*Please note I was invited to this Liberty Living event and all views are my own.*
After a long day at work, it can take me a while to relax and to switch off from all things relating to work. Working a 9-5 day in and day out can take a toll on your well-being. I mean we probably spend more time at work than at home. I love playing badminton on Mondays, booking that flight for a well needed holiday and spending some quality time with my friends and family to keep me balanced. But sometimes workload can get in the way of doing things I enjoy and it becomes a bit more difficult to maintain a work-life balance.
Attending this well-being event organised by Liberty living was the perfect way for me to unwind after work and learn more ways to prioritise my well-being.
Liberty Living offers student accommodation in 21 cities across the UK and Europe.
‘‘All our staff have been taught about mental health and well-being. And all our staff have been taught to spot situations where maybe students are in trouble’’
The event kicked off with some healthy snacks you won’t feel guilty about eating, prosecco and a warm welcome from the workshop organisers, University students and working professionals.
The workshop was split into 3 sessions; mindfulness, nutrition and yoga which left me feeling relaxed, refreshed and feeling positive. I wanted to share some of the gems I picked up from this enlightening wellbeing workshop.
Meditation: Lessons in mindfulness and positive thinking
I generally try to practice mindfulness after learning about the major health benefits and found that it helped with my anxiety. Mindfulness can reduce stress and promotes mental and emotional well-being. It frees up space in your mind, creating the best environment for learning, creativity and problem-solving. I love using the Headspace app to help me do this. Mindfulness has been helpful for me to ruminate less about the past and has taught me how to be present in the moment.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness means non-judgmental awareness of the present moment. During this workshop, I practised meditation by gently closing my eyes, taking deep conscious breaths, while observing my internal state.
3 simple ways you can practice mindfulness:
Find a moment in your day when you can to be quiet, breathe and attend to yourself.
- Three deep conscious breaths, while observing your internal state, any time of the day can be a good start and can be done anywhere.
- A mindful walk in the park, leaving your tasks behind and turning your attention to the nature around you, is scientifically proven to help you feel grounded and relaxed.
- Taking a break to seat and pay attention to your breath daily, even if just for 3 minutes, can train your brain to settle and chill out.
I came into this meditation session with a pestering migraine and left feeling more relaxed with no more pain of a migraine. I always say meditation is good for the soul. My thoughts were so clear after this session as I was able to relax, focus my mind on being more present at that very moment and forget about all the emails I need to reply to. I will absolutely be making mindfulness as a daily habit, even if it’s just taking deep breaths at my desk or going for a short 10-minute walk during my lunch break.
Why not practice mindfulness this week to de-clutter your mind and relieve some stress.
Nutrition: Learning how to maintain a healthy diet with a busy schedule
I honestly enjoyed this session as I had the opportunity to ask the nutritionist all the burning questions I had about the food industry, food cravings and the ketogenic diet. This session was a reminder for me to be more conscious of the type of foods I put in my body. At the end of the day, we only have one body, so we need to treat it with care and love. Nutrition plays a vital part in our overall health and well-being. Over the years, I have recognized that food really is medicine, it’s healing but it also brings people together.
Anastasia, the expert nutritionist cooked an array of nutritious dishes from her recipes to show us examples of how to put quick and simple meals together to optimise nutrition intake. She discussed maintaining energy levels with the right type of food by avoiding refined sugars and grains.
The most informative part of the session was learning how vital your gut health is to your overall health.
3 ways to optimise your gut microbiome:
- Avoid eating processed food and added sugars such as high-fructose corn syrup and corn syrup.
- Incorporate a variety of vegetables into your lifestyle by rotating the type of vegetables on a daily basis to increase bacteria diversity.
- Eat fermented foods like natural yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi. Integrating these type of foods in your diet will provide a healthy dose of probiotics.
This session taught me that balance is key, find what works for you but don’t be afraid to try to new vegetables and foods that will benefit your overall health and well-being.
‘‘Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.’’
– Jim Rohn
Stress-melting Yoga: Fitness for the mind
My friend said to me the other day that she always wanted to try yoga but always thought that she wasn’t flexible enough. At the beginning of the yoga class, our yoga instructor Lisa Carson said she often hears people say this which is the biggest misconception. She said that some of her most flexible clients that she has come across have the tensest muscles.
‘‘If you are breathing, you are practising yoga. All you need to be is present in this class’’
During this yoga session, Lisa really took her time to show us how to carefully do each exercise, making sure our posture and movement was right while taking deep slow breaths. Plus I loved her positive energy!
While I was getting my yoga on, I told her that my job as an engineer requires me to sit at a desk often and she showed me some exercises I could do at my desk to help with mobility. I left her session feeling rejuvenated and calmer.
Yoga is a form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. It’s an awesome practice to integrate into your daily life. Some of the benefits of practising yoga are the improvement of posture, better breathing, reduction in stress, improvement of balance and stability.
Lisa runs a yoga company Space Within which aims to empower people to bring about positive change in themselves through movement, breath and meditation – through yoga and I would highly recommend her if you want to give yoga a try.
Thanks to the team at Liberty Living for inviting me to their masterclass. If you’re interested in finding more wellbeing resources, check out their mental health hub. Catch up with Liberty living on Twitter! #LibertyLivingHealthy
I hope today you’ll find some time to unwind and prioritise your well-being!