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Embracing Wellbeing – Taking Care of Yourself and Others During the Festive Season

Discover the key to embracing wellbeing during a festive season. From getting vaccinated and making mindful dietary choices to staying physically active and nurturing social connections, this brief blog post put together by our Medical Directors from Europe and the Middle East offers valuable tips for prioritising your health and caring for others.

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As we approach the end of the year, we often find ourselves reflecting on the year gone by and contemplating ways to improve the year ahead. In 2023, the world has achieved a significant milestone by putting an end to the pandemic. While COVID-19 still lingers, becoming part of everyday life similar to the common flu, it remains crucial to prioritise our health and the wellbeing of those around us.

With flu season already underway, it's time to consider getting vaccinated if you have not already. Do not hesitate to reach out to us if you are looking for a vaccination programme for your workplace.

The Festive Season is a time for warmth and delicious food. However, it is important to be mindful of our health, as overindulgence can have negative consequences. Obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer are lifestyle-related ailments that can be influenced by our dietary choices. While enjoying the festivities, it is wise to be conscious of what and how much we consume. Even among traditional foods, we can opt for healthier options, savour our meals, and practice portion control.

In the grand scheme of things, it is the cumulative excesses that truly matter, making it a personal priority. Thus, we should remember that our habits between the beginning and the end of a year are far more significant than those during the festive season.

To counteract the extra calories, staying physically active every day is a great way to counteract the excess, and provide a bit of balance. Regular exercise offers numerous health benefits, including improved fitness, strength, mood, sleep, and immune function. Find an activity you enjoy, whether it's hiking, riding a bike or any other form of movement. Consider inviting family or friends to join, making it both social and enjoyable.

Social connections play a vital role in our mental and physical wellbeing, reducing stress, loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Any Festive Season is an ideal time to be with loved ones, to show care and gratitude. Having someone to talk to, laugh with, share experiences, and lean on enriches our lives and gives meaning. Take the time to engage in enjoyable activities with others, such as playing games, watching movies, singing, cooking, or simply relaxing and conversing. Find what brings you joy and fellowship.

In our current era, social media is increasingly dominating our social interactions. Whether it's checking news, watching videos, or blogging about daily meals, we spend a significant amount of time on our phones and social media platforms. Research indicates that we dedicate around 3 to 4 hours per day to our phones, with approximately 2.5 hours spent on social media. That adds up to 864 hours or 36 days per year – slightly over a month solely on social media. Additionally, many of us spend substantial portions of our workday in front of screens. While not advocating against social media, it is worth pausing and reflecting on how these developments impact our lives. We should consider what truly matters, how we want to spend our time, and what brings us genuine fulfillment.

A few more wellbeing tips to consider:

  • Reflect on the past year: As we approach the end of the year, it's useful to reflect on the challenges we faced, the lessons we learned, and the personal growth we experienced. Building resilience and adaptability is essential in navigating difficult times.
  • Prioritise your mental health: Practicing mindfulness, seek support from loved ones, or consider therapy if needed. It is okay to ask for help and prioritise self-care
  • Rest and relax: In the midst of holiday preparations and obligations, it's crucial to prioritise rest and relaxation. To enhance your overall wellbeing and help you to cope with stress it is important to get enough sleep, take breaks, and engage in activities that bring you joy and rejuvenation.
  • Practice gratitude and giving back: Express gratitude for the blessings in your lives and find ways to give back to your colleagues, loved ones and communities during the holiday season. This could involve volunteering and supporting people or communities around you. Acts of kindness not only benefit others but also bring you a sense of fulfillment and purpose.
  • Embrace change and uncertainty: The world around us is constantly evolving, and it is essential to embrace change and uncertainty. Cultivate resilience, flexibility, and a positive mindset as you navigate the challenges that lie ahead. By adapting to change, you can discover new opportunities for growth and personal development.