirements laid out by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA 85 of 1993).
  • A healthy and safe workplace enhances employees physical and mental capabilities at work, as well as improves wellbeing.
  • A considered work place can further positive work outcomes, enhance leadership and drive strategy.

Tips for a Well Work Environment

Here are our top suggestions to consider and bring into the work place to enhance your work environment and wellness.

Consider legislative requirements

Ensure that your workplace is aligned to and compliant with all the relevant and mandatory Occupational Health and Safety requirements. These can be industry specific and are usually clearly laid out in the relevant Act.

Ensure ergonomics

An important part of doing your work is how and where you do it. Make your work station ergonomically sound using a supportive chair, sitting correctly, having your screen at the right height for your eye level and trying out a standing desk.

Check your lighting

Focus on natural, bright light where possible. Try light your work space from overhead. Manage the blue light from your screens can be managed through IT settings and cellphone settings. Remember to take screen breaks to give those eyes a rest.

Create a sense of flow

A big part of a positive work experience is getting into a flow state, this requires you to have a comfortable temperature to work in, manage noise and be comfortable.  Imagine looking forward to sitting at your work space because it is inviting and the best place to get things done. Some tips include working in a 22-degree Celsius room, try playing white, pink or brown noise that helps your focus, and make sure you find it comfortable to work where you set up. It is also important to remember air quality, your brain needs that delicious oxygen.

Get tech savvy

With many of us our jobs a strongly dependent on technology, make sure you have the most appropriate equipment to execute your tasks. Invest in the programmes and hardware you need to get things done professionally and efficiently.

Reduce waste

Streamline and consider all your resources you use when working, try not to print unnecessarily, reuse paper, recycle and keep your waste levels down – that way you can feel good about your resources you use to get the job done.

Make it welcoming

You can’t achieve the environmental wellness you want unless you clean up, declutter and refresh your space. Try clean up daily and refreshing your workspace on a Friday afternoon. Why not bring some plants into your work area or brighten the space with a mirror or art you enjoy? After all you spend most of your week here so you might as well ensure you like it.

Consider colour

Colour has an impact on the human brain and body, with colour impacting our wellness and productivity. One colour cannot be said to impact all people alike or to be best suited to all types of work because of culture, gender and varying work requirements. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider what the colour precipitates in you and your team and the type of work to be done and decorate or paint accordingly.



Healthy Gut

The importance of gut health – plus the best and worst foods for your gut

We often hear the words “that’s healthy” or “that’s unhealthy” when talking about food but did you know that there’s more to it than just that? Your gut health is something a little different and something you need to start thinking about.

Everything you eat and drink has an impact on your body whether it be big or small. Some foods and drinks can have a bigger effect on your overall health though. That’s why it’s important to start thinking about what you’re putting into your body and how it influences your gut health.

The focus on gut health has become increasingly prevalent over the last few years and there’s a good reason for it. This blog takes a deeper look into all things gut health and gives you some great tips on the best and worst foods for your gut.

What is gut health?

Your gut has bacteria known as the microbiome and what you eat directly influences the makeup of this bacteria.

Gut health refers to the physical state and physiologic function of the many parts of your gastrointestinal tract.

Basically, what that means is that what you’re eating has a direct impact on your health. A healthy gut reduces your chances of developing chronic diseases like heart disease or cancer and reduces inflammation, keeps your brain healthy and should help you maintain a healthy weight.

By changing your diet ever so slightly, you can keep the bacteria in your gut at a healthy balance which will make you feel better from the inside out.

The importance of prioritising your gut health

Everything you eat is broken down in your gut into a simple form that can enter your bloodstream and be delivered as nutrients throughout your body. But this is only possible if you have a healthy digestive system.

If your gut is healthy, it has healthy bacteria and immune cells that protect you from infectious agents like unhealthy bacteria, viruses and fungi. If your gut is healthy, it also communicates with your brain through your nerves and hormones which helps you maintain your general health and well-being.

Discover: Are you an emotional overeater? Here are 5 ways to help you overcome it

What are the signs of gut health problems?

Now that we’ve spoken about the importance of a healthy gut, you might be wondering but how do I know if I have any gut health issues?

Well, most people will experience some sort of digestive problem like abdominal pain, bloating, loose stools, constipation, heartburn, nausea or vomiting at some time. This is pretty normal if it isn’t happening continually. If these symptoms persist for a long period, it may be time to contact a doctor.

Other signs that you have gut health problems could include;

  • Weight loss without a good reason
  • Blood in the stool or black stool (a sign of bleeding in the gut)
  • Severe vomiting
  • Fever
  • Severe stomachaches
  • Trouble swallowing food
  • Pain in your throat or chest when you swallow food
  • Jaundice (a yellow discolouration of your skin or eyes)

These symptoms could indicate that you have underlying gastrointestinal problems that could have serious consequences. Please contact your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

What you should and shouldn’t be eating

To keep your gut healthy and avoid any underlying gastrointestinal issues, there are some foods you can introduce into your diet to help with your gut health. There are a few foods you should avoid too.

The best foods

If you have a nutritious diet overall, you won’t need to consume low-nutrient, calorie-dense foods that keep your stomach asking for more. With a well-balanced diet, you’ll feel full, satisfied and your overall health and energy levels will improve.

The best foods to include in your diet to promote a healthy gut are;

  • Healthy fats like avocado or nuts
  • Nuts and seeds
  • High-fiber, low-glycemic carbs like leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables (like cauliflower)
  • Slow carbs, like sweet potatoes and butternut squash
  • Hypoallergenic proteins (pea, rice, hemp, chia)
  • Clean and lean proteins like free-range poultry, fish and grass-fed meats
  • Fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut or you can even drink kombucha
  • Greek yoghurt

The worst foods


For many people, the two proteins in milk, casein and whey, can be hard to digest. A lot of individuals also lack enough enzyme lactase to break down the lactose in milk which can make you feel bloated, gassy and even give you diarrhoea.


Gluten makes food fluffy like in bread rolls but it can have a negative impact on your gut. Some people have a gluten intolerance which can cause bloating and other symptoms depending on your level of gluten intolerance (this can include rashes on your skin).


Soy and its derivatives can be found everywhere from tofu to edamame to protein bars and powders. Many soy products are genetically modified which means these products are heavily processed which can lead to gut issues like leaky gut (inflammation, digestive issues etc).

Processed and refined foods

The biggest issue with processed and refined foods is that they lack diversity and fibre. They’re often filled with added sugars, salt, artificial sweeteners and/or additives and preservatives. Foods like sweets, biscuits and bread that have huge amounts of preservatives are okay but in moderation. We’re not suggesting you should cut these foods from your diet completely but limit the amount that you eat.

Your microbiome thrives on diverse fibres and polyphenols from a variety of colourful fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This is why it’s so important to focus on creating a diet or lifestyle that has a variety of nutrient-dense food that keeps you satisfied and your gut happy.