It might be difficult to believe that the last balmy days of summer are behind us and the prospect is to descend into the gloom of the long winter nights.
It’s really hard to motivate ourselves when we have been used to the lazier pace of summer. Even if we have been at our desks by and large so many colleagues have been away that it makes getting any serious work done difficult. But suddenly everyone is back, the party is over and the great email machine in the sky has been turned back on. If you have just returned from that relaxing, sun filled, perfect summer vibe and feel the blues overwhelming you – remember you are not alone. Same office, same commute and same unfulfilled promises to get writing the novel. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we carried some holiday habits back into our working lives so it feels like a holiday every day.
1. On holiday we make time for breakfast! Bring the breakfast home and make time everyday. Numerous studies show the benefit of waking up to a good breakfast – eating the right breakfast balances the blood sugar (energy through out the day) and can help maintain a healthy weight. Try eggs and rye toast, good smoked salmon, cottage cheese (or my personal favourite Ewes Cheese – yes I know, I am a nutritionist!) Proper porridge with nuts and seeds.
2. You’ve been a free agent for last few weeks and now it’s difficult to get on that same old train without feeling that your life is going no-where. Try and break up the routine – it has been shown that doing something different is good for the brain and improves brain function. Varying your routine keeps your hippocampus (part of the brain most responsible for memory) – try a different route home, or try a different breakfast or walk part of the way home just to shake things up a bit.
3. Sleep – We tend to indulge in more sleep on holiday which feels wonderfully restorative. Because we work long hours and have too much to do we squeeze time by getting less sleep. In the US its been reported that people getting a dangerous deficient of sleep (5 hours and under) went from 3 percent in 1942 to 14 percent in 2013. We might think we are super human but our bodies disagree (lack of sleep is thought to play a part in all kinds of degenerative disease). Plan your work as far as you can, leave work at a reasonable hour, build in some hobby time/you time back at home (date night once a week?) and get to bed by 10.00 pm winding down to read, have a bath and relax before sleep. If you wake up in the night and you notice that your brain is still “ranting” about a problem that happened earlier in the day, chances are you haven’t let it go.. so make sure you have proper wind down before turning in.
4. Cooking – Of course during the holidays we have acres of time to magic up some recipes from scratch and now ambling through those French market stalls sniffing the cheeses and squeezing the fruit and bartering the bolshy market trader seem a distant memory – But can we take a part of that home with us? The trick once again is in the planning.
5. Sunshine – make sure you take the sunshine home with you by maintaining your Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D works as a steroid hormone and is thought to influence genetic expression and can help you to have a healthy immune system. Vitamin D may also help you deal with stress too Up to 50% of the population may be Vitamin D deficient.
“Sleep woman” by Aweisenfels – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons