How to recharge and eliminate what’s sapping your energy

Author: Words We Write

How to recharge and eliminate what’s sapping your energy

We’re reaching the end of the year and this is usually when we start to feel drained, unmotivated and simply exhausted. Finish this year strong by using these simple ways to recharge both your body and mind. 

Have you ever tried using your phone with less than 15% battery? Your apps are slow, your phone freezes, and it can cause a lot of frustration.  Well, humans are pretty similar. 

When your battery is low, it’s difficult to do even basic tasks at your best. Silly mistakes are easily made, and it can begin to take a toll on your mental health. This is why it is so important to create habits that help recharge you inside and out. 

Things that might be draining you 

It’s not only towards the end of the year that you can feel depleted. This can happen at any time when you’re constantly surrounded by or engaging in things that drain your energy. 

These are just some of the things that could be sapping your energy;

1. Too many processed foods 

We’re all pretty aware that too much processed food isn’t doing us any good. This time of the year is go, go, go so it might be easier to grab a takeaway or snack on some crisps rather than prepare something. 

And there’s nothing wrong with that… in moderation. Grabbing something convenient in a time crunch is perfectly fine, the problem comes in when you make it a habit.

2. Too little sleep 

We often underestimate how important our sleep schedule is. Whether you aren’t sleeping due to stress, trying to meet deadlines or anything in between, it is vital that you prioritise at least 8 hours of sleep a night. 

3.  Toxic relationships 

Having people around you who demand from you and that don’t lift you up is exhausting. Take note of who you’re spending your time with and how you feel afterwards. 

4. Clutter and disorganisation 

Trying to find things or remember where you left things is tiring and draining. It’s easy for things to get cluttered when you’re busy or feeling overwhelmed but take some time to clear out your space, it will do wonders for your mental state. 

5. Lack of exercise 

We bet you don’t get tired of hearing this one. But yes, lack of physical activity actually drains you. Being active gets those endorphins racing and re-energises you but find activities you actually enjoy. 

6. Your own attitude 

If you wake up every morning thinking “ugh, I’m so tired”, “I really don’t want to do this” or “I’m over this day already” then you are preparing yourself for a really draining day. 

Your mind and your attitude are very powerful, and the thoughts you put out there are what you will experience. Try making a conscious effort to change your attitude when things are tough. 

Habits that will recharge you 

Apart from changing the things we mentioned above, there are a few things you can do that will recharge your body and mind. It’s a great idea to try to make these simple things regular habits in your life.

1. Live mindfully

Don’t just go through the motions in life. Think about everything you’re doing, what you want to achieve, and what you already have achieved. There is so much more to life than just getting through it. 

Take a look at this awesome blog on mindfulness for a deeper understanding. 

2.Take a break from technology 

The online world is a massive energy drainer. From being inundated with world news to comparing your life to a stranger’s, you can physically feel the light being zapped right out of you. 

Set a date once a week or twice a month when you limit your social media usage or stop using it completely for a day or week. Whatever feels right for you but we highly recommend this. 

3. Create manageable to-do lists

This time of the year is manic, and it can leave you feeling completely depleted. Rather than trying to keep up with everything, create to-do lists that you’ll be able to keep up with. 

By doing this, you can share your energy across these tasks rather than trying to take on everything all at once. 

4. Prioritise fun 

Life is busy, there is almost too much to get done in a single day. Often, we focus on the work aspects and family commitments and fun falls by the wayside. 

Start scheduling time for fun into your days, whatever that may be. Fun takes on many forms, from going for a walk to visiting a friend or reading a book. 

5. Spend time outdoors

Fresh air and some sunshine do wonders to recharge your body and soul. Try to spend at least 10 – 15 minutes outside each day. Use this time to silence your mind, be mindful and take a breath. 

6. Be thankful 

Life is just as beautiful as it is chaotic. When you’re run down, it’s difficult to see the positive, but it’s so important to sit back and reflect on all the good you have in your life. 

You can even write down everything you’re grateful for so that you see it in front of you. By being cognisant of what is good, you will start to fill your energy levels with positivity and in turn, re-energising yourself. 

 

Mental Health in South Africa

The role of the Work Environment plays in your mental health

October is Mental Health Awareness Month in South Africa. This is not to be taken lightly, as South Africa is in a mental health crisis. Without even including statistics on those living with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder among others, the prevalence of anxiety, depression and substance use challenges in the South African context is sitting at one in six according to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG). 40% of people living with HIV in South Africa have a diagnosable mental disorder. Dr Eugene Ellers a South African Psychiatrist believes that up to 6 million South Africans live with post-traumatic stress disorder. This research speaks to statistics in South Africa prior to the lockdown and pandemic.

We are a country plagued by generational trauma from a violent and oppressive political regime in our past, poverty, unemployment, inequality, racism, economic woes, lack of service delivery, load shedding, crime, gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, and xenophobia in our present. Consensus is that Covid-19, lockdowns and the pandemic have had profound effects on the mental illness faced by people in South Africa.

The World Health Organisation has determined that South Africans have had a 36.4% increase in anxiety disorder as well as a 38.7% increase in major depressive disorders since the pandemic. As mental health goes into decline and mental illness becomes a crisis, so does the prevalence of suicide increase and become a growing reality as a last resort for those who have nowhere else to turn. Suicide is the fourth most common cause of death among young people worldwide. Companies like Instagram try to hide the increase in suicide among young people, as a result of, using their platform. We need awareness about this reality, as the more we deny the problem, the less we talk about it. The less we talk about it, the greater the stigma. This will take a greater toll on people’s lives, deepening the crisis we will have on our hands. 

Men in South Africa are four times as likely as women to commit suicide, however more women are diagnosed with depression than men and that is not to say that women are more depressed, just that women are seeking help more than men, according to SADAG. South Africa has 23 suicides every day and 20 attempted suicides. That is one per hour. We have the third-highest suicide rate in Africa, according to the World Health Organisation. Suicide is the leading cause of death in young South Africans aged 15 to 29. It has been found that 70 percent of people who commit suicide have a mental illness. 75% of people globally will not seek help for their mental illness. The South African Medical Research Council has examined the statistics on suicide from a demographic perspective finding that white men are most likely to commit suicide followed by African men, Indian men and Coloured men. In terms of women it is White females, followed by Indian females, Coloured women and then Black females with the lowest rates.  

These are staggering figures pointing to a mental health crisis in South Africa. Although we have touched on the contributing factors such as unemployment to the mental health crisis, there are other citizens in the population who are actively employed. These people are just as likely to be suffering from mental illness due to many of the factors plaguing the South African psyche, however one differentiating factor is their ability to work and earn a living. Is the workplace a salve for mental illness, or is it yet another factor dragging us down?

The workplace can be a double-edged sword – contributing potentially to both mental wellness and mental ill health. Let’s look at the factors contributing to each side of the coin.

When work helps us thrive:

Being employed, doing work and earning a living can be a circumstance under which people will thrive. It is a resource financially and socially, our work feeds our identity, it boosts our self-esteem, self-efficacy and gives us a sense of purpose. 

When work has a dark side:

On the other hand, the workplace, the work we do, and the benefits associated may be found lacking and contribute to mental illness in the population. This could be through poor working conditions, toxic workplace cultures, remuneration and benefits that are found wanting and over identification with work – making work the central organising factor in our lives leaving no space for any other areas of our lives to thrive. 

We spend 80% of our lives working. This is why organisations, workplaces, and roles need to be better equipped to provide the kinds of environments that lead to thriving and deriving healthy benefits from work. Organisations that are not paying attention to mental health are failing to see the changes and disruptions brought on by Covid requiring more attention to mental health, the clear need for mental health interventions, and are waiting in vain for the world to return to normal. These organisations will get left behind. They are failing to change and attend to the real and pressing societal focus on mental health (Ratangee, 2021). 

The workplace, due to the amount of time we spend there and its nature, exposes us to stress. When we are exposed to stress, we can develop mental illness and that in turn breeds more stress which impacts further the intensity of our mental illness, and on it goes in a cycle. It is critical that as individuals we manage our resilience and stress and also that organisations and workplaces put steps in place to mitigate the stress impact, paying real attention to mental health. Organisations must deliver resources to employees that deal with stress management and employee mental health and wellbeing. This is non-negotiable. 

Reach out to Wellbe and Company today to put these steps in place that your employees critically need. 

We are here to re-imagine wellness in the workplace. We are a corporate wellness consultancy that uses workplace initiatives to improve employee health, organisational well-being and overall corporate culture. We’re on a mission to inspire change and instil a culture of health and wellness in daily corporate life, while improving team productivity and business performance along the way.  

We are here to partner with you to address the critical need of fostering resilience in your workforce to mitigate the effects of the mental health crisis in the workplace. Our services to address this includes: stress management and mental health interventions, wellness days, employee counselling and support, and executive wellness amongst others. 

Contact us today to ensure you have the resources in place that your employees want and need.

 

Practical ways to prioritise your mental health that will change your quality of life.

Practical ways to prioritise your mental health that will change your quality of life 

As we near the end of the year, you may be feeling run down and burnt out. It’s important to take care of your mental health during this time – and always. 

Ever heard the saying “health is wealth”? Possibly one of the most accurate statements out there. And of course, your mental health forms part of your overall health. How much have you been prioritising your mental health? 

As the year draws to a close, exhaustion and burnout come creeping in. Make sure you’re focusing on your mental health now, and always. If you feel like you do prioritise your mental health but then can’t actually think of how or you feel like you just don’t have the time to focus on your mental health, keep reading. 

There are simple and practical ways to prioritise your mental health that will change your quality of life without taking too much thought or time. 

The importance of mental health 

When we think about our health, we usually think about our physical health and what we should do to improve it. This is most likely because you see and feel when your physical health isn’t where it should be. And others can see any changes in your physical health and make comments about it.

Your mental health is less noticeable to you and those around you. It’s easy to make excuses about why you feel a certain way than to face it straight on. 

Mental health is vital as it impacts every area of your life. The importance of good mental health ripples into everything you do, think or say. 

Some benefits of taking care of your mental health can include:

  • Improved mood
  • Reduced levels of anxiety
  • An enhanced sense of inner peace
  • Ability to think more clearly
  • Improved relationships
  • Increased self-esteem

Simple ways to prioritise your mental health

We promised some pretty spectacular and easy ways to prioritise your mental health and we promise, these won’t disappoint. 

Prioritising your mental health doesn’t always mean taking days off of work or seeking therapy (although, these are some pretty great things to do when you need it). There are some things you can do every day that won’t impact your daily life but will have a massive impact on your mental health.

Often, prioritising your mental health can come in the form of a little self-care and doing things that put you first for a few minutes a day. Doing these things won’t magically improve your mental health but over time, you’ll start to notice the positive effects these new habits will have. 

30-minutes of daily exercise

Just a disclaimer here: If you HATE exercise, and absolutely detest it, forcing yourself to do it every day is not going to help your mental health. 

We get that exercise isn’t for everyone. But with that being said, we highly advise that you find some form of movement that you love be it dancing, walking, or stretching. There are ways to exercise other than going to the gym or running for 30 mins straight. 

Find something you love and do it for 30 minutes a day. Physical exercise releases feel-good endorphins and other natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being.

Conscious breathwork 

If you struggle with anxiety, conscious breathing exercises are a must. 

When you feel your anxiety levels begin to rise, take a step back and focus on your breathing. Close your eyes and think about how you are breathing without changing it. Then begin to take deep breaths noting how they feel as they enter and leave your body. 

Alternate between shallow and deep breaths while consciously thinking about the air entering and leaving your body. 

If you are unable to do this level of breath work then simply close your eyes and breathe in for 5 seconds and release for 5 seconds. Do this a few times and you take note of how it feels. 

Feed your brain

What you eat influences your brain chemistry and your gut health. Recent studies have shown that your gut acts as a “second brain”. This means that your gut can trigger an emotional shift. The gastrointestinal system may send signals to the central nervous system that trigger mood changes and may contribute to mental health disorders.

Make sure you’re:

  • Reducing foods that are processed or high in sugar
  • Taking prebiotics and probiotics or eating more fermented foods 
  • Checking if you have food intolerances and removing them from your diet
  • Eating more fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods 
  • Consuming a high-fibre diet

7- 8 hours of high-quality sleep

The length and quality of your sleep highly impact how your mind and body function. High-quality sleep enables better thinking, learning and memory. 

Having a low quality of sleep can worsen mental health disorders including depression and anxiety. 

Make sure you prioritise your sleep by:

  • Having a consistent “bedtime”
  • Not being on your mobile devices directly before you sleep
  • Not watching TV directly before you sleep 

Daily mindfulness or meditation and rest 

Your mind is a powerful tool. Make sure you’re giving it the rest it deserves. 

Practice mindfulness or meditation by:

  • Finding a quiet place where you won’t be distracted or disturbed
  • Starting with a 2-minute meditation and building up to 5, 10, or 20 minutes each time you do it
  • Setting a time of day (morning or before bed) to meditate every day
  • Trialling different meditation techniques to determine which style works best for you

Resting your mind gives you a break from the hustle and bustle of the world around you. It is important to “switch off” for a few minutes a day. But this doesn’t mean scrolling endlessly through Tik Toks or bingeing a series. You need to focus, be mindful and release your mind of any thoughts. 

These are some simple and practical ways that you can put yourself first and prioritise your mental health.

 

Building Confidence

The how-to guide on building up your self-confidence

Have you ever found yourself feeling like you’ve seriously lost your mojo? Well… Same. That’s why we’ve come up with the ultimate guide for you to find your confidence again! 

Feeling down in the dumps and like things just aren’t going your way can have a ripple effect. When one thing hasn’t worked out and then another and another, it can quickly pile up until you’re left feeling completely defeated.

Once you’re in a bad headspace, it can be pretty difficult to pull yourself out of it and focus on all the things that are amazing in your life and all things that you’re great at. 

We know it can be tough sometimes but this ultimate guide will have you hyping yourself up again in no time!

Why it’s important to focus on your confidence 

Having self-confidence gives you the ability to take on the day and kick butt! 

When you’re confident, you are more likely to move forward with people, relationships and opportunities. You won’t second guess yourself and move away from potential experiences. 

And when things don’t work out the first time, your confidence will propel you to try again. 

How to hype yourself up  

1.Be kind to yourself 

First things first, don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re allowed to have days where things don’t seem to be going the way you want them to. It’s okay to have a day where things honestly just suck. 

BUT, just give yourself that one day. Then get back to being the amazing, strong and motivated person you are! 

Remember to change your inner dialogue to celebrate yourself rather than tearing yourself down. 

2. Create a to-do list 

When you’re in a funk, simply doing things can seem too difficult. Start your days with a to-do list. The list can include things like “do laundry” or “write in my journal” rather than just work items. 

Your to-do list can evolve into a little schedule for the day. You’ll be amazed at how motivating it is to cross things off the list as you go about your day. This will also help you establish a maintainable routine and give you control of your life.

3. Get active 

Don’t get us wrong, getting active doesn’t mean you need to sign up for a gym contract and start working out 6 times a week. 

But it’s important to keep your body moving. Physical activity is good for both your body and mind. Start by going for daily walks to get yourself out of the house. Or take a moment to do a home workout (depending on the weather, you could do this outside too). 

Find ways to move your body in ways that work for you!

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

4. Stop comparing yourself to others 

Do you, boo! Comparison is the thief of joy and with social media, comparing yourself to others is inevitable. 

Don’t focus on what others look like, what they’re doing or where they’re going. Focus on yourself and your own progress. Every individual is on their own path but at the end of the day, life is a journey, not a race. You have time to do all the things you want to do. 

If necessary, unfollow those that you compare yourself to on social media and work on being genuinely happy for those around you when they achieve things. 

5. Create the ultimate ‘hype’ playlist

This is our favourite step!
If you’re having one of those days when things just aren’t going your way, use your hype playlist to bring you out of your funk. 

Lizzo has some incredible hype tracks and so does NF if you prefer rap. Find the songs that make you feel invincible and play them as loud as you can and on repeat. Maybe even bust a move while you’re at it!

Explore: Everyday hacks to keep you calm and focused for a busy day 

6. New look, new you!

Get that new haircut you’ve been mulling over or treat yourself to new hair colour or highlights. Maybe add something new to your wardrobe or try out a new look. 

When your confidence is low, changing up your physical appearance and seeing yourself in a new light can really help. Building on your inner self-esteem is often complemented by a revamp of your appearance. 

The combination of working on yourself inside and out will catapult you into a whole new direction!

7. Be your own hype man/woman

Don’t wait around for people to tell you that you’re doing a great job. Tell yourself! Be your own hype man especially when it feels like no one else is going to hype you up. 

You’ve got this, you know you do!

Here’s the thing…

We have very little control over how others see us or what they think and say about us. But you can change your own narrative on how you see yourself and how you talk to yourself and there’s no better time than when you’re feeling less than great about yourself. 

The only thing we have control over is ourselves and often, others treat us the way we carry ourselves. We attract situations that mimic our beliefs about ourselves and what we think we deserve. If you truly want the life you crave, it starts with seeing yourself for who you are and who you want to be. It’s about the baby steps you take that lead you to exactly where you want to be. 

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 (healthline.com). 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!
Working during the festive season

How to stay focused and motivated before and during silly season

This time of the year is difficult. We’re tired, it’s been a long year and December leave feels like it’s just out of reach. Staying motivated and focused on your work can sometimes feel impossible but we’re here to tell you that you can do it! You’re nearly there and our expert tips will keep you going as we approach the silly season.

You know that feeling on a Thursday where you’re impatiently waiting for Friday to come so that you can finally let your hair down for the weekend? November is basically the Thursday of the year where you’re eagerly waiting for December to come around the corner. And as we creep past November and into December the impatience grows as your leave days near. 

Staying focused on everyday tasks and getting your work done is next to impossible when you’re thinking of an upcoming holiday or what to get your loved ones for Christmas or all the food that’s in store. We could go on and on but let’s get to the point. We’ve identified some fantastic tips to keep you focused and motivated to get through the last stretch of this year. 

Explore: How To Be Professionally Successful And Feel It

How to stay motivated and focused 

Goals, goals, goals

You’ve definitely heard this one before but setting achievable goals is one of the best ways to remain motivated. 

Get out a notebook and write down the goals you’d like to achieve before the end of the year. The trick is to be as specific as possible as well as realistic. You could write goals like meeting all your deadlines before going on leave or wrapping up your final projects (write down exactly what each task is and maybe include the dates you would like them to be completed by). 

Be realistic in your goals though, don’t try to squeeze in working towards getting a promotion if you haven’t had the conversation with your manager or worked towards that goal throughout the year. If you write down goals that are unreachable, you’ll end up feeling deflated and demotivated. 

Related: Everyday Hacks To Keep You Calm And Focused For A Busy Day

Don’t be hard on yourself 

It’s been a long year… Scratch that, it’s been a long 2 years! You’re tired (you aren’t alone in that) and you desperately need a break. There is a reason it’s recommended to take a certain amount of leave in a year – we need and deserve it. 

If you’re struggling to get through the last few weeks, that’s okay. But make sure that you’re still doing the best that you can to achieve the final goals you’ve set. If your best right now is 60%, then do that but keep going. 

Discover: How to manage your stress and make it work for you 

Festive season motivation

Find ways to re-energise 

When you begin to feel your motivation begin to drain, think of ways that will pick your energy back up. Make sure it’s something you enjoy doing though, otherwise, you’re just going to feel as depleted. 

These are a few of our ideas for a pick-me-up:

  • Take a coffee break – step away from your desk and take a break with a delicious cup of coffee or tea and be mindful as you re-energise
  • Go for a long walk
  • Make time for a workout – sometimes getting your endorphins flowing is the best thing for you
  • Meditate 
  • Take regular breaks throughout your day – sitting down and working for 4 hours straight will start to wear you down. Take 10 minute breaks every 30 – 60 minutes. 

Have fun!

This can be the best time of the year filled with so much love and excitement as we all work towards the end of the year. Even though it can be a very busy time filled with deadlines and preparing for December, remember to enjoy every minute of it. 

When you have a positive attitude towards things, you’re more likely to want to do it rather than feeling loathed to do it. 

Try to maintain balance between work and your personal life as you navigate your way through the final weeks of the year.

Teamwork makes the dream work 

If you’re really feeling exhausted, remember that you aren’t alone. Reach out to a colleague to help you meet your deadlines or to a loved one if there are personal tasks you’re struggling to make time for. 

Working together helps us feel motivated and will lighten the load you may feel. You could also form a little group at work where you do activities together or go on breaks together to help one another remain focused and motivated on finishing the year strong.

Read: How To Bloom Where You Are and Succeed

The end is near

Try to keep in mind that your well-deserved break is right in front of you. This is your final push until you get that much-needed break. 

When you remind yourself that you have to remain motivated for only a short while longer, you may feel more inclined to keep going without feeling like you may drown. 

This time of the year can feel both exhausting and exhilarating so we understand that your focus and motivation may be starting to dwindle. But you’ve got this! This is your little reminder that it’s the final stretch and with the right goals in mind, you can finish this year strong!

Mental health check

Checking in: Mental health check-in tips and when to see a specialist

The last couple of years have been draining on everyone. We have all gone through a pandemic, life readjustments and navigated unprecedented circumstances. It’s only natural to sometimes feel like you’re overwhelmed or out of control. There are few things in this life that we have control over but it is so important that you check in on yourself.

We easily think of asking our loved ones how they’re doing and if they’re okay but we rarely check in on ourselves and our own mental health. This is a mini check-in guide to show you how to do daily check-ins with yourself and we’ll highlight if it may be a better idea to seek some professional advice. 

What is a mental health check-in?

Have you ever been worried about a friend and decided to give them a call to see how they’re doing? 

Well, a mental health check-in works the same but you’re asking yourself how you’re doing. It’s all about taking a moment in every day to reflect on how you’re feeling physically, emotionally and mentally. There are various ways to do a mental health check-in and it’s best to find what works for you. Some people prefer to sit back with a cup of coffee while sitting outside and taking a moment to themselves while others prefer to sit with a journal and write everything out. 

We’ve outlined a few things you can do to check in on yourself. 

Mental health check

Mental health check-in tips

Important questions to ask yourself

When you’re doing a mental health check-in, it is ideal to find some time in your day where you can be completely mindful and have enough time to truly reflect. 

You could spare a few minutes on your lunch break or on your way home, any time where you are on your own and can concentrate on your own needs. Once you have found the time, think about what you would like to ask yourself. Here are a few of our suggestions;

  1. How am I feeling today, really? Both physically and mentally.
  2. What’s taking up most of my headspace right now?
  3. What was my last full meal, and have I been drinking enough water?
  4. How have I been sleeping?
  5. Have I been doing any physical activities lately?
  6. What did I do today that made me feel good?
  7. What’s something I can do today that would be good for me?
  8. What’s something I’m looking forward to in the next few days?
  9. What am I grateful for right now?

There are many other questions you can ask yourself but these questions will give you a sense of how you are doing. Are you stressed? Have you been looking after yourself physically? All of this contributes to your mental health and by asking and answering these questions honestly, you will be more cognisant of how you’re actually managing.

For some more tips on how to be truly present, give this article a read.

Keep a journal 

If asking yourself these questions doesn’t really work for you then try writing it down in a personal journal. You can set aside some time in the morning where you write down your daily affirmations (these are positive thoughts about yourself and your life), your goals and what you’re grateful for

Keeping a daily journal will help you set your intentions for the day and help you start the day on a positive note. You can also use the journal to outline your feelings or challenges you faced that day with possible solutions to help you the next day. 

Look at your feelings and behaviours

Has anything changed lately? Have you become impatient and snappy when you’re usually calm and reasonable? Take a look at if your feelings and behaviours that you perceive to be normal for you have changed. 

This goes hand-in-hand with asking yourself how you’re feeling but it’s important to take note of if anything has fundamentally changed with you and then you need to ask yourself why.

Assess your physical health 

Have you been sleeping enough? Are you drinking enough water? Are you getting in any physical activity? 

Your physical health impacts your mental health tremendously and if you have found that you aren’t feeling great mentally but you aren’t sure why, try assessing if you have let your physical health slip. 

A healthy body will help keep a healthy mind.

Don’t wait until things are really bad

Mental health isn’t always easy to talk about and more often than not, we’re quite hard on ourselves where we will say “You’re fine, it’s just a bad day” or “I need to just get over it”. Thinking you’re fine and trying to push how you’re truly feeling to the side can be dangerous to your overall mental health. 

Treat yourself the same way you’d treat a close friend. When someone you love is having a very hard time, you wouldn’t tell them to get over it, you’d offer advice or tell them to get help. So, why wouldn’t you do the same for yourself?

When to seek professional assistance 

Everyone has days where they feel low or depressed or even out of control. So much is happening in our lives every single day, it is normal to not feel 100% all of the time. This then begs the question, “how do I know if I need to see a specialist then?” 

Well, a good rule of thumb is, if your “low” or depressed mood lasts longer than a week or two or if you’re struggling to function at work, with your family or in your social life and if daily tasks seem unbearable, it would be in your best interest to seek out some help. 

Remember though, getting professional help does not make you weak, it takes a really strong person to admit that they need help. 

Fitness

THE POWER OF MOVEMENT: INCORPORATING EXERCISE INTO YOUR LIFESTYLE

We all know that incorporating exercise into our lifestyle is beneficial; but this does not change the fact that many of us do not feel motivated to be active. Exercise starts off as a discipline, that eventually turns into a habit. Initially it can be challenging to stick to your routine, but the more you commit, the easier it becomes. In this article we explore the benefits of living an active life and we explore the different kinds of exercise to help you find the type of exercise that will best serve you. 

Benefits of Living an Active Life 

Exercise has both physical and mental benefits. Not only does it build muscle, maintain weight, or encourage weight loss, but it also affects our brain positively

Brain Benefits 

  1. Reduces stress
  2. Improves memory 
  3. Reduces depression (increases serotonin) 
  4. Lowers anxiety 

Physical Benefits 

  1. Lowers risk of chronic diseases (heart disease, diabetes)
  2. Lowers blood cholesterol and blood pressure
  3. Develops stronger bones and muscles 
  4. Assists with weight loss 

Read more: TIRED OF FEELING LOW? 4 LIFE CHANGING HABITS TO BEAT THAT AFTERNOON FATIGUE

Exercise has numerous benefits for our overall health, and one way to maintain your exercise regime is to find a type of exercise that you enjoy. Trying to commit to something you hate is a lot more challenging and increases your chance of giving up. 

Get Fit

Types of Exercise: Finding your Niche 

Exercise should be a lifestyle, not an event. It is therefore important for you to find an activity that you enjoy – this way, exercise becomes something you look forward to, rather than something that you do because of a specific outcome e.g. weight loss. 

There are many types of exercise, and depending on your interests, availability, and access, you may opt for different forms: 

 

  • HIIT Training

HIIT training stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It alternates between short intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods. For example, TABATA, which is 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest interval. It is great for individuals who only have 30 minutes to squeeze in a training session. It is a form of cardio training and is effective in burning fat and calories. 

  • Cardiovascular Training 

Cardiovascular training is any type of exercise that leads to a sustained rise in heart rate throughout the exercise duration. For example: swimming, running, and cycling. This type of exercise is generally sustained for a longer period of time than a HIIT workout. 

Here’s a great read: 8 PRACTICAL TIPS FOR WORKING OUT AT HOME – GETTING MOTIVATED AND GETTING MOVING

  • Yoga 

Yoga is a form of neuromotor training – it involves balance, agility, and coordination. It is important to improve posture, decrease risk of injury and reduce stress and inflammation. Yoga is a great way to build muscle and it is less intense on the body than activities such as running and HIIT. 

  • Gym classes 

A lot of individuals benefit from exercising with others. When it is a social event, they are more likely to commit and enjoy themselves. Gyms offer numerous classes such as spinning and Zumba which allow for an interactive exercise routine. 

  • Pilates 

Pilates is a low-impact activity that focuses on flexibility, muscular strength, endurance movements and core strength. It emphasizes proper postural alignment, core strength and muscle balance.

  • Team Sports

Many people enjoy exercise when it is in the form of team sports. Joining a hockey team or soccer club creates a community and your commitment to the sport increases. The enjoyment of the game is the primary focus and the health benefits are secondary. It becomes a social activity and often not seen as a challenge like going for a run alone. 

As you can see, there are numerous ways to reap the rewards of exercise and any form of movement is better than none. Remember, exercise should be a part of your lifestyle, not an event. It is therefore important for you to find an activity that you enjoy – this way, exercise becomes something you look forward to, rather than something that you do because of a specific outcome e.g. weight loss. 

Boost Your Mood

TIRED OF FEELING LOW? 4 LIFE CHANGING HABITS TO BEAT THAT AFTERNOON FATIGUE

It’s normal to start feeling your energy levels drop throughout the day. Most tend to feel sluggish, fatigued and slow by early afternoon. The good news is that there are some small but really effective practices that you can put in place every day to renew your energy. 

That’s why, in this week’s blog, we give you our top helpful, healthy habits that will 

reignite your energy levels and re-energize your mind and body so that you can be your most productive self every day.

Energy-boosting habits 

A lack of energy could significantly affect your ability to perform basic daily activities, as well as noticeably affect your productivity at work. That’s why it’s really important to identify the source that’s draining your energy and develop small changes in your everyday habits to fix this. So, here are our top pick-me-up tips that are proven to work:

1. Pay attention to how you fuel your body

Eating clean isn’t just about looking good. Remember, the food we put into our body acts as our primary energy source for the day. The fact is that not all foods will fuel your body equally. The type of food you eat in particular plays an essential role in determining your energy levels during the day. The right food contains nutrients that could help increase your energy levels and better maintain alertness and focus throughout the day.

After all, nutrition is the key to a healthy mind and a healthy body. So, it’s only natural that heart whole-foods will equip you with a long-lasting energy source, while refined, junk-foodie meals will leave you feeling unfulfilled and sluggish.

For example, a simple banana could be considered a superfood when it comes to boosting your energy and alertness. It’s an excellent source of complex carbs, potassium, and vitamin B6 – all of which can help boost your energy levels. These essential minerals and vitamins are all needed to keep your energy and your immunity strong. 

2. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep

The reality is that we just can’t function at our full capacity without having an optimal number of hours of sleep every night (most experts say that’s around 7 to 9 hours a night). That’s because sleep is the key ingredient when it comes to keeping us healthy and functioning well. Sleep lets your body and brain repair, restore, and re-energize itself every night, so that you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle a new day in the morning.

Mounting evidence even suggests exhaustion and sleep deprivation can severely impede your productivity, with one study of 4,188 workers citing that those who didn’t get enough sleep every night had “significantly worse productivity, performance, and safety outcomes”at work.

Not only that, but individuals who fail to get enough sleep every night are also more prone to depression, weight gain, lower immunity and impaired thinking. So, maybe it’s a good idea to skip that last episode of Nailed It tonight and turn the lights out early. 

3. Drink more water

If you’re dehydrated, the chances are you’ll have far less energy than those around you. Simple things such as staying awake at your office desk or making good on your promise to go to the gym after work might seem impossible, and strenuous exercise will seem like a mountain of a challenge.

Many studies have shown that dehydration lowers energy levels, impedes athletic performance and causes individuals to feel sluggish and off their game throughout the day. 

That’s why drinking water is the ultimate health hack. Upticking your water intake will not only renew your energy levels, but it will also improve your memory and mood, increase your weight loss and give your skin a healthier glow.

Boost Your Mood

4. Boost your mood

We know that sometimes your day can feel like it’s super-packed, not-stop busy. It might feel like you don’t have a single moment to spare to eat, sleep or breathe. That’s why it’s important to make the most of every hour in the day and develop habits that will help you to be as productive as possible. 

Taking an hour out of your day for self-care might seem counterintuitive at first. It’s difficult to allow yourself to step away from your work when there’s competing deadlines and clients emailing you 24/7. But it’s time to lose the guilt and make way for your own self-care every day.

By simply devoting an hour a day to any activity that will help will boost your mood, you’ll end up banking more productive hours in the long run. Studies show that self-care improves productivity and helps to break the cycle of feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and disinterested in your work.

Start by committing to waking up early in the morning to meditate or go for a run, or set aside an hour in the afternoon for any type of exercise, meditation, yoga. Even just a stroll outside will help change the way you tackle the day and renew your motivation for the tasks ahead of you. While it’s not always easy to implement new habits (some say it takes up to 21 days of repeating a habit for it to stick) it will be well worth it in the long run.

Staying energized with WellBe 

Here at WellBe&Co, we believe that better health starts with better habits. That’s why we’ve introduced our 12-week body reboot training guide to give you a step-by-step roadmap towards living a more happy, healthy and energy-filled life. This workout and training guide is the best way to boost your energy, get those endorphins flowing and help you stay more motivated everyday.

You won’t find any excessively restrictive, bogus claim, too good to be true fad here. Our mission is to debunk these many false health and fitness myths and help empower people to live at their best life, on their own terms.

When it comes to eating clean, we’ve got you covered too. Our nutrition and recipe guide will equip you with the most up-to-date nutrition, training and supplement advice tailored to your individual needs, goals and personal preferences. View your plan, track your progress and stay motivated by using our downloadable WellBe Health App.

Pssst: Did you know that, if you buy both guides together in the month of September only, you’ll save R150. You’ll also save an additional R100 when purchasing both plans together if you use the promo code WELLBE100. Isn’t that great?

So, what are you waiting for? Become a proud member of the WellBe family today to start making lasting changes, one habit at a time.

 

STICKY ONE PAN CHICKEN BAKE

STICKY ONE PAN CHICKEN BAKE

DIFFICULTY: EASY

TIME: 50 MINUTES
SERVES: 4

A one-pan wonder, this sticky chicken recipe is packed with good-for-you ingredients. This recipe maximises on flavour and doesn’t compromise on health benefits. Feel free to add more
veggies!

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp sesame oil
2 onions, diced
4-6 chicken breasts or thighs
2 sliced picante or bell peppers
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp honey
¼ cup orange juice
3 sprigs rosemary
2 cups of chopped baby marrows

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Sauté onion, picante peppers, and chicken pieces until lightly browned and transfer to a casserole dish. Mix sauce by combining soy sauce, orange juice, honey, salt, pepper, and chicken broth in a bowl. Pour over. Add fresh rosemary, and chopped baby marrows. Toss together and bake for 40 minutes. Serve with brown rice or wholewheat couscous.

Download Your Sticky One Pan Chicken Bake Recipe Here

 

STICKY ONE PAN CHICKEN BAKE