Employees dealt with a lot this year. Pandemic news and restrictions continued to seesaw. Office re-openings were delayed several times. Some offices remain closed. Throughout it all, LifeSpeak was there to help organizations support employees, clients and their families around the globe in managing their mental health and overall wellbeing.
Below are some of the key insights from the top 5 most read LifeSpeak blogs of 2021. Support the people who take care of your business by sharing these highlights to help them manage everything from their sleep to their weight and their pets.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Marty Martin says people often struggle to get a good night’s rest because their biological clock is not aligned with the “office time clock.”
Biological clocks are determined by genes. Scientists have used those genes to define chronotypes: genetically determined sleep/wake patterns that influences people’s energy levels throughout the day. Morning types are Larks, Evening types are Night Owls and Intermediate types are Third Birds. These categories aren’t rigid but fall along a continuum.
After a person identifies their chronotype, Dr. Martin recommends adapting work schedules to chronotypes as much as possible. He says leaders can consider allowing staff to adapt their schedules for later or earlier start and end times that better align with individual chronotypes.
However, he acknowledges this isn’t always possible and encourages workers to strive for consistency as much as possible. He says going to bed and rising at regular times is much better than trying to play “catch up” on sleep on weekends and off days.
Introvert and Extrovert. Planner and Non-Planner. Relationships are commonly formed between people with these opposite personality types. But Registered Psychotherapist Janna Comrie says opposites like these don’t have to be a source of conflict.
For example, before a vacation, a planner can take the reins and schedule the trip. But when something inevitably does not go according to plan, the planner can turn to the non-planner for guidance. The non-planner will naturally feel more comfortable navigating the situation, and by relying on their guidance, the planner can save themself some stress. Consistent, open dialogue and healthy compromise can help yin and yang personality types work together in relationships.
Nutritionist Isabelle Huot lists 10 key tips to help keep weight under control. Here are a few of them:
For those unfamiliar, Compassion Fatigue describes a state of burn out from caregiving or, as Jenny would put it, from “caring, period.” The result includes apathy, hopelessness, numbness, overwhelm and the feeling of having nothing left to give. People suffering from compassion fatigue will feel low and may retreat and isolate to cope.
Jenny encourages people struggling with compassion fatigue to ask themselves what they need—not what they want. She encourages looking inward instead of trying to emulate other people’s versions of self-care.
Many workers adopted dogs during the pandemic to help cope with stress and emotional turbulence. Those dogs are used to having their owners around all the time. Separation anxiety can occur when owners return to the office on a full time or part time basis, leading to undesirable pet behavior.
Josee Seguin offers tips to mitigate separation anxiety. One is to settle a dog down in a place that’s their own—like a playpen or crate—after spending quality time exerting their energy. Eventually, the dog will come to see the crate or playpen as a place of rest and will feel comfortable staying there while their owner is away at work.
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This is just a snapshot of the wide range of expert-led content available from the LifeSpeak blog library. For more expert-led education on a wide range of mental health and wellbeing topics, simply access the LifeSpeak platform.
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