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Maintaining a healthy body and mind during times of challenge

We all know that life can present some challenges from time to time, however big or small they can have a negative impact on our health both physically and emotionally. With the current unprecedented times that we find ourselves, maintaining a healthy body and mind during times of challenge, is more important than ever.

Being closed off from our normal routine of work, school and social interactions brings with it a valuable sense of slowing down, a time in which we find space for introspection and become completely present with the simple tasks in life. However, the flip side of this situation is a rise in mental health issues through restriction on social interactions and exercise opportunities as well as the inevitable anxiety triggered by the global pandemic.

So, what can we do to combat these feelings? What tools can we use to lift the mood and maintain health when life presents such challenges?

Eat yourself happy 

It is very easy to slip into bad habits when we move through tough periods in our lives, the urge to comfort ourselves through quick fixes such as sugar, caffeine and alcohol is never greater. These dietary ‘crutches’ or anti-nutrients serve as momentary pleasures and when their intake increases, we can find ourselves feeling irritable, tired, encouraging feelings of anxiety and low mood. When we experience these emotions after eating it is a clear sign that the brain and the body are not receiving everything they need and they are crying out for nutrient-dense, mood-boosting foods. The following foods have been proven to lift mood and promote an overall sense of wellbeing:

  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Oats
  • Fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut
  • Lentils and other pulses
  • Walnuts and almonds
  • Chia sunflower and flax seeds
  • Leafy greens
  • Avocados
  • Green tea
  • Dark chocolate – the darker the better.

eat light

Rest

These are tough times we find ourselves in, and the impact on our sleep can be huge. Whether you are finding it difficult to drop off or you fall asleep but are wide awake again two hours later, start by creating an environment that’s conducive to promoting a restful night’s sleep.

  • De-clutter your bedroom, create a clear space.
  • Have a relaxing, candle-lit bath before heading to bed
  • Create a calming sleep oil. Mix 100ml of sweet almond oil with 4-5 drops of lavender oil known to aid relaxation along with ylang-ylang oil known to help with anxiety and apply this to your skin after a warm bath 
  • Let your room breathe, open a window
  • Keep lighting low
  • Restrain from late-night scrolling on your device
  • Try a short, evening meditation – need guidance? Find a podcast or use the headspace app.

Find connection 

In these unusual times it can be easy to feel disconnected from loved ones, friends, family…the world! The social circles that we have created and nurtured over time are essential to our overall feeling of wellbeing and in times of crisis we need these people like never before. The current climate can bring about a very real feeling of isolation and it is now that we need to become creative with how we honour those relationships with the people we love. Find connections through digital channels, picking up the phone – plan quizzes and Zoom parties, share recipes and new hobbies, be open and honest about how you are feeling. We need to share and offload like never before, that sense of community and connection has never been stronger.

Learn something new

If you do find yourself with a little more time on our hands rather than falling into the same old routine, try to mix things up a bit and turn your hand to something new. Studies have shown that having a hobby can increase feelings of wellbeing by relieving stress and anxiety and encourage acts of mindfulness. We are lucky enough to have the world at our fingertips with a huge array of online courses rich for the picking. So, whether it be cooking, art therapy or learning another language, there is no time like the present.

Grow something 

You don’t need a garden; it can be as simple as planting a few herb seeds in a plant pot on your window sill. Planting a seed, nurturing it and watching it grow can be a wonderful way of appreciating life and feeling gratitude. Not only do you have something delicious to add to your salad, it can taste so much better when you’ve grown it yourself.

Out with the old

If you find yourself with time on your hands in between the home-schooling and remote work, then there’s nothing like a good, old sort out to lift the spirits and clear the mind. When your house is cluttered your mind can feel like that too so take some time to clear, organise, clean and where possible ditch/recycle those things you no longer need.

Digital detox

Easier said than done when it is the only way we can stay connected with work, with school, with friends and family. And yes, social media has never been such a positive vehicle for maintaining those valuable connections and reuniting with friends you haven’t spoken to in years, but once you have done what you need to do make a conscious effort to leave the phone and laptop in the next room and give yourself a good few hours of downtime especially before heading off to bed. If you’re a late-night or first thing scroller, make sure you keep the phone out of your bedroom.

Journal

Journaling is the practice of keeping a diary or journal that explores thoughts or feelings around your life. It is a proven effective tool for stress management through a means of self-exploration. The theory is that you express and place structure around your anxious feelings which reduces stress and the physical impact that stress has on your body. Expressive writing is also a route to healing, emotionally, physically and psychologically, by translating our experiences into language we remove emotional blockages, which on a physical level has been proven to lift mood and improve immune function.   

Keep moving (and be still)

Sounds simple but it is so important in maintaining that overall feeling of wellbeing. It doesn’t have to be high-intensity exercise unless that is what you feel you need. But increasingly I’m finding the need to go slowly in this area, especially in times of adversity. That need to go easy on myself is really strong right now. A gentle yoga practice works wonders at shifting stagnant energy and lifting mood. It can be as simple as rolling out your mat and listening to your breath, finding a comfortable seated position and taking a 5-10 meditation, engaging in a short physical (asana) practice or doing all three. Need guidance on an online practice that could work for you speak to Nicole @wanderingwarrioryoga

 

Twist and flow yoga

Be kind to yourself

So, you might not be doing that online fitness class and the kids may be watching too much TV, whatever pressure you are putting yourself under in this current situation try to dissolve those negative thoughts and focus on how well you are doing in the face of adversity. Think about how quickly you’re adapting. You’re more resilient than you think. So, give yourself time. If you’re not getting all the hours of sleep you need at night, or if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, then take some time for yourself. Slow down throughout the day, allow yourself a moment or two to pause as well as a moment of appreciation of how well you have coped so far. Stop and do something for you, that you know will make you feel good, that will enable you to restore balance and promote that feeling of self-worth.

When you are experiencing low mood and a lack of energy it can be difficult to find joy.

Feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed can be all-consuming in times such as these, but there is a comfort in knowing that you are not alone, we are in this situation together. Run that candlelit bath, pick up the phone to a friend or roll out that yoga mat, it only takes a series of small steps to tap into that feeling of happiness.

 

Nicole is an experienced yoga teacher, mother and eternal student, passionate about living life to its fullest in the most holistic way. This is her second blog for Sleek Events, to read her first blog click here.

 

Check her out at @wanderingwarrioryoga or www.wanderingwarrior.co.uk

How to choose an event agency who specialises in your sector

If you Google “Event Agency London” it comes up with over 10 pages of recommendations and 7 paid ads, just on the first page! If this has you feeling overwhelmed and asking yourself ‘how do I pick the right one?’ – we suggest a good place to start is with an event agency that specialises in your sector. 

Do your research 

Most agencies will have 3-5 sectors that they specialise in, this could include corporate events, exhibitions or luxury incentive trips – just to name a few.

You will generally be able to find this information on most event agency websites, where they will provide a detailed description of services they provide. Before you start diving deep into more about the company, make sure they offer the service you are looking for. 

Then, have a look to see if they offer pictures of previous events on their website or social media. Do they have awards that they have won or client testimonials? Picking an events agency with proven success and results will always benefit you. 

Create a pitch opportunity 

This may be one of the most important parts of selecting the right agency. You need to pick an agency that understands what you are wanting to achieve and the best way to ensure this is by inviting agencies to pitch! 

Provide a brief of what you want to achieve out of the event and invite them to create a pitch. It is also helpful to ask for case studies to see detailed examples of previous work the agency has completed. 

A pitch can be as simple as inviting them into your office with a presentation or even having them submit a presentation. 

The agency should be prepared, having conducted their own research and be able to demonstrate a wider understanding of your event, the business brand and the industry in which you operate. 

It is also important that you get a sense of company culture and assess if this aligns with your own.

Compare 

Through conducting your research and inviting event agencies to pitch, you should now have an idea if the agencies understand your requirements and if you think that they can achieve it successfully. 

So, what comes next?  

Compare cost between agencies and remember, simply because one is this cheaper, this does not mean they are the best option! 

Have a look at what each agency is offering in-depth and take into consideration who has the most understanding of your objectives and business brand.

Using an event agency that doesn’t specialise in your event type can often mean a lack of experience and understanding into the requirements that go into planning the event, a limited understanding about what budget it can take to put on the event, and missing the true objective or target audience of your event.

Be sure to take your time to do your research, create a pitch opportunity and compare to see who you think can provide the best service for your business!

Have you looked at what services Sleek Events specialise in? Take a look under our Cloud & Technology Events or Corporate Events pages and be sure to follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date on what our #EventProfs are working on! 

If you have any questions on how to choose an event agency that specialises in your sector, contact us here.