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  • Writer's pictureJoe Arnold

Thriving at home

Many of us have in the past probably dreamed of a week or two off work by surprise; some time to enjoy being with the family, relax or just be at home. But obviously not like this. The timeframe of being/working from home has run past the novelty stage now and we’re all facing lots of new challenges… but also new opportunities!

A challenge that we are all facing currently is that of change. Change can be stressful at the best of times, because we need to adapt our views and routines, which takes time and energy. Ranked in the top stressful life events likely to cause illness are (to name but a few): personal injury or illness, dismissal from work, business readjustment, change in financial state and change in living conditions, (as a blanket phrase we could just say “living during a pandemic”). Try and find one person that hasn’t had at least one of these things happen to them or their family in the last 2 months.

These changes all carry a statistical likelihood for illness; added together the odds are higher. The most pressing issues related to these stressful changes are: chronic pain, obesity, diabetes and depression/anxiety.

Here’s a small seed of hope and empowerment... we cannot change how a situation unrolls in front of us, we can however completely control how we react to said situation/environment. In doing so we can be a huge determinant in the states of our physical and mental health.

The only thing we truly have a choice over when our options are restricted is how we respond to the hand life deals us. Two people in the same scenario with the same issues will inevitably act differently. This shows us that the reaction is a choice. If we allow ourselves to feel chronically stressed and overwhelmed because of the way life presents itself to us, then inevitably we increase our odds of developing illness and illness-inducing behaviours.

On the other hand, we can choose to take stock of our situation, accept it for what it is, and work out how to flow with it, with the greatest possible ease and the least possible resistance. Just like when a river meets a hard rock in its way; it can either throw itself relentlessly against it, or it can meander around it, taking a path of less resistance. Same situation, but with different outcomes!

I’d like to detail here a few easy steps to not only help you survive at home, but to thrive – no matter what the external situation. One thing many people working from home or furloughed currently are blessed with is a little more freedom over their own time. Therefore, the opportunity has arisen to make changes that were not possible before.

Listed are a few things we can all do that will increase our ability to thrive and reduce our likelihood of experiencing the issues mentioned above. These things are (if you’re able):

- Regular exercise

- Fresh food - with an emphasis on anti-inflammatory foods such as, but not limited to: nuts and seeds, fatty cold water fish, dark leafy greens, olive oil, garlic, turmeric and ginger. Whilst also trying to cut down on: sugar, alcohol, white bread and processed foods

- Regular mindfulness and breathing practices

- Reaching out for support from family members or organisations, a problem shared is often a problem halved


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