The pandemic has been an anxiety-inducing time, so you may have experienced more stress than usual. Many people have reported their highest levels of stress while facing fear, uncertainty, job insecurity, and grief. The prolonged stress has taken an unprecedented toll on our mental health, which can also affect our physical health.

 

When we are feeling stressed, our bodies produce stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, that trigger our “fight or flight” response. This causes our heart rates and blood pressure to increase as our body prepares to protect us in an emergency. Long-term activation of the stress system overexposes us to stress hormones and disrupts our body’s processes.

 

The excessive hormones remain in our bloodstream for extended durations, even when we don’t require them anymore. You may have felt the effects of stress as a headache, heartburn, rapid breathing, pounding heart, and / or stomachache. These physical symptoms are our bodies response to the changes, which in turn, causes other internal changes and an imbalance in our hormones.

 

What is a hormonal imbalance?

A hormonal imbalance occurs when our bodies produce either too little or too much of a particular hormone. Hormone levels naturally fluctuate as we grow and pass different life stages; however, an imbalance in our hormones, especially for a prolonged time, can have negative effects on our overall health.

 

Symptoms of a hormonal imbalance include:

Experiencing one or more of these symptoms can be an indication, but it does not guarantee that you have a hormonal imbalance. Please make an appointment with a doctor for a diagnostic test.

 

Other than stress and anxiety, there are numerous other causes of a hormonal imbalance, such as:

 

To reduce stress and anxiety, try:

Most of us are very routine-oriented and those routines are always planned around the 24-hour clock, where we have separated our time for rest, play, sustenance, and work. But as menstruating persons, there are days that we struggle to find the necessary energy or motivation to get on with our routines, especially around the days before we start our period or while we are menstruating.

 

We often forget to keep track of what is going on inside our bodies, and at times, get overwhelmed by what we are expected to do and our actual capacity to fulfil such tasks. What if we told you that there was a healthier way to adjust our lifestyles and optimise our productivity?

 

A study has revealed that hormone fluctuations play a key role in how a menstruating person’s body responds to the changes that are taking place within the 28-day hormonal cycle. According to the study, the changes in the hormone flow affects the physiological, neurological and psychological development and function; impacting the thought process, eating habits, emotional status, energy levels and more.

 

What is Cycle Syncing?

In recent years, cycle synching has become a buzzword and the hashtag returns a considerable amount of content across social media platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram, sharing tips on the how’s, what’s and why’s.

 

Alisa Vitti, who is a Functional Nutritionist (HHC, AADP), hormonal expert and the founder of Flo Living, popularised her now trademarked term Cycle Syncing after taking into consideration her years of study, and her personal experience in understanding the female reproductive-system and wanting to assist.

 

According to Vitti, the 28-day hormonal cycle has four phases, and based on which phase of the cycle a person is, they should adjust their lifestyle (i.e. food intake, physical activity and work schedules) to improve productivity, as well as their overall physical and mental well-being.

 

Cycle syncing can also benefit groups that have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), struggle with weight fluctuation, looking to improve fertility, and improve their libido.

 

The Infradian Rhythm 

For persons who menstruate, it is quite beneficial to take note of their infradian rhythm, which takes place through four phases during their 28-day hormonal cycle. The infradian rhythm affects a person’s mood, health, as well as energy levels as it cycles through the four phases; that is follicular, ovulatory, luteal and menstrual.

 

It is important to understand how your hormone levels fluctuate, and the changes that are taking place within these four phases, so you can adjust your lifestyle around it.

 

Phase 1: Follicular Phase

 

Phase 2: Ovulatory Phase

 

Phase 3: Luteal Phase

 

Phase 4: Menstrual Phase

 

Period-Tracking Apps

My Flo – A period-tracking app that helps you to achieve hormonal balance; recommending what foods, exercises and activities are best suited for each phase of your cycle. It also keeps track of any symptoms and provides necessary food-based tips to resolve them.

 

Clue – An app that uses gender-neutral language to help you track your cycle and health. The app predicts your period, PMS, fertile window, and provides additional information on birth control, cramps, emotions, skin, hair, sleep, sex, pain, moods, cervical fluid, and more.

Ever catch a whiff of a clean invigorating scent when you’re out and about, one that instantly captures your attention? You then realise it is coming from someone’s hand sanitiser? It then finds a place on your must-have list! That’s totally the case with Canvas Goods and their irresistible range of sweet and heavenly smelling hand sanitisers.

 

If you are inclined towards nice smelling products, which are kind to your skin and to the Earth, it’s time to ditch the shelf-standard industrial-smelling sanitisers laden with harsh chemicals and often dizzying alcohol smell. Opt instead for Canvas Goods’ nifty and super affordable sanitisers that leave your skin feeling baby soft without sticky residue!

 

Canvas Goods’ Pocket Mist Hand Sanitizer not only stands out for its unique range of scents that are vegan and cruelty-free, but also for its sleek and compact product design that makes it super chic-looking to carry around and spritz. Those with sensitive skin will be pleased to know that the dermatologically-tested formula is packed with good-for-you ingredients and extracts that will leave your hands feeling wonderfully clean, soft, and smooth. 

 

Shop the new range 

 

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Earthy and citrus scent lovers will instantly feel refreshed and at one with nature with Forest Citrus – an orange and grapefruit cocktail scent layered with notes of flint, and with a rich body of woodsy base notes of oak moss and Benzoin. 

 

 

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For those who gravitate towards floral fragrances, Florescence offers a symphony of lush floral notes comprising of water jasmine, green mandarin, and ginger lily, that works in perfect harmony with its middle notes of vanilla and salt, balanced with base notes of cashmere wood, ambergris as well as sandalwood that gives off a Moroccan Summer-esque feel.

 

 

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Luminiscent offers a perfectly balanced ambrosial fragrance profile with its top notes of pear and melon, softened by freesia and rose, and sharpened with base notes of musk, patchouli, rhubarb and amber. 

 

Whether you’re gifting these pocket mist cleansers to a friend or switching out your current ones for something new, these do the job of eliminating harmful germs and bacteria all while lifting your mood with its invigorating scents. Happy with your purchase? The environmentally friendly silicone bottles are refillable, in keeping with the company’s commitment to be sustainable and environmentally friendly. 

 

Shop Canvas Goods’ online store here!

 

@wildgingermyCanvas Goods has got the funky goods! They sell sleek reusable bottles & refills of scented sanitizers ♻️♬ SUNNY DAY – Matteo Rossanese

As we prepare to return to normalcy, you may find yourself focusing on the changes that your body might have gone through over the lockdown period. Most of us would be experiencing increased levels of anxiety due to staying indoors and feeling very anxious about our body image.

 

Just know that you are not alone in feeling so – a recent survey conducted in the UK on body image uncovered the scale of the problem. It reported that 61% of adults and 66% of children feel negative or very negative about their body image most of the time, and the figures were higher for specific groups including women (62%), people with disabilities and transgender people (57%). This means that the lockdown has worsened existing body image anxieties and inspired new insecurities in such groups.

 

Rather than focusing on your insecurities and pushing yourself to achieve unrealistic post-lockdown body expectations, here are some body acceptance practices you can adopt instead:

 

Even after we return to normalcy, we should continue to work on loving and accepting our body regardless of the season or the occasion. Some days may be harder than others, but the real body goal is to promote and maintain a positive body image. If you still struggle with how you feel about your body, please seek professional help.

Some stress and anxiety is normal, especially during a global pandemic. But for someone with a pre-existing anxiety disorder, the uncertainty of the coronavirus and the future has been more difficult to cope with. I went for counselling, but I also had physical tension, which was my body’s reaction to the stress. My facial muscles were tight from clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth overtime, so when I heard about acupuncture being able to release tension and reduce stress, I was like, “sign me up!”.

 

What Is Acupuncture? 

Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that involves inserting thin needles (very thin!) into specific points in the body. These nerve-rich areas are targeted to help stimulate muscles, tissues and organs. According to traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture brings the body’s flow of energy, known as “qi”, back to balance. When a person’s qi is imbalanced and blocked, it is said to cause illness and poor health.

 

The Session

I made an appointment at TMF Academy, which is The Mind Faculty’s affordable therapy arm, and went with an open mind. The session started with the acupuncturist, C.M.D.R Joanne Wong, examining my body in terms of Chinese medicine and ensuring that the session will treat the source of my symptoms. 

 

She took my pulse by hand and as I focused on my breathing, I was surprised by how much she was able to tell about me from my diet to my menstrual cycle. She then had a look at my tongue and eyes, and took my blood pressure with a digital monitor. After getting a clearer picture of my physical and mental health, it was time to get poked!

 

The session targeted four areas: my stomach, lower legs, forehead and the top of my head. I started to get nervous as the first acupoint on my stomach was being sanitized. My pain tolerance has varied, so I couldn’t help but to hold my breath as the needle penetrated my skin. Guess what: it didn’t hurt! I was relieved as three more needles were inserted into my tummy, until it was time to add the mild electrical pulses. To my surprise, that didn’t hurt either – it produced a slight tingling sensation and a heater was added to provide warmth.

 

I felt very relaxed by the end of it. My mind was at ease for the first time in (what felt like) years! This newfound sense of peace was so strong, it had me purchasing a 10-session package that filled my weekly routine with acupuncture. Not to mention, I had an amazing sleep right after.

 

Who Should Try It?

As TMF Academy is a mental health clinic, their acupuncturist works closely with the mental health practitioners to support those with:

They also do acupuncture for beauty and wellbeing, which includes improving complexions and sleep.

 

How Can It Help?

Clinical studies have shown that acupuncture:

 

How To Prepare For A Session

If you are undergoing any treatments or are on any medications, please discuss acupuncture with your doctor first. If it isn’t a risk to your health and you’re ready to try it, look for a licensed acupuncture practitioner – you can make an appointment with TMF Academy here. Schedule your appointment on a day that isn’t stressful, so you can rest after the session. Before the session: make sure to eat an appropriate amount, avoid caffeine and wear loose-fitting clothing.

 

Our bodies and minds may seem separate, but our mental health and physical health go hand in hand. Poor physical health can cause mental health problems, and poor mental health can develop into physical symptoms. Please take care of your overall wellbeing, especially during these stressful times!

 

@wildgingermyTW: Needles • Did you know that acupuncture can help alleviate depression & reduce anxiety? We tested it out at The Mind Faculty! ##mentalhealth

♬ FEEL THE GROOVE – Queens Road, Fabian Graetz

You might have heard about it from your health-conscious yoga instructor or seen your in-the-know Instagram friend swear by its benefits. But if you are still clueless to what kombucha really is, for the love of gut, you’re about to get a Kombucha 101 crash course!

At its simplest level, kombucha, or the “booch” as some like to call it, is fermented tea. It is typically made by brewing together tea, sugar, liquid from a previous batch and a colony of live bacteria and yeast known as SCOBY, essentially short for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.

This beverage, with the perfect balance of tang and tart, has managed to gain a cult following over the years as it’s known to be a great source of probiotics – but most of all, it just tastes really good! The probiotics found in kombucha can improve gut health and aid digestion.

Now, if that pitch got your attention and you would like to taste the benefits of the booch for yourself, we’ve put together a list of some homegrown Malaysian kombuchas below:

  1. WonderBrew Kombucha

 

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Sourced from local farmers and the first Halal-certified kombucha in Malaysia, WonderBrew Kombucha is produced in small batches to preserve its quality and freshness. The company also encourages sustainability by upcycling its SCOBY into vegan leather, as well as running recycling programmes for its customers. Their popular blends include Markisa Breeze, a concoction of passion fruit with a hint of mint, and Lite Green, for those who prefer lite tea with a smoother and floral after-taste.

 

  1. Belly Good Kombucha

 

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Founded by two good friends in 2017, Belly Good Kombucha is brewed and bottled right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Made using premium tea biscuits sourced from their various tea plantations in Yunnan Province, China, Belly Good’s kombuchas are guaranteed to give you an optimally balanced brew with the right amount of crisp and refreshing flavour. Their current flavour combinations include First Love (lychee and pu-er tea), Piña Colada (pineapple, coconut and green tea), Lululemonade (lemon, ginger and green tea) and Golden Goddess (ginger, lemongrass, turmeric and pu-er tea).

 

  1. Wild Kombucha

 

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Wild Kombucha is the brainchild of Jason Tan who recognised what a simple, fizzy booch could do for his health and skin. The Malaysian artisanal kombucha brand handcrafts its brews in small batches using natural ingredients, such as real fruits, to make every sip pleasantly fragrant and delightfully healing. With 12 flavours to choose from – some of which include The Apple Aid, Lavender Lemonade, Tropical Mango and Sencha Pear, there’s something for every taste bud. If you’re feeling bold, you can also go wild with their Cultured Coffee kombucha, a refreshing fermented coffee that helps promote good digestion.

 

  1. ChaCha Kombucha

 

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Founded by plant-based chef, Matthieu Morisset and fitness trainer, Ishaq Vadillo, ChaCha Kombucha is made with 100% natural ingredients for guilt-free drinking pleasure. Brewed in a microbrewery in Damansara Perdana, ChaCha’s kombuchas are expected to pack a fruity and fizzy kick to help make healthy living enjoyable. Customers can enjoy a range of flavours such as Love Bucha (raspberry), Green Bucha (apple, carrot, spinach, celery and cucumber) and Buzz Bucha (vanilla).

 

  1. Zenboocha

 

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Fairly new in the market, this homemade kombucha brand was created with the purpose to make Malaysians feel good both on the inside and the outside. Zenboocha carefully selects its natural ingredients to produce unapologetically flavourful and annoyingly guilt-free brews. All four flavours from Ginger Honey to Passion Potion has refreshing flavours packed with antioxidants that are great for your gut.

 

We don’t know about you, but you can never go wrong with a fizzy bevvy that’s also rich in probiotics, especially on more scorching days. We’ll drink to that!

Malaysia’s largest prescription pharmacy chain, Alpro Pharmacy has recently launched its e-pharmacy service to allow the public to seek doctor’s or pharmacists’ consultation and purchase prescribed medications online.

Rapidly adapting its service to help the community in dealing with the unprecedented demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alpro has been active in the online environment; delivering essential counselling, sharing valuable medical information and supplying medicines to patients and local communities through the official e-commerce platform, Alpro One Click (alprooneclick.com), backed by a dedicated team of professionals comprising doctors, pharmacists, nutritionists and dietitians.

“As the first and only community pharmacy that has successfully obtained RM1,000,000 Product Liability Insurance for all medications in the country, our mission drives us to always put the betterment of the community first before anything. Following the recent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases reported in the country, we felt the e-pharmacy would make it easier for the public to consult a doctor, get a prescription and buy their medications by staying at home instead,” said Ph.Lee Yin Chen, Alpro’s Director of Branding, Promotion and Trade Marketing.

Alpro has been actively serving the community through the various phases of Movement Control Order (MCO) since last year and the pharmacy chain has specifically been introducing new services to continue supporting those who need medical attention or help.

“During MCO 1.0 last year, we came to understand that there were many who were avoiding a visit to the doctor when they were unwell due to financial constraints and concerns over visiting a clinic.

“This was why we launched the Minute Consult service, an alternative for the public to seek medical consultation and treatment in our pharmacies. This was a hugely successful initiative as the public only needed to pay an all-inclusive amount of less than RM20 for consultation, treatment and medication. Over 400,000 patients have benefitted from the Minute Consult service in the past one year,” Lee said.

Under its community-driven approach in serving the country, the Malaysia Book of Records recently recognised Alpro for becoming the community pharmacy with the most prescriptions dispensed in a year in Malaysia – dispensing over 185,000 prescriptions in a year.

Speaking of the recognition and the company’s prolonged commitment towards social empowerment, Yin Chen mentioned that the pharmacy chain takes great pride in being able to add value to the community through its products, services and offerings.

“We hope to continue leveraging on our wide online reach and network of over 140 outlets nationwide to drive a positive impact in the society. Our e-pharmacy can be accessed via our website or the public can also call 019-7021923 / 019-6129006.”

“The indefinite nature of the pandemic has meant that we now have to work overtime to stay engaged with the public, be it through public awareness sharing on social media or via live chats on Facebook Messenger to answer medical-related queries,” said Lee.

Organon (NYSE: OGN) has launched as the only global company of its size focused on women’s health through a holistic lens. Organon in Malaysia will be led by Bilal Somra with a total of 36 employees focusing on the scaled portfolio of contraceptive, fertility, cardiovascular and other trusted legacy brands.

“We are thrilled to embark on this journey in multicultural Malaysia which is home to 15.9 million women from diverse backgrounds and walks of life. Because we believe in a better and healthier every day for every woman, our aim is to be a close partner to women in Malaysia by taking into account her varied needs. Even as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen women rise to the occasion and put on the many hats she wears simultaneously – this is no easy feat and we want to do all that we can to support her and her health,” said Bilal Somra.

Women play an important role towards a healthier nation and world. And Organon is poised to support her journey to improve her health and well-being, through medicines and tailored solutions across a range of areas.

“With the rise in issues such as unwanted pregnancies, lack of understanding about the need for family planning, amidst high prevalence rates of obesity, high cholesterol, and hypertension affecting women in Malaysia, it is fitting to introduce Organon to help address these areas and provide women with an opportunity to be in control of her health,” Somra added.

Yesterday, the Organon executive leadership team rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to mark the first day of active trading. Recognizing the need to listen to and act on women’s experiences to address the challenges in women’s health, Organon gathered voices from around the world to create the “Wall of Voices,” a multimedia installation outside of the NYSE sharing powerful perspectives, voices and images.

“Women are equal partners in our community and our country – as mothers, daughters, sisters, but also as professionals, entrepreneurs and employees. Support them, and build a stronger healthier community and country,” said Professor Datin Paduka Dr Teo Soo Hwang, Chief Scientific Officer of Cancer Research Malaysia.

“Women are like diamonds – strong, resilient, beautiful and precious. We believe that all women around the world and in our beloved country, Malaysia must be given the utmost respect and necessary support in making sure they stay healthy physically and emotionally so that they can keep their family and the country in good health. We need to empower women to take charge of their health so that they realize the ‘me’ is just as important as the ‘you’,” said Professor Dr Jamiyah Hassan, Visiting Lecturer and Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).

Women everywhere are invited to take the “microphone” to add their voice to the digital “Wall of Voices” at HereForHerHealth.com. These initiatives are aligned with Organon’s Her Day which marks the beginning of the brand’s commitment towards the mission of bettering women’s health for every woman, every day.

 

Women at the Center: Organon’s Approach to Innovation

Organon’s R&D philosophy is to build a business around patient needs, with the goal of identifying and advancing healthcare options for women that enable them to live their best lives every day.

“For too long, for too many common conditions, such as heavy, painful, and irregular menstrual bleeding, incontinence and menopause and many others, women have been told to accept and normalize these conditions as a part of life,” said Sandy Milligan, Head of Organon Research & Development. “Organon’s mission is to change this. We believe this approach will be very successful — the ability to identify diseases earlier, the ability to modify the course of diseases or healthcare conditions and to ultimately, improve the quality of life for women at all stages.”

The company’s extensive global capabilities in clinical development and patient safety, regulatory and medical affairs make it well-positioned to identify promising drugs, diagnostics and devices with the greatest potential to impact women’s health.

 

Learn more about Organon here.

Remote work has created new mental health challenges for employees: isolation, increased workloads, impromptu meetings. Even before the pandemic, it was reported that 35% of workers feel less attractive on video calls than in real life and 59% feel more self-conscious. This saw a boom in bookings for dentistry, but now, during a time of financial insecurity, not all of these procedures are accessible to the general public – especially in terms of affordability and convenience. 

 

Introducing Zenyum – A dental startup founded in 2018 that’s on a mission to make smile transformation easy by bridging the gap between Malaysians and their dazzling smiles. Founder, Julian Artopé, had discovered that most people between the ages of 18 and 35 have dental conditions that could be easily treated but are often overlooked due to complicated processes, lack of access and high price points. A national survey confirmed that demographic and socio-economic inequalities actually deter Malaysians from prioritising their oral health, with only 13.2% of Malaysians seeking help for their oral health conditions due to low household income. 

 

Affordable

Zenyum’s invisible braces are known to be 70% cheaper than other clear braces. The high-quality brand is able to offer an affordable product by combining a fast-growing network of dental partners with the power of technology to reduce the number of clinic visits. Customers have their progress monitored closely and remotely through Zenyum’s free mobile application. 

 

Convenient

Zenyum’s app has proved useful during movement restrictions with the treatment monitoring feature giving consumers the freedom with their time. Although they may only need to see the dentist up to three times, it is still the most crucial step to starting the treatment. The first in-clinic consultation involves a 3D intraoral scan, X-rays and physical assessments to safely customize the treatment. Customers will be able to start their journey after the second appointment, which includes a fitting session with the dentist to make sure that the aligner fits. Everything else in between, including receiving help and professional advice, can be done through the app.

Zenyum also offers a free online pre-assessment to find out if you are suitable for their treatments. Simply answer a few questions about yourself, your teeth goals and most importantly, submit hi-resolution teeth photos for a panel of orthodontists and dentists to determine if they’re able to help you achieve your dream smile. This saves individuals who don’t qualify for the treatment time and money from going to the clinic.

 

Clear Braces

Invisible braces may seem unfamiliar compared to traditional methods that have been around for decades, but they work quite similar to metal braces – both medical devices put consistent pressure on your teeth to move them to the desired position over time. Clear aligners are a more attractive option because they don’t clutter your teeth, can be removed at any time, and are more comfortable than metal braces.

Another plus point of Zenyum’s invisible braces is the 3D imaging of the treatment because it allows customers to see the expected end results. Metal braces don’t offer this, so you won’t know what the final outcome looks like until going through the whole treatment. Having the 3D imaging also gives consumers more autonomy in designing their dream smile – they can suggest changes to the 3D treatment plan, until they are satisfied with it, before making payment.

 

Other Products

Zenyum has expanded to the ZenyumSonic toothbrush, so customers can expect toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash and more products to come. The award-winning ZenyumSonic is an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer that infuses the expertise of top dentists, including the recommended time, with advanced sonic technology to turn brushing routines into an enjoyable ritual.

 

Studies have also shown a strong correlation between our oral health and our daily happiness – oral care has a direct effect on our gut health, so the more healthy microbiomes you have (by keeping bad bacteria at bay with good brushing and flossing habits), the more joy you’ll experience in a day and overall in life!

Working from home has burned us out by blurring the boundaries between our work and personal life. We may be working from the comfort of our homes, saving time and money on dressing professionally, commuting and eating out, but many of us have found ourselves busier and more exhausted than ever. With work hours being stretched further, and adding to the stress of the pandemic, it can cause physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism towards one’s job, and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment. According to WHO, these are the three main dimensions of occupational burnout.

 

What’s the difference between being exhausted and being burned out? 

When you’re burned out, you’re either mentally, physically and / or emotionally exhausted. This inescapable fatigue may be accompanied by a range of mental and physical health symptoms, such as a weakened immune system, concentration difficulty and irritability. Other common signs of burnout are a loss of passion, a pessimistic mindset, and detachment from work, relationships and / or oneself.

 

It’s hard to stay passionate when you’re burned out. Although passion is energy, that boost comes from enthusiasm or excitement, which can be difficult to achieve when you’re feeling unmotivated and uninspired. To refuel your physical energy, start by getting better sleep and setting rest goals, as well as nourishing your body with the food and physical activities that make you feel good. When it comes to your mental energy, here’s how you can recover from burnout and reignite your passion:

 

Figure Out Your Current Situation

Sit down and have an honest conversation with yourself. By acknowledging your present situation, you’ll be able to understand your feelings more clearly and address the problem of burnout better. Start tracking your mood to see what energises or drains you – this will help you identify the activities that you should limit and avoid.

 

Find Your Fuel

After tracking your mood, focus on the activities that energise you. It could be baking and decorating desserts, getting some fresh air by painting outdoors, or even playing thrilling video games – we all have our own ways of refuelling our energy, make sure it’s what works best for you. If you have been feeling depleted because of a lack of boundaries, start by setting healthy boundaries at work that will give you time to unplug and connect with your loved ones. Do whatever you need to do to replenish your energy and recover from burnout.

Quick question: do you start your morning intentionally? As in, do you actively choose the mood you want to maintain throughout the day? Don’t judge yourself for your (honest) answer – instead, understand that every day is different which is why cultivating a morning routine can help set the tone, regardless of external circumstances.

 

In order to feel nourished, your day-to-day habits need to be nourishing. Just think about it: bad habits will consistently reaffirm behaviour, thoughts, and emotions that may not serve you physically, mentally, emotionally, and / or spiritually. Thus, carefully curating your day-to-day habits is imperative for maintaining balance in every aspect; which in turn, keeps you happy!

 

Here are some time-based ideas to add into your morning routine, inclusive of a yogic perspective:

 

If You Have 0 to 5 Minutes

If you’re chronically stressed then know that taking deep breaths actually helps. It’s been proven to help anxiety and depression – probably because diaphragmatic breathing lowers your blood pressure and heart rate. Even if you’re not chronically stressed, connecting to your breath will help you to remain in a calm state.

Yogic Twist: Practice Nadi Shodhana to balance the brain hemispheres and to improve concentration.

 

If You Have 5 to 10 Minutes

The amount of research that can verify the benefits of gratitude is growing daily. In short, practicing gratitude improves not only your mental health but also your physical health. You can practice gratitude by mentally or physically listing what you’re grateful for. As to really reap the benefits, remember to feel that gratitude and not only think of it.

Yogic Twist: Chant Mantras, such as Om Asatoma Sadgamaya.

 

If You Have 10 to 15 Minutes

When was the last time you journaled? And would you believe that journaling can help your injuries heal faster? This is most likely due to how journaling can make you feel happier. If you don’t know where to start, you can reflect on your dream or even plan your schedule for the day – it’s your journal so do you!

Yogic Twist: Practice Jala Neti to improve your overall health (especially to relive sinusitis).

 

If You Have 15 to 20 Minutes

If feeling uninspired is the funk you’ve been in, then why not listen to a podcast before starting work? This way, you can establish a clear boundary between you morning routine and work. Choose from these Self-Care Picks: Podcast Edition.

Yogic Twist: Find a meditation that’s best for you then practice it for 15-20 minutes.

 

If You Have 20 to 30 Minutes

Moving your body in the morning will increase your energy levels and will help your brain health. It can help with decision making as well! For those that don’t particularly like exercising, know that moving your body can range from stretching to dancing to anything else that makes you feel good.

Yogic Twist: Practice Sun Salutations or any other yoga flow.

 

Be Patient with Yourself

Growth is not linear – just look at trees! Be kind to yourself as you foster your new morning routine and understand that if you miss a day, there’s always tomorrow. If you’d like to learn more about breathwork, chanting, and / or Jala Neti, then watch this IGTV of Raisa’s Head To Toe Yoga Flow.

When was the last time you scheduled a break in between Working From Home? Not a lunch break, but an actual break providing you with much needed time to unwind – perhaps through stretching, meditating, or even napping.

While many (unconsciously) feel undeserving of a break until everything on the agenda has been completed, research has shown that your performance actually decreases the longer you concentrate on just one specific task. In short, another myth has been busted by Wild Ginger: working non-stop is not productive. Instead, to improve productivity, you should focus on resting and sleeping better.

 

Set Goals Prioritising Rest & Sleep

How exactly can you set goals that prioritise rest and sleep? Well, it’s important to know what type of rest you need, so take a moment to read this; then, set a SMART goal – a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This way, you know what you’re committing to and can hold yourself accountable. Remember, accountability is necessary when goal setting, but staying flexible will allow self-love through the form of kindness to permeate your being.

 

How To Rest Better

Now that you know what type of rest you need, here are ideas on how you can implement resting into your daily, weekly, and monthly schedule:

  1. Emotional Rest, Mental Rest, and Spiritual Rest (Non-Physical Rest)

Daily: While WFH, write down your to-do list to avoid feeling emotionally and / or mentally overwhelmed.

Weekly: Journal about everything and anything (try to remember if your colleague or client upset you, write about it).

Monthly: Find what helps you feel spiritually rested then do it (like listening to a sound bath, breathwork etc).

  1. Physical Rest, Sensory Rest, and Social Rest (Physical Rest)

Daily: While WFH, set an hourly or bi-hourly timer on your phone to remind yourself to readjust your posture and to close your eyes for at least a minute to avoid sensory overstimulation.

Weekly: Slow down your heart rate with a relaxing yin yoga class.

Monthly: Schedule at least one day (or maybe every Sunday) of the month for you-time.

  1. Creative Rest (Non-Physical and/ or Physical Rest)

Daily: Create a Vision Board and gaze at it, or add to it every time you feel uninspired.

Weekly: Set aside anywhere from five minutes to an hour to get creative (dancing, drawing, cooking etc).

Monthly: Explore Mother Nature to feel re-inspired by life!

 

How To Sleep Better

Besides your mental health being affected by poor sleep, your physical health is affected, too. Totally shocking: a study has shown how one night of poor sleep has similar affects as a poor diet over the course of six months. Before that fact keeps you awake at night, here’s how you can sleep better:

  1. Avoid Stimulants

Which of these three can be stimulating to the digestive system: chocolate, spices, and / or sugar? If you guessed all of the aforementioned, then you’re absolutely correct and should remember to avoid poor pre-sleep snacks. You can still indulge, of course, but until a certain time only – for example, cut back or omit the aforementioned after lunch. According to experts, preferred pre-sleep snacks would be complex carbohydrates: fruit, nuts, popcorn, wheat bread, and more.

  1. Limit Your Use of Electronics

There’s a reason why iPhones stop emitting blue light past a certain time, daily: blue light is not good for your circadian rhythm. If you have a tendency to scroll through social media or to just use your phone in general before sleeping, then know that that habit could be impacting the quality of your sleep. To improve your sleep, simply limit your use of (or don’t even use) electronics before sleep and set your phone / tablet to airplane mode.

  1. Set The Vibe

How you set the vibe is entirely dependent on what type of person you are and where you live, but here are some suggestions: a diffuser and lavender essential oil for those feeling stressed, high quality bedding for those with sensitive skin, ear plugs for those living near roads, blackout shades for those living near bright lights, and the list goes on…

  1. Familiarise Yourself with Several Strategies

What do you do normally do when you can’t sleep? If you do nothing but lie in bed, then it’s time to research sleeping strategies! Although getting out of bed when you’re attempting to stay in bed may seem counterintuitive, it may help you feel more sleepy – especially if you’re trying a guided meditation, deep breathing, muscle relaxation through body scanning, and other tactics that will help you feel calm.

  1. Regular Timing

The best is always saved for last (according to some, at least) so here’s the cherry on top of your new and improved sleep cycle: regular timing. By sleeping around the same time daily, your body will basically condition itself to feel sleepy during those times. In the long run, this means struggling to doze off will be but a distant memory – yay!