Feel better in 5
Big changes start with simple steps. Try these ideas to help improve your wellbeing
Learn to enjoy spare time, away from a screen
Similarly to magnesium levels, people with diabetes may have a lower level of zinc due to the amount excreted in urine when experiencing high BGLs. But what’s so important about zinc?
Well, it is often referred to as the humble achiever – it’s a vital mineral required by every cell and organ to conduct functions such as immunity, brain function, growth, senses and wound healing. As zinc is found in a wide range of foods – especially high-protein foods such as red meat, dairy, oysters, seeds and nuts – people assume they get enough. However, deficiency is possible. Those at risk include women who are pregnant or lactating, and those people with gastrointestinal, kidney and liver diseases. Before you take supplements, though, discuss it with your healthcare team to determine if you are receiving enough zinc naturally.
ARE YOU BORED?
In a world so switched on it has become increasingly hard to switch off, it seems that any time we are bored we tend to switch to another platform, movie, game or app. Psychology lecturer Sandi
Mann argues in her book The Upside of
Downtime: Why Boredom is Good that the more we shy away from boredom and use digital devices as a distraction, the more stimulation we crave. And a study published in the journal Academy
of Management Discoveries concluded boredom has the ability to spark individual productivity and creativity. But it’s not just that. Rather, a little downtime – and embracing boredom – is a positive (in)action that encourages you to:
• be curious
• develop grit
• use your imagination (hello daydreaming!)
• pursue new goals
• develop problem-solving skills
• build confidence (through taking risks in trying new things)
• improve mental health (learning to discover your own thoughts, rather than being driven by the thoughts of others)
So, next time you go to fill the void with technology, why not embrace boredom like an old friend and see where it takes you.
CONNECT WITH YOUR TRIBE
As 2020 continues to throw curveballs, it is important to connect with your friends and family. While some are stranded in another city or country, and others are unable to visit those in isolation, technology has been a blessing. Whether you join a virtual game of bingo with friends or videochat with family, staying connected is vital – especially to those who are experiencing heightened levels of stress, anxiety and insecurity, and who feel as if they are lacking control over their life.
One of the biggest fears among experts is the unknown long-term effect the pandemic and isolation has had on the mental health of all age groups. Make it known among your close circle that you are available to listen or help those who are struggling where you can; or, if you are struggling, reach out to your tribe. Make it a habit to catch up weekly, whether in person (following government restrictions in your region) or virtually. If you’re finding things are difficult, help is available. Visit ruok.org.au. ➤
The Japanese art form of kintsugi repairs cracked pottery by filling in fissures with gold-dusted lacquer. This showcases the beauty of the pot, rather than hiding its damage and flaws. This is a perfect example of wabi-sabi – the Japanese philosophy of embracing a perfectly imperfect life. And, by integrating this into your own life, you can encourage yourself to accept your flaws, accept that life is unpredictable and make the most of the life you have. When you pursue perfection, it often increases stress and anxiety and can cause depression in trying to reach for something that isn’t always possible. Today, it’s more common than ever for individuals to aim for a level of perfection so they can boast about it to the world. But, rather than caving in to this, find a way to remind yourself about wabi-sabi, slow down and celebrate the way things are.
Did you know hunching makes you more tired than sitting or standing up straight! Although it takes a lot of strength to hold a perfect posture 24/7, the benefits of good posture outweigh those of slouching. Researchers from
Saudi Arabia found healthy lung muscles are unable to fully expand as you inhale if you are slouching, compared with when you’re maintaining good posture. When you are in proper alignment, circulation and digestion are also improved as organs aren’t working double time being in a position they’re not intended to be in. Further, correct posture also reduces back pain and tension headaches, and helps to improve your core and upper back muscles by being active and engaged to hold the position.