Having recently read that research from Cambridge University suggests that keeping your mind healthy only requires one day of paid work, per week. It is thought that eight hours is the most effective dose to give the mental health benefits of paid employment.
The study unveils that the potential risk of mental health problems is reduced by 30% when people move from unemployment or stay-at-home parenting into paid work of eight hours or less per week.
Whereas, in contrast to the above, a nationwide study of young British employees has revealed that the average 18-35-year-old works five hours a day but 86% still feel stressed. 14% of young people have had time off work because of pressures and 12% have seen their GP about stress or anxiety.
There are many contributing factors we face daily that can be causes of stress. Living in a fast-paced world, we can often get caught up and only when slowing down, we overthink and begin to worry about cash flow, housing, careers, parenthood – all putting a strain on our health conditions.
Our behaviour can also be affected as a result of stress with not only people taking time off work or even no longer being able to work, but it has been known that we eat excessively with an unhealthy diet, increase our drinking intake, take up / increase how much we smoke, and lack sleep – all of which can have a long-term effect on our mind and body, increasing stress levels. It’s so important to notice these changes and start to work on managing your stress.
I look at my life as a wheel: nutrition, sleep, physical, managing stress, and meaning & purpose. If just one element is out, the wheel cannot turn effectively which could be the case if for example your diet or sleep suffer due to stress.
After learning that mental health conditions affect approximately one in four people and the Mental Health Foundation’s 2018 study found that in the past year 74% of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope – together with my wellbeing team, we have carefully considered ways to make small changes to our lives to help boost morale:
• Getting sufficient sleep and practising a healthy sleep pattern – a room that isn’t too hot or cold, a comfortable bed, a regular sleep and wake time, not using screens in the hour before sleep
• Eating a balanced diet to ensure you are benefiting from all food groups and getting all the nutrition you need
• Unplug from devices from time to time
• Stay hydrated
• Sing along to your favourite tunes when you can – singing has been proven to lower stress!
• Take time to plan ahead or reflect on your day
• Ensure you exercise which can be a long dog walk, or a 60-mile cycle, whatever works best for you personally
• You can also get some exercise in whilst you work – take the stairs instead of the lift, walk to a toilet further away from your desk than you would normally visit, do some stretches and/or lunges whilst waiting for the printer or kettle to boil
We are so passionate about nurturing and inspiring people with our real-life experiences, that we have put it in to play and run corporate wellbeing programmes that deliver results tailored specifically to your organisation and its goals. We thrive to find a solution that fits and improves employee wellbeing and retention rates, creating a happier workforce – it’s a fact, happier people work better!
Whether your organisation knows nothing about health and wellbeing, has a programme that no one knows about or is interested in, or you have a programme and want more from it, we can help! Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your company’s future.