This time of year is remarkable for many reasons. By virtue of the public holidays many of us are forced to slow down, to pause. Taking a break offers invaluable returns like creativity, problem solving and refocus.

“Idleness is not a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body and deprived of it we suffer mental affliction. It is paradoxically, necessary for getting any work done.” Time Kreider

Instead of solely relying of annual holidays for our break we can interject these in our workday. Science shows us how taking regular breaks at work helps us to be more productive. The human brain isn’t built for focussing extensively – brief interruptions help keep us on track and even retain information.

Schedule regular breaks into your work day. Move, stretch, re-energise

It could be that time off has offered you space for reflection. It may even be that you look back with cynicism and disappointment. Consider this – negative attitudes are bad for you. Adopting and “attitude of gratitude” and learning-from-mistakes mind-set makes you happier and healthier.

“If you’ve forgotten the language of gratitude, you’ll never be on speaking terms with happiness.” Credited to C Strait

Research shows how gratitude has an impact on physical and psychological health. It dilutes toxic emotions like envy and resentment; it enhances empathy and even contributes to a good night’s sleep.

Write down what you are grateful for in your daily journal or share with a friend.

It is highly likely that this time of year means revisiting goals. Setting goals or milestones can be a constructive practice.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Research shows how Dopamine, the chemical released when you experience reward, is reliant upon achievement. When Dopamine is released you are intrinsically motivated to repeat the occurrence. Accomplishing goals rewards your brain having a physiological and psychological effect.

Set some milestones – be prepared to revisit these and adjust them as circumstances change.

Message from Work Wise Wellness:

We are feeling suitably re-energised and ready for 2018. I’d like to express thanks to my connections, colleagues, associates and clients for your support and encouragement over the last year – it is very much appreciated.

Looking forward, we will continue to pursue our goal of promoting Wellbeing in the Workplace and in the Community with highlighted emphasis around Mental Health.

Wishing you a Healthy and Happy New Year

Leigh McKay