Our Wellbeing Tips
Wellbeing is important to us at Ernest Hunter Green. We believe that happy, healthy recruiters will do the best job for their clients and candidates so we do everything we can to encourage wellbeing throughout the business. This ranges from our benefits scheme including fully flexible working and unlimited holiday, to our private healthcare provider (Vitality) and all of their partner benefits, our employee assistance program and our virtual fitness club. We actively encourage the team to build a new wellbeing tip into their routine on a monthly basis and below you’ll see some of these. Please feel free to share yours with us also!
Tip #1 SWITCH OFF
This has variations but they all have the same goal, to stop thinking about work or other stresses for a period of time, every single day. This might be listening to an hour of audiobooks while doing the cooking, leaving your phone alone for a few hours after ‘finishing’ work for the day, going for a walk or run or doing 10 minutes of meditation. (My favourite is listening to a podcast in the bath with a non-alcoholic bloody mary – too much sharing??). Detaching yourself from your daily stresses is hugely beneficial for your mental wellbeing. It will help you feel better, sleep better, think clearer, you’ll probably be better company and it’ll mean you are more productive while you are working. An ‘always on’ approach to work or life isn’t as productive or healthy as everyone thinks. It’s not big and it’s not clever.
Tip #2 TAKE CARE
Take care in everything you do. Take care of yourselves and your families by adhering to the government guidelines. Take care of your physical health by staying active and eating well. Take care of your mental health by checking in with yourself and talking to people if you are struggling in any way or finding anything challenging in the current circumstances.
Every single person is struggling with the current circumstances in one way or another, so do not feel that you are alone. We need to support each other as much as possible, life may be suppressive, boring, scary and tough at the moment. But it will get better.
In the words of Euphegenia Doubtfire ‘take care of yourselves and each other!’
Tip #3 FORMING POSITIVE HABITS
There’s a theory that if you were to score individual elements of your life out of 10 and add them all together and the next year you did the same thing and improved by just 1 point then you’d be doing pretty bloody well in the long run. Breaking things down a bit can be really beneficial. So try writing down 5 things that you’d like to improve about yourself. They don’t have to be big things necessarily, it could simply be that you hit the snooze button more than you keep telling yourself you would, or that you haven’t been doing the 15 mins of exercise as a result of it…
Whatever the 5 things are, pick one of them and work on it over the course of this month and by August you’ll probably find a new, positive habit has formed. My dentist told me to floss every day and I don’t, I probably do it every other day. So I’m making a couple of tweaks and I’m going to build it into my routine which should benefit me all-round in the long run.
The little things, when added together, can make a massive difference.
Tip #4 STRETCH
This year I’ve had to have a fair bit of consultation on a knee problem which was ultimately caused by simply not stretching. Since learning this I’ve spoken to several other people who’ve had to have treatment on various limbs or muscle groups all because they weren’t aware of the importance of stretching. So, …stretch! Look up some simple all-round stretching routines on YouTube or through PerkBox’s free advice channels and do it. It can take as little as 5 minutes a day and could save you hours of treatment (which cost, even if it’s only the excess on your healthcare!) which could be spent doing far more productive and enjoyable things! It also makes you feel good, releases toxins in the body and builds strength as well as increasing suppleness (I think that’s a word)!
Tip #5 EXERCISE
Everyone knows how good it is for you to exercise, it doesn’t have to be a run or gym session though, it can simply be walking to the station instead of driving or getting the bus for example. You’d be amazed at the difference it makes with a slight change like that a couple of times a week. I’d urge you all to build a couple of things into your weekly routine that involve more physical exertion than before. Walk to the shops and carry your shopping home, run a mile further than you normally do. Up your weights by 20%. Walk to the station once or twice.
Tip #6 GRATITUDE
People who practice gratitude are said to be happier and healthier so it’s hard to argue against giving it a go. There’s a good summary of it here https://www.happify.com/hd/the-science-behind-gratitude/. It’s a short article so give it a read. I’ve got myself a little notebook and every day I’m going to write down 3 things that I’m grateful for that day. Some days are going to be bad, but getting into the habit of looking for the positives in every day can’t be a bad thing. This article makes the practice of it really simple also https://jamesclear.com/gratitude-habit.
Tip #7 MINDFULNESS
This tip is unashamedly copied from https://mywellbeing.com/ but I am doing so because I absolutely try to do this as often as I possibly can (in reality this means around 4 days a week for me) and I couldn’t really have put it better myself: Set aside 10 minutes to practice mindfulness…
“Mindfulness can help us hear and understand. Mindfulness is proven to lower stress, increase self-awareness, increase body awareness, improve performance, protect against mental illness, increase focus, improve emotional processing, help regulate emotion, increase compassion, decrease feelings of loneliness, improve sleep, and more.
With practices like meditation and mindfulness, consistency is key. Studies show that 10 minutes of mindfulness practice a day will lead to results.
I recommend setting time aside first thing in the morning. This is the time of day you have the most control over. Some people prefer meditating at night, or with a group at a particular time during the week. The time of day matters much less than regular practice.
I meditate first thing in the morning. I set my alarm for 15-20 minutes earlier than I know I need to prepare for the day. I do not check my email or my social accounts. I wake up, turn off my alarm, open Headspace, and meditate for 10 minutes. I then proceed with the rest of my day.
Note: You do not need an app or other materials to meditate. You only need yourself, a relatively comfortable seated position, and a relatively quiet, private space where you will not be externally prompted or disturbed.
You also do not need to be an experienced meditator. Apps like Insight Timer, Calm and Headspace provide guided meditations to ease you into the practice. Written and audio resources and in-person meditation groups may also guide you in the beginning of your practice. Gradually, you will be able to practice independently of guides and tools.”
Who wouldn’t want to lower stress levels and sleep better?
Tip #8 MOVE
No matter what your day looks like you will always have time to be active in some way, whether it’s walking to the shop, running around the block, doing star jumps in your living room… Whatever it is, do something active every day – get off a bus early, walk to the train station, take the stairs, go the long way to wherever you’re going. Movement will keep everything that little bit sharper and you that little bit healthier.
Tip #9 TAKE A LUNCH BREAK
Make sure you take a break for lunch each day and move away from my home office for an hour. I’m on day 5 so far and am finding that I procrastinate less and feel more productive if I have taken this break. Such a simple thing but I’m guilty of grabbing something quick to eat at my desk thinking I will get more work done but actually I don’t think I do and the break seems to give me a boost of energy in the afternoon.
If you don’t take a lunch break, build it into your day! I am going to try and keep this up.