Our wellness is such an elusive and commonly talked about subject. It is something that forms so much of how we experience our lives, and our overall wellbeing is pivotally important as human beings. However, the pressures of our everyday lives can make it hard for us to find the time to focus on ourselves and to get a sense of intention in our days. This can lead to feeling like our lives are being controlled for us or that we are simply being swept along from day to day and week to week without much purpose.
Simply put, developing a sense of intention is being hyper aware of the things you do, or don’t do, and how they impact your overall mood as well as your general sense of emotional and physical wellbeing. This sense of intention is a form of being mindful with what is going on in the world around you, the things that impact you and the effect that your interaction has with these and on you.
It is increasingly true that we, as a society, are often time poor – so how, if we have limited time available to focus on our wellbeing, can we set ourselves up with sustainable wellbeing habits that can better our overall health?
In this series, we’re going to be diving into how to create sustainable wellness practices to form daily rituals – much like brushing our teeth or eating. We do these things because we know they are good for us. We don’t always see an immediate results from them, but overall we know that if we do them, we’ll see a benefit. Within, we’ll be focusing on three key areas – morning, the middle of the day and nighttime.
In this article, we’ll be looking at lunchtime routines.
It can be easy to feel like once you get into your day, it just flies away from you. The demands of life simply take over. Whether that’s work or other commitments, our days can seem to pass away from us without a second glance and we can get to the end of our day feeling frazzled, drained and low in mood. If we punctuate our day with little check ins, we can start to readjust things that are going on for us before they often take over. We can check in on how we’re feeling at certain times, see if we need anything, and ask ourselves what we could do to be kinder to ourselves. If we’re in the midst of a busy day with pressures of commitments and deadlines, the laser focus we often adopt and need to get things done can actually stop us from nurturing ourselves in the way we need. This might sound like a luxury and you might think ‘oh I don’t have time’, but even the most basic things like drinking enough fluids or putting on our glasses at the start of feeling strained eyes can be missed. If we check in more regularly with how we’re doing, we can often prevent many of these things from becoming a problem and impacting more of our day.
It might sound counter intuitive but taking check ins as you go through the day can actually be more effective for your productivity levels than if you don’t stop and just keep going. This also doesn’t need to be difficult. It’s not always about taking a long break in the middle of the day to do something completely different, it can be as simple as taking five minutes at lunch time to do a breathing exercise. It could be prepping your lunch the night before, so you have something nutritious to help you through the day. It could be spending a few minutes looking at what else you must do today and if it’s not possible or overwhelming, reorganising things a little so that your time fits you more. It could even be taking a little bit of time to have a conversation with someone to take your mind onto something else. Or it could be having a quick mental health check in and seeing where you feel you’re at.
So how can you make lunch time check ins on your wellbeing achievable? Here are five things to try to develop a habit for better wellbeing:
Make some time to check in on yourself and work out the rest of your day
If it’s not possible to take a full break, use a little bit of this time to look at what else you have going on in the day. The important thing, if possible, is to get away from your computer or what you were previously doing and change your surroundings for a little while. Think of the tasks you plan to complete and mark them in order of priority. This will allow you to regroup and can be particularly effective if you feel stressed out.
Image descrption: A landscape image. Matt sits on a chair cross legged with his Ipad, journalling and writing down his thoughts. The space around him is bright and airy – with a plant to his right and textured cupbaords and floors. N.B: All clothing featured in this image is Vuori PR Products.
If you work inside, getting outside for a little while can be a healthy way to take a break. It’s not just a way of having some exercise, but it also allows you to shift your surroundings, which, if you’re having a hard day can really help to shift your mindset. If you don’t have time to get out for a long break, even just standing outside for a few minutes and observing what is around you can have an enormous impact on your energy and stress levels.
Take a Nap
Whilst sleeping for prolonged periods of time in the day can reduce productivity and make it harder to get to sleep at night, studies show that sleeping for a few minutes in the middle of a day can help to reduce fatigue and refresh you to help you be more alert and awake. Even if you don’t fall asleep, resting for a few minutes can help with this.
Do some stretching exercises
If you spend a lot of time sitting down or if you’ve been running around for the whole morning, our bodies can get tight, and this can lead to aches and pains if left for a prolonged period. Taking a few minutes to check in with how your body is feeling can help you notice any problems or sore spots before they turn into something nastier. A few simple stretches, such as relaxed yoga poses can be beneficial as well for getting a flow of energy going again if you’re feeling tired and lethargic.
If you’re finding yourself feeling stressed out, try mindful breathing. There are so many short and simple meditations out there that can help ground you back in the moment by focusing on your breathing and making sure that you’re actually breathing in and out in a way that will help oxygenate your body.