Tag: work-life balance

How Physical Exercise Can Benefit Mental Health

How Physical Exercise Can Benefit Mental Health

There are countless reasons why physical exercise is good for your body, ranging from having a healthy heart to improving your bones and joints. Still, the positive effects regular exercise has on mental health are often overlooked.

Physical activity is beneficial for your overall well-being and mental health, and it can have a profoundly positive impact on anxiety, depression, and ADHD. Exercise has lots of other benefits, including relieving stress, helping you sleep better, improving memory, and boosting your overall mood.

The good news is that you don’t need to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits of exercise on your mental health. Research indicates that even modest amounts of exercise can make a real difference.

Yoga in the evening

How does exercise impact mental health?

Many people find that physical activity helps them boost their mood and maintain positive mental health. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to train every day at the gym or run a marathon.

There are lots of ways to get moving and feel better, but it’s often difficult for people with anxiety and depression to be physically active, especially when feeling unwell.

While exercise may seem like an impossible challenge when you’re feeling unwell, it’s important not to be very hard on yourself. Take baby steps to find out what works for you and figure out a routine that works for you.

Exercise has been proven to alleviate many of the symptoms related to depression, including tension, fatigue, anger, and low energy feelings. People who experience other anxiety-related conditions such as PTSD or panic disorder can use physical activity as a way to reduce feelings of worry and release built-up tension.

How does exercise help with your overall well-being?

Physical exercise has been proven to help enhance the well-being of people who struggle with their mental health and of those who are already mentally healthy.

Here are the most important reasons regular physical exercise can be good for your overall well-being:

  1. Boost your self-esteem: Regular exercise that becomes a habit can make you feel strong and powerful and foster your sense of self-worth. When you exercise regularly, you’ll feel a sense of achievement while also feeling better about your appearance. 
  2. More energy: By increasing your heart rate at least a couple of times a week, you’ll feel more energized overall. If you find it difficult to get motivated, start with just a few minutes of exercise a day and increase your workout as you feel better.
  3. Sharper thinking and improved memory: The endorphins released through exercise make you feel better overall, but they also stimulate you mentally and help you concentrate. Moreover, physical activity also stimulates the growth of new brain cells. 
  4. Improved sleep: Even a bit of exercise in the morning or afternoon can help you regulate sleep patterns. Relaxing exercises such as yoga or stretching are good options if you prefer to exercise at night. 
  5. Stronger resilience: Exercise can help you cope in a healthy way when faced with mental challenges in life. It’s a much better choice than resorting to negative behaviors such as alcohol or drugs, which ultimately make your symptoms worse. 
Running exercises can benefit mental health

What types of exercise benefit mental health?

The Department of Health recommends that adults be active every day and complete a minimum of 2.5 hours of physical activity every week. The good news is that there are lots of ways to get active and boost your mental health.

Here are the types of exercise that could have a positive impact on your mental health:

  • Running or walking — outdoor exercise can be particularly beneficial for people with depression and anxiety. The clarity and expansion you feel after a jogging session (also referred to as the “runner’s high” is highly motivational for many people. 
  • Yoga — Yoga has lots of benefits for your physical and mental health, including lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, reducing depression and anxiety, and increasing overall feelings of well-being. You can opt for a gentle or more challenging type of yoga, but most forms involve a mix of physical poses, controlled breathing, and periods of meditation.
  • Tai Chi — a form of ancient Chinese martial art, Tai Chi blends rhythmic breathing and meditation with body movement and poses. Some of the benefits of Tai Chi include lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, improving the mood, increasing self-esteem, and reducing anxiety. 
  • Pilates — even though Pilates focuses on core strength and back health, it has multiple mental health benefits that are often overlooked. Pilates is, in fact, ideal for stress reduction and relaxation. 
  • Spin classes — Modern spin studios make fitness fun thanks to their bespoke playlist, strobe lightning, and choreographed routines. Many people like to burn off anxiety via pedaling, and spin classes are a great way to leave your worries behind. 
  • Resistance training — Bodyweight exercises and lifting weights can have a positive impact not only on how you look but also on how you feel. Resistance training is not just about building muscle but also about building self-esteem. Research has shown that even low-intensity resistance training can lower anxiety and improve your mood.

Even a bit of physical exercise is better than nothing. If you don’t have the time or energy to go to a class or complete a 30-minute run, it’s ok. Try to start with 5 to 10-minute sessions and then slowly increase your workout time. The more you exercise, the more energy you’ll have, so you’ll soon feel like you’re ready for more.

If you’re not attracted by any form of exercise, in particular, keep experimenting until you find one that works for you. Make exercise a fun part of your everyday life, and you’ll be able to reap all the benefits physical activity has for your mental health.

3 tips to improve work-life balance when working from home

3 tips to improve work-life balance when working from home

There’s no arguing that when your work-life balance is out of whack, your stress levels soar. After all, it can be difficult to feel any sense of control when you’re overworking and neglecting your personal life, and vice versa.

Before COVID-19, it was simple enough to separate your work self from your personal self. You had an office to go to where you could work hard, and the moment you walked through your front door, you could easily turn work off and turn your personal self on.

But with many businesses forced into remote work, the boundaries have blurred, and working from home can cause many mental health concerns like severe anxiety, depression and stress.

Here’s how you can improve your work-life balance while you’re stuck working from home.

1. Turn off your technology

Technology has been a blessing in disguise. Without it, this time of quarantine would have been even harder, and we wouldn’t have had the luxury of connecting with our friends, families or our quiz group over the internet.

But when it comes to work time, it’s important to turn off your electronics and get your focus on. According to a study by HR Daily Advisor, more than 60 percent of people go less than 10 minutes between checking their email and messages during the work day. Even worse, HR Daily Advisor found that people who use Slack—a popular team chat tool meant to reduce e-mail use—actually switched to communication tools more often.

Notifications, social media and unlimited access to the news are bad for your health. This constant distraction is also making you unproductive. If you want to feel fulfilled in your work (and finish at 5pm without that nagging feeling in your brain), turn your electronics off and face your work head on. You’ll thank yourself for it later.

2. Leave your work at work

It can be easy to bring work home with you when your home is your work. In fact, it’s easy to never let work leave your brain when your office it at the foot of your bed.

To truly balance out your work life and your personal life, then, it’s important to set the right boundaries and leave work at home. This means reducing your access to your emails after working hours; it means saying no to last-minute tasks and setting good boundaries with your employers, explaining that you’ll ‘do it in the morning tomorrow’; and sure enough, it means spending uninterrupted quality time with your family, and not lashing out at them because your colleague failed to complete their report on time.

3. Care for yourself

What good are you at work if you fail to take care of yourself? Chances are, if you aren’t eating well, sleeping enough or exercising often, you’re failing to be a productive contributor to the business.

To work well, then, you must first care for yourself. The beauty of remote working is that you can pick and choose your own hours, too. If you’re feeling sluggish in the mid-afternoon and you’re wasting your time, for example, try turning work off and instead going for a long run. When you return to work later, you’ll feel more content, refreshed and focused.

Know when enough is enough

For many – especially the C-Suite executives who are the main drivers of business growth – it can be tough to completely turn work off. Oftentimes, work will seep into your personal life, and you’ll have to address urgent matters outside of regular office hours.

Where the problem starts, though, is when this is a common occurrence and your colleagues begin to expect your attention at all hours. It’s vital to the success of your work-life balance to set strict boundaries with your team and stick to them. Only then can you completely begin to segregate work from real life and find a happy balance.

If you’re struggling to maintain a healthy relationship with work and you’re feeling stressed to a point that it is negatively impacting your life, Tikvah Lake can help. We offer a specialized 10-day executive treatment program that helps high-level executives reset their relationship with work. We guide you through the building blocks to better work-life boundaries, and we help you identify key workplace stressors, teaching you the tools needed to mitigate and alleviate stress.

To find out more about how we can help, contact our admissions team today.

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