Karen Oldham-Waring, Director, Sunflower Training & Consultancy talks to business Cornwall and health and well-being

Well-being noun

‘The state of being comfortable, healthy and/or happy.’

If you consider that we all have 24 hours to fill and include some vital areas such as sleep, work and personal life, it can seem like a very crowded period of time.

So, let’s break it down and start with sleep. It’s essential to get good solid sleep as it’s our bodies most natural and effective medicine. But knowing your ‘sleep chronotype’ (internal clock) is essential to knowing how to get the best from yourself. To find out what kind of sleep rhythm you have and when to get the most productivity out of your day, visit https://www.healthline.com/health/chronotype#about and see if you need to adjust your daily schedule to accommodate this.

What about wellbeing during our work time…? It’s in everyone’s interest to be productive at work – regardless of where you perform those duties. When we are ‘stressed’ or in a state of ‘distress’ it’s harder to focus, produce, perform as opposed to feeling under manageable pressure, which can leave us feeling challenged but effective, rewarded through achievement and having fulfilled a purpose.

The same applies to our home life and having the energy and inclination to do something purposeful and/or meaningful between work and bedtime, so we’re not stuck in a rut of being too exhausted, throwing on our PJ’s and waiting for bedtime via fast food and wine!

Very often, when things get tough and time feels tight, we ignore the things we need the most; activities that make us feel good, happy, smile, laugh, give us purpose. If this is you then start to prioritise your wellbeing and see it as ‘essential maintenance’ rather than a ‘would-be-nice’ part of your day or week.

Revisit the things you love to do, build them back into your week. Protect that time, just as you would with other important tasks. It’s allowed!

Tips for working from home:

  • Punctuate the end of your workday with something, just like you would with your homeward journey. We need that space to end one part and start another, preferable with some change of air and environment.
  • Encourage regular manager/colleague facetime so you still feel in the loop and part of the bigger picture.
  • Seek out connection with other people and catch up on their lives too. A different view is always good for perspective.
  • Structure your day and use the knowledge of your work/productive rhythm to program in the best times to work or have online meetings.
  • Try to stick to normal eating patterns, avoid snacking.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep rehydrated and focused.
  • Exercise when you can; use the stairs, jump jack on the spot, stretches and deep breaths.