Workplace stress leads to overeating

Here is some information that will be very useful to anyone who is on, or looking to start, an improved food diet with the intention of losing weight. Obviously the biggest cause of being overweight is overeating – consuming more calories than you are burning off.  But did you know the biggest cause of over-eating is workplace stress! This information featured in an article from the Men’s Health magazine and was passed by Adam Mead, a dietician at Kingston Hospital in Surrey.

Why is this? The main reason is that carbohydrates have a grounding effect on us, so if you have recently being binging on bread, pasta or potatoes then there is a good chance you are feeling the effects of excessive stress levels. An indication that things are not right is if you are binging on such foods for more than two weeks. Such behaviour not only causes you to put on weight, it also puts you at risk of significant health problems if not addressed.

So, if you looking to lose weight then you should also consider managing your stress levels.  By keeping your stress in check then you will stand a better chance of controlling your hunger pangs.

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

30.03.2020

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

30.03.2020

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

30.03.2020

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

5 Reasons to get your Staff Healthy

Employers are now beginning to see that there is a link between work-related stress and a variety of physical and mental disorders. This is despite of the difficulty in proving this due to the fact that the majority of disorders that occur as a result of stress can also have alternative causes. The effects of work-related stress on ill-health can be found in physiological, cognitive, emotional and behavioural ways. Because of this many employers are now beginning to take both the mental and the physical wellness of their employees more seriously. Listed below are 5 quite obvious benefits this can have on your company.

1. It will save you money. Did you know absenteeism through illness costs British business £14bn a year? And with the average British worker taking nine days’ sick leave annually, its no wonder the costs are so crippling. Smaller businesses in particular are feeling the sting due to crucial members being away from their post. Forward-looking companies are trying to deal with sickness before it becomes a problem by looking for ways in which they can improve employees’ health and morale. Initiatives in this area might focus on taking up exercise, eating more healthily, tackling mental health issues and raising awareness of the effects of alcohol, tobacco and drugs.

2. It helps an ageing workforce. A particular consideration for a growing number of businesses is the ageing workforce. The number of people aged over 60 is forecast to increase by the end of the decade and, with the abolition of the fixed retirement age, growing numbers of people are choosing to continue working into their sixties and beyond. A combination of higher life expectancy and inadequate savings means that this trend is set to continue. Whereas this can be great for the business to maintain a stable and experienced workforce it can also present challenges to employers, one of the most significant being the health problems that accompany ageing. A wellness strategy incorporating an annual health screening could play an important role in minimising these.

3. It will boost productivity. It is well established that a healthy workforce is also a productive one. British researchers have demonstrated that employees who exercise regularly perform better at work, manage their time better and are mentally sharper and creative. Encouraging staff to use cycle-to work schemes that allow people to buy a bike tax-free for commuting, or organising on-site fitness activities such as yoga or Pilates can pay dividends for the worker and company alike. Simple initiatives such as encouraging staff to take regular screen breaks, walk around the office and go outside for their lunch hour can help reduce tiredness and stress.

4. It makes staff feel valued/loyal. Health and wellness schemes can make a significant contribution to a company’s morale, by making staff feel valued and appreciated. This in turn can lead to a reduction in absenteeism and staff turnover. According to research carried out by Investors in People, employees who feel their company does not care about their health and well-being are significantly more likely to look for a new job. Initiatives could include setting up an arrangement with a local gym through which staff can use the facilities at lower cost or running activities such as weight loss groups or company sports activities.

5. It makes for a more effective workforce. Research from the University of Bristol found that employees who exercised regularly were generally happier, felt better about themselves and were more forgiving of their colleagues, creating a better atmosphere in the workplace. Nutrition too can make a significant contribution to a happy and motivated workplace, with healthy eating boosting energy, well-being and long-term health. Furthermore, according to a study in the journal Population Health Management, workers who eat unhealthily are highly likely to be much less productive in the workplace. Simple measures such as displaying information on healthy eating in dining areas, liaising with catering staff and organising talks by nutritionists and dieticians can make a significant difference.

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

30.03.2020

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

30.03.2020

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

30.03.2020

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

The Importance of Sleep in building Resilience

One in three Britons suffer greatly from inadequate sleep. With things such as; stress, phones/IT and taking work home being the most common contributing factors.

However, the cost of all those sleepless nights is more than just bad moods and a lack of focus – I’m not talking about the potential pile of online shopping bills that mount up either! Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions including obesity, heart disease and diabetes – Which can potentially shorten your life expectancy. People take sleep for granted but in reality a good solid night’s sleep is essential for a long and healthy life.

Most of us need around 8 hours of good quality sleep a night to function properly – but some need more and some less. What matters is that you find out how much sleep you need and then try to achieve it. In order to do this, make it a general rule that if you wake up tired and snappy and find yourself wanting to swap the keyboard for a pillow by lunch time, its time to listen to your body and give it what it needs even if that means missing your favourite nighttime programme.

Take a moment to step back and really think about your lifestyle. Answer this question honestly – do you check your smartphone for messages before you even get out of bed?? If so this means we are starting this whirlwind that is life from the second we open our eyes. We put on the radio or television to be given the news as it happens and when it happens, we check our emails constantly throughout the day; we sit at our computers and/or watch television late into the evening. It barely stops, with all these things around us it is no wonder we find it difficult to switch off and wind down, and so it is clear to see why many of us are having trouble sleeping.

Here are some simple tips you can do in order to help you wind down before tucking in:

  • Having a warm (not hot) bath can help your body reach a temperature that is ideal for rest.
  • Reading a book or listening to music instead of watching the television or trawling through pages of social media will help to relax your mind by distracting it.
  • Make your bedroom a relaxing place. The bedroom needs to be dark, quiet, tidy, smell fresh and be kept at a temperature of between 18c and 24c. Have a lamp with a low watt bulb at the side of the bed for reading.
  • Do not go to bed too hungry or too full. Try to eat something light before bed to keep the pangs of hunger at bay until morning.
  • What you drink before bed is also an important factor. Try not to drink anything with high amounts of caffeine; so if you normally enjoy a warm drink before bed, try a Horlicks or a hot chocolate rather than a coffee or a tea. However try not to drink just before turning in as this could lead to disrupted sleep due to waking in the night to empty your bladder.
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. Regular physical activity can help you sleep better. Be careful though, timing is everything when it comes to exercise – too close to bedtime and it could make you too energised to fall asleep.
  • Consider healthy ways to manage stress. Start with something as simple as getting yourself organised, set your priorities and delegate tasks that can be delegated. Don’t forget that you need to take a break too so go out for a walk or share a coffee with a friend. Before you shut your eyes for the night make a list of all the things that are on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow – doing this physically will put it out of your mind so that you are ready for sleep.

When it comes to changing your lifestyle in order to enhance your wellbeing we understand that sleep is one of the most difficult things to tackle as some people will quite rightly say you can’t force yourself to sleep. However if you take on board the above tips, which are just common sense things to do you will give yourself the best possible chance of getting a good night sleep. We wish you sweet dreams Zzz…

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

30.03.2020

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

30.03.2020

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

30.03.2020

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga. It helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, we are able to manage them better.

The focus on mindfulness in business has grown exponentially as organisations recognise that rapid changes in technology, the marketplace and the global playing field have caused chaos and uncertainty. These realities create stressful conditions for the people within the organisations and thus calls for a change.

Practising mindfulness can give people more insight into their emotions, boost their attention and concentration and improve relationships. It’s proven to help with stress, anxiety, depression and addictive behaviours, and can even have a positive effect on physical problems like hypertension, heart disease and chronic pain.

How you can be mindful

Reminding yourself to take notice of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you is the first step to mindfulness.

As we go about our daily lives we can almost sometimes go into an ‘autopilot’ mode which causes us to block out all kinds of things that are going off around us, everyday things like the food we have, the sound of the birds singing or even just the feel of the breeze moving around us. Taking the time to notice these seemly small observations can have a huge impact and knock us out of autopilot and give us a new perspective on life.

It can be helpful to pick a time – the morning journey to work or a walk at lunchtime – during which you decide to be aware of the sensations created by the world around you. Trying new things, such as sitting in a different seat in meetings or going somewhere new for lunch, can also help you notice the world in a new way.

Also, take notice of all the different things that goes off in your mind. Take a step back and watch them go round in your head, imagine they’re like leaves swirling round on the ground when it’s windy. There is no need to try to change the thoughts, or argue with them, or judge them: just observe. This takes practice. It’s about putting the mind in a different mode, in which we see each thought as simply another mental event and not an objective reality that has control over us.

You can practise this anywhere, but it can be especially helpful to take a mindful approach if you realise that, for several minutes, you have been “trapped” in reliving past problems or “pre-living” future worries.

As well as practising mindfulness in daily life, it can be helpful to set aside time for a more formal mindfulness practice.

There are several practices that can help create a new awareness of body sensations, thoughts and feelings. The most commonly known are:

  • Meditation – where participants sit silently and pay attention to the sensations of breathing or other regions of the body, bringing the attention back whenever the mind wanders.
  • Yoga – where participants often move through a series of postures that stretch and flex the body, with emphasis on awareness of the breath.
  • Tai-chi – where participants perform a series of slow movements, with emphasis on awareness of breathing.
A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

30.03.2020

A Dose of Calm: A Note from our Director

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

30.03.2020

When the unexpected happens ………. How to maintain positive Mental Health during challenging times

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working

30.03.2020

Remote Reassurance: Caring for your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing During Self-isolation and Remote Working