World events may be having an impact on you and those around you. You may find the following wellbeing support helpful to you, your family, or your colleagues:
Wellbeing support for you
It’s good to talk about money – but it can be hard, too
For many people, thinking about money worries can have a huge impact on their emotional and physical wellbeing. But there is help out there.
Maintain a regular sleep pattern
Most of us recognise the importance of sleep, yet it’s often a struggle to prioritise it. We know we need to sleep well to help our bodies recover from the day and to allow healing to take place, but with increasingly busy lives it's estimated that we now sleep around 90 minutes less each night than we did in the 1920s. Good sleep doesn’t just mean lots of sleep - it means the right kind of sleep. Sleep affects our ability to use language, sustain attention, understand what we are reading, and summarise what we are hearing. If we compromise on our sleep, we compromise on our performance, our mood, and our interpersonal relationships. Lack of sleep can make us feel physically unwell as well as stressed and anxious, and scientists also believe that it contributes to heart disease, premature ageing and road accident deaths.
Quality of sleep
There are four main factors that affect the quality of your sleep:
A sleep guide is available from the Mental Health Foundation, which you may find useful:
Top tips from the sleep doctor
Professor Colin Espie, a leading authority on sleep at the University of Oxford, offers his five top tips for a great night’s sleep:
Don’t get caught napping!
This usually does more harm than good as it makes it more difficult to sleep at night. If you can and you feel tired during the day, get up and take a walk around, get some fresh air, or do something challenging, like a crossword or a Sudoku.
If you’re not tired, get up
If you’re finding it difficult to get to sleep, don’t just lie there worrying. Get up for a few minutes and get a drink (no sugar or caffeine!) and go back to bed when you’re feeling a bit sleepier.
Set yourself a ‘get fit’ plan
Eating healthily and getting regular exercise are great ways of helping yourself sleep better. However, plan your meals and exercise to avoid exercising or eating a big meal after mid-evening: doing either of these too close to your bedtime can stop you from sleeping.
Don’t stress it!
Thinking about sleep too much or trying to force yourself to sleep will only keep you awake. Learning how to relax both your body and mind instead will help you to get to sleep much more easily.
Keep a sleep diary
The amount of noise, light, and distractions, what and when you eat, and the temperature of your bedroom can affect how well you sleep. Keeping a sleep diary to make a note of what the conditions were when you went to bed the night before can be useful for letting you look back and see what has and what hasn’t worked for you. It also helps you to see how your sleep varies from night to night and might help you note patterns in your sleeping.
Source: Mental Health Foundation
Here are 4 of the highest rated apps on iPhone and android to help enhance your sleep:
Sleep Bot: Includes a night-timer motion tracker, sound recorder to track nightly disturbances and alarm that wakes you up at the best time during light sleep
Twilight: Blue light from a screen before bedtime can affect the quality of your sleep. This app automatically covers your screen with a warm red filter once dusk falls
Noisli: Improve your focus and concentration — and get a better night’s sleep. Custom mix sounds to drown out external noise so you can work and sleep better
Sleep cycle Alarm Clock: Analyses your sleeping patterns to ensure you’re waking at the optimal time for the phase of sleep you’re in. Easy to personalise and includes a motion detector, heart rate monitor and white noise.
Small changes make a big difference
Small actions make a big difference day to day to how you feel at work, and for the long term. Use the following questionnaire to review where and how you could make small changes to boost your everyday wellbeing.
These podcasts were recorded during lockdown. The points that are discussed are relevant for life today, so you may still find them useful and interesting.
Riding the emotions
Ruth Cooper-Dickson from Champs, the global mental wealth consultancy, talks us though how we can deal with the collective trauma and ambiguity anxiety that we may be experiencing.