So you’ve had a busy holiday break and are now dreading going back to your nine to five routine? We’ve got the tips to have you stepping back into the office feeling refreshed and ready to take on the year ahead.
The festive season is often a whirlwind of parties, cocktails, non-stop feasting and late nights so it’s only natural that finding yourself sitting back at your desk at work post-holiday can often leave you feeling less than enthralled about having to tackle the year ahead. Armed with the right techniques however, you’ll be ready make this year your most productive and healthiest yet – and here are the best places to start.
Get your diet in order
Yes, the Christmas eating plan of inhaling turkey and ham may have been a great idea on December 25th but copious amounts of energy it definitely won’t give. One of the best ways to get yourself energised is to ensure your diet is in order. Revamp your diet to incorporate plenty of lean meat, fatty fish, wholegrains and loads of fruits and vegetables to ensure you’re firing on all cylinders (and hey the increase in brain power may even help you fly through that spreadsheet you’ve been putting off).
Breathe in, breathe out
Being back at work can often lead to increased levels of stress which in turn can release higher levels of cortisol and adrenaline into the body and leave you feeling anxious. To help combat this, try taking a few relaxing deep breaths during the day by inhaling slowly for three counts and exhaling slowly for three counts to bring on a feeling of calm. However to get the most benefit from this it’s important to ensure that you’re breathing effectively by using your diaphragm (this is the muscle under your rib cage that you use when you sing or laugh) when you breathe.
“The majority of people do not breathe correctly, utilising only the upper parts of the chest to take in breath,” says Spa Manager at The Mansion Hotel & Spa Kathryn Jones. “Not only does the correct breathing technique lower your blood pressure and heart rate it also has a positive impact on the nervous system by slowing everything down and allowing [the body and mind] to relax.”
Get plenty of sleep
The rejuvenating effect of sleep should not be underestimated. To avoid crashing at your keyboard and relying on way too many lattes throughout the day, get plenty of rest (the recommended amount of sleep is eight hours). To ensure it’s quality sleep be sure to remove electronic distractions from the room – staring at the blue light on your phone or iPad late at night due to a bedtime browsing session on Facebook or Instagram can affect your sleep patterns.
If you are having trouble getting to sleep Kathryn suggests “beginning a relaxing ritual before bed to gently ease yourself into a meditative state.” Try a warm bath using essentials oils such as rose and mandarin (Kathryn recommends the Mansion’s Waterlily aromatic bath oil) to help calm your body and mind and applying a body serum with extracts of lavender and chamomile to help you drift off to sleep.
Get your omm on
Numerous studies show the health benefits of a regular meditation routine on the mind and body. Meditating can help centre you and is a handy technique to use when you’re dealing with a frantic day at work and need to refine your focus. Meditation does however take some practice. “Meditating is really a state of total calm. You are not doing and you are not thinking of doing. Begin by aiming to do a couple of minutes and see if you can build it up to a longer time,” advises Kathryn.
Working at your optimum level means you also need to give yourself plenty of down time to recharge your batteries. And what better way to do that than a massage? “The soothing effects of touch on the nervous system are amazing. You know that feeling of wellbeing you get after you’ve had an amazing treatment? That’s all the goodness that comes from the calming of your nervous system,” says Kathryn. It’s important to target certain tired or stressed areas of the body, so why not consider the Mansion’s tension relief massage which focuses on the tight spots around the neck, shoulders and scalp. Or why not ease the stress of a busy week by booking yourself in for a relaxology foot massage that will have you feeling relaxed in no time.
Whilst returning to work after a having time off can often bring on a serious case of the blues, incorporating a few key lifestyle tweaks into your regular routine can help combat this and leave you both physically and mentally ready to take on a busy year.