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Breezing, not battling, through the day

"We humans are intelligent, but we’ve lost touch with how to thrive.’
Eric Ho

In collaboration with RPC, last week we hosted the webinar, A day in the life of a busy, successful ‘un-stressed’, ‘un-burnt out’ colleague, part of the Click and Reflect series, on 22 May.

If working flat out as an in-house lawyer wasn’t full-on already, the last few months have brought a whole new range of practical, emotional and psychological challenges.

Merging work with family life as the lockdown continues, the prolonged isolation, loss of social interaction and underlying concerns about the country’s economy are playing increasingly heavily on people’s minds.

Eric Ho, health coach, founder of Bumblebee Wellbeing and himself a former M&A lawyer of 20 years, walked us through some simple techniques for enhancing our wellbeing and boosting our resilience to stress.

To help us breeze, not battle, through the day Eric urges us to seize the opportunities each stage of the day presents:

In the morning

  • Express gratitude for the positive things in our lives. As well as crowding out negative thoughts, gratitude journaling is proven to enhance mental health;
  • Go outside. The vitamin D from the sunlight kick-starts the circadian rhythms so important to our sleep patterns. Simply going outside in the morning helps us sleep at the end of the day; and
  • Schedule time for self-care. It’s not selfish – it’ll help you help others.

During the day

  • Eat real food. Mental health starts in the gut, so a well-fed body makes for a healthy brain. Avoid refined sugars, refined flour and industrial seed oils;
  • Walk about, or stand up. We’re designed for long periods of low intensity movement. Believe or not, sitting in a chair for long periods is worse than smoking! And
  • Name, tame and reframe people that cause you stress. Define the negative emotion a person is causing you to feel, accept that emotion with compassion and deep belly breathing, then reframe the feeling by identifying a positive element of that person’s behaviour. 

At the end of the day

De-excite yourself 60-90 minutes before bedtime. Avoid TVs and computer screens if possible. The light from these devices disrupts our sleep patterns, causing ‘sleep debt’ to build up; and 
Practice sleep hygiene. Keep your room as dark as possible by using blackout curtains and blinds and blocking off standby lights on any electrical devices. If it helps, use a sleep mask.
Eric concluded the webinar by fielding a selection of questions posted by in-house lawyers during his presentation.

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