by Marie Hick - Flourish Fit and Well
At Flourish Fit & Well we work with busy individuals and companies to support people to be their best and healthiest selves every day.
We achieve this by focusing on small consistent changes in the three pillars of our lives – what we eat, how we move and our day-to-day lives. Our mantra is ‘small steps, big changes’ and our experience shows us that this leads to healthy, sustainable change which fits healthy around your life.
What Do You Eat?
Numerous studies have demonstrated that a diet high fruit, veg, legumes, nuts and seeds can lead to an increase in feelings of wellbeing and a reduction in anxiety and stress. Include beans, fish and olive oil and you’re well on the way to reducing depression as well.
A well-balanced plate is about a half fruit and veg, a quarter quality protein and a quarter whole grain carbs.
Include a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of chopped nuts and seeds or oily fish as your protein to ensure you’re getting a good amount of healthy fats to support your brain and skin health.
How to support mental health via good nutrition in the workplace:
- Regular fruit bowls and filtered water taps ensure that healthy snacks are freely available;
- Vending machines which stock less chocolate and crisps and more healthy choices;
- Work with the chefs and serving team to look at how dishes can sneak more fruit and veg in, gradually changing the ratio to become more veg heavy.
How Do You Move?
Evidence continues to grow suggesting that exercise is not only essential to maintaining good mental health but can actually be used to treat chronic mental issues e.g. we know that exercise can be as effective as anti-depressants in reducing mild to moderate depression and anxiety.
How to include exercise in the workplace:
- Lunchtime classes such as pilates or yoga encourage a focus on deep breathing and body awareness, calming the mind and reducing stress;
- Walking one-to-ones – next time you’re having a one-to-one, could you walk for 30 minutes before heading for a coffee?
- Lunchtime or after work walking or running groups get everyone out in the fresh air, encourage some social time and increase fitness whilst the deeper breathing and ‘greenery’ calm the mind.
Poor sleep can be a big problem in the workplace across all age groups. A recent ‘health audit’ at a local business confirmed that Mon-Fri the average employee scraped by on around six hours sleep – an hour less than the ideal seven to eight hours.
Lack of sleep creates a vicious circle which impacts our mental health leading to increased stress, anxiety and depression, which in turn can lead to night-time worrying and further lack of sleep.
How can you support your team to enjoy better sleep?
Poor sleep and mental health are incredibly complicated and often need specialist support.
However, there are small things you can do to create the framework to better sleep.
Here are a few ideas which have worked elsewhere:
- Knowledge sharing can be incredibly powerful – often, people don’t realise how much sleep they really need, believing they can ‘catch up at the weekend’;
- Encouraging a reduction in late night emails and working, explaining how lack of a sleep can impact your health;
- As an employer – practice what you preach, late night emails can often encourage employees to feel they have to respond. Better still, remove email from your smart phone and encourage your team to do the same.
Please contact us for more help and information:
Check out our website www.flourishfitandwell.com
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