It’s the middle of winter. You wouldn’t be alone if you’re feeling tired, unmotivated and frankly, a little cold.
We want to share with you a few handy self-care techniques our team will be practicing over the next eight weeks to keep our positivity and productivity levels sky-high!
HEALTH AND FITNESS
Winter is notorious cold and flu season. And while it’s tempting to stay in bed for prolonged periods and avoid any form of activity that forces you into the great outdoors, it’s important to take care of your physical health.
That’s why Little Dreamers’ eight week challenge kicked off at the beginning of July with a team training session. Each week, we’ll be getting our bodies moving and in shape with a post-work workout, including boxing, circuits and plenty of squats!
Exercise and healthy eating are both great immune boosters. And the long-term health benefits associated with just thirty minutes of exercise per day are immeasurable:
- Regular exercise minimises your risk of serious health conditions such as stroke, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
- Exercise increases the production of a chemical called norepinephrine, which helps to moderate the brain’s response to stress. As a result, regular exercise can reduce stress levels and increase the brain’s capacity to manage stressful situations.
- Physical activity can also do wonders for your mood. Ok, maybe not when you’re mid-way through a workout and praying for it to be over, but the post-exercise endorphin rush is an incredible mood booster. Physical activity is a common method of alleviating symptoms of depression according to the Black Dog Institute, due to its ability to increase energy, improve sleep and boost self confidence.
- Ever felt more motivated after a workout? That’s because exercise allows you to refocus and creates a mood shift that commonly increases productivity. Next time you’re feeling distracted or tired in the middle of the day, try something as simple as a half an hour walk. It’s likely you’ll return recharged and ready to refocus your energy on the tasks ahead.
Intentions are an excellent way of creating structure and clarity about your day. They also pull us back to the present – no more wishing the hours/days/weeks away! For the next eight weeks, we’re focusing on being grateful for the current moment and being the best selves that we can be, every single day. That’s why each morning, we’re setting one intention for our day – be it personal or professional.
This may include:
- I will exercise for at least 30 minutes.
- I will reach out to a friend I haven’t seen/spoken to for a while.
- I will spend my lunch break outside rather than on my phone.
- I will read a book for 30 minutes.
- I will walk to my destination instead of driving.
- I will meditate for 15 minutes.
- While goals and intentions go hand in hand, goals are generally future-oriented. Having sole focus on the long-term means we can sometimes miss out on what’s right in front of us. And there’s no fun in that!
Meditation has a whole lot of health benefits that many of us don’t even realise.
- Regular meditation benefits memory, attention span and self-control by literally growing the volume and thickness of your brain.
- While exercise is a great way to reduce stress, you can also try meditation. A short meditation session reduces the body’s production of cortisol, alleviating pent-up feelings of anxiety and nervousness and flooding your body with enhanced stability and calmness. Meditating also teaches your body how to regulate that ‘flight or fight’ response that tends to induce anxiety, making you more resilient in the face of challenges.
- Looking for an immune system booster? Reduced stress equals a better functioning immune system, therefore creating better overall physical and mental wellbeing.
- When we meditate, we stimulate a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. This is otherwise known as the ‘learning centre’ of the brain, increasing your brain’s learning capacity and brain power.
Working with the 1 Giant Mind app, Little Dreamers HQ is challenging ourselves to learn and regularly practice meditation over the coming eight weeks.
While some of us have been sceptical, we can all agree on the positive impact it has on our levels of concentration and clarity – which is especially priceless on a Monday morning!
We’ve also brought a taste of meditation to our School Holiday Programs this month. Last Wednesday, our Young Carers spent an hour learning about mindfulness and meditation and winding down with some great meditation techniques!