Archives for category: wellbeing

The reasonably fit and the super fit (not only those well prepared physically and mentally who train all year long as amateurs but also the obvious sports industry professionals) can be spotted a mile away as they just glide effortless through the entire event. These are the ones who cross the finish line fresh as daisies and recover fairly quickly too.

Women running on road in early morning

As for the others, most of them don’t perform so brilliantly as you can perfectly see at the very end their strained faces contorted with the agonizing pain of the compounded effort. In fact, everything about them tells you they got more than they bargained for. I can only imagine they actually left respective homes wearing a t-shirt and trainers thinking that alone would qualify them as fit for purpose.

This scenario seems unbelievable and surreal if you consider this country has sports bodies and authorities for everything and special grants programmes to create Olympic champions!

Feeling too much of the burn

That brings me to this following question: why is there nobody responsible for ensuring these participants at least check the level of fitness or wellbeing before the events takes place? Whys is there no one responsible to ensure these participants do a check up with their respective GPs?

In the recent years how many people have injured themselves or died while playing bravado, just dragging their exhausted feet towards the finish line? Where does the liability for their welfare lie? Is it the charities they are meant to be supporting? Is it the organizers? Is it the participants themselves?

Track Cycling Scene Stock Photo

In case it is the latter, then unfortunately the scenario is quite bleak…as the ignorance displayed, lack of discernment and pointless bravado are a toxic combination present in most participants who sadly can’t even identify the body signs of danger.

It is about time something is done to stop or prevent more tragedies from happening in the future.

 

Everybody loves a good charity event. On a regular basis they are regarded as a wonderful experience, they get a lot of press coverage as they represent something worth supporting and being involved with.

You also see people of all ages, nationalities, ethnicities and socio- economic backgrounds participating happily.

Marathon, street runners  in spring day

At each event there are many parties are involved at different levels: there is the effort of the organizers and sponsors in materializing the whole operation from scratch, there is the effort of the charities that are desperate to fundraise in order to finance their good causes, the actual participants also contribute by gracing the event with their presence and paying a fee and finally you get to see their respective families and friends offering their deepest warmth and love to encourage the endurance, strength or speed prowess.

From this angle absolutely everything seems set in place for success and things fit together to complement each other’s role perfectly.

cancer awareness  cycling race or competition. ride for a good cause and charity

Therefore I wonder (after witnessing so many of those charity sports events) how is it possible that all too often I see people exerting themselves whilst displaying a complete lack of knowledge about sports technique, nutrition and hydration?

Easily one can tell the wise from the fool! Some can’t even breathe correctly or position their own bodies in an optimal way to reduce physical effort and maximize overall performance. These people basically don’t have a clue about what they are doing! They are nothing but sad, tragic characters! All too often they endanger themselves and others by injuring themselves, tripping and falling their way into the emergency services when that could easily have been prevented in the first place.

painful running injury

Last year London was granted the honour of being the European Capital of Europe. Consequently several events and activities took place throughout the year to mark the auspicious occasion.

Volunteering has had a massive impact in the UK for many generations and the charity sector has through the years stepped in to complement the role of the State working in tandem.

In general, the public, private and charity sectors staff have always been encouraged to volunteer and many do so with great joy.

Volunteering word cloud, heart concept

According to experts, volunteering contributes towards social cohesion, psychological and physical wellbeing, developing more knowledge, skills and experience. It also boosts one’s self esteem, independence and personal confidence.

Altogether this wonderful combination of elements should equip and assist the volunteer in stepping up to a new or better job in the near future.

I have come across some people in well paid full time jobs, performing demanding roles whilst facing hostile working environments who take great pleasure in volunteering as they find it extremely rewarding and healing.

Chalkboard writing: volunteer at work

For them it becomes a way of maintaining their own sanity, bringing a balance to their own personal life and nurture meaningful rapports with people outside their usual social  circles they would not meet otherwise in a healthy and constructive way.

I guess this could be regarded as a positive way of detoxing after leaving a hostile office culture behind.

Hand design vector.
It has been proven that doing good is actually wonderful for both the provider of the good deed as well as the recipient.

It actually releases endorphins, providing you with a sense of pride and self-fulfilment just for helping someone else in need

 In some nations around the world people go to work to make a living. They have a life outside work and they make time for personal leisure, their family and social circles.

London however remains fiercely different. Once you start working in the capital all that framework disappears and everything changes.

First you notice that in the capital life is generally geared towards work as the country’s main engine room. You almost don’t want to believe it but soon realize that in fact people live to work!

The company they work for and the job title will gradually define their social identity and shape their own notion of self-worth.

Business People Working in an Office

On a daily basis things are extremely blurry as people go to work to share every aspect of their lives, perform a role play and the office becomes their stage…basically a freak show!  More often than not people discuss their sex lives openly, medical issues, marriage breakdowns, divorce proceedings and the cat’s visits to the vet!…All this takes place while the city delivers “professional services” to the rest of the global economy!

The problems arise when they believe their actions are normalized and think everybody else should be doing the same as themselves. Quite often I noticed that those who seem desperate to find out personal information about fellow colleagues are the worst offenders and trouble makers. Their biggest talent lies in distorting facts and fabricating “truths” and unbiased rumours about people’s lives in order to proceed with character assassination and destruct one’s careers prospects at work.

Not surprising they are also the most frustrated and repressed people of all who go to work just to take their own personal failures on others and often rejoice in causing misery to others.

Open hand raised, Poisonous sign painted

In order to survive in this working culture I kindly would suggest the following:

  • creating a personal life outside work without “work mates”,
  • detaching psychologically and physically from work as soon as you leave the office,
  • making a genuine effort to spend quality time with family members,
  • engaging in constructive activities with significant friends,
  • nurturing yourself completely and healthily.

Wellness sign with wooden cubes

This way you’ll have memorable experiences to store in your own “memory bank” for posterity, “to infinity and beyond”…

All those who live to work and centre their basic existence around the workplace will sooner or later feel true disappointment. Instead of leading meaningful lives they live vapid lives as they make no effort to enjoy the fruits of their own labour. Always working and networking is basically a nonsense approach to life!

As soon as the recession started people lost their jobs, wives, girlfriends, homes, professional status, social identities and social support networks. That alone provided a lesson for many but it seems that unfortunately people have short memories.

Hygge is a chance to slow down but without becoming completely still. You just live in the moment and enjoy it thoroughly. You almost feel like a retired senior citizen, so slow down to live a better life.

What a contrast this is to the former popular view that having a good time meant regularly going out on the “lash”, getting wasted in alcohol and drugs, engaging in high risk behavior, waking up half naked and confused in a strange part of town having already lost the credit card, house keys and knickers as well !!!

Hangover Stock Photo

The whole concept of hygge stops you from derailing into such toxic habits and guides you towards a better version of yourself, more connected to your inner self.

How else can one find tranquility in a pressurized and compressed urban jungle, where everybody is constantly at each other’s throat, never satisfied with whatever they have and always striving to achieve more, always pushing and shoving their way forcibly to get 1 step ahead of others and forever procrastinating on why your colleague got a bigger bonus than yourself.

Man on top of skyscraper

A lot of people are now discovering too that hygge and mindfulness are basically “partners in crime” as both induce you to be self compassionate, self nurturing and fully present and focused on that specific moment, therefore no more checking emails or taking calls during family and social gatherings.

Basically hygge requires you to wake up and smell the coffee or….should I say FIKA!

Now this is Art!

These days the word hygge is everywhere and is being used to almost saturation levels.

Is that bad at all? Let’s explore the topic now.

Right now it does seem like the Vikings are back again in the UK but now with a different peaceful mission to educate the Brits about a better quality of life… without breaking the piggy bank!

At a first glance it does seem like the true meaning of the word itself goes against the popular cultural habits of this native population.

cocktail dog

If you consider looking back to pre-recession days how people enjoyed boasting about the vast sums spent on expensive drinks and food, extravagant holidays, extreme consumption, bottox sessions ( on credit of course!), etc…Hygge channels people to the extreme opposite direction.

It is not just a different life style but also a change of mindset!

I can’t even begin to imagine anybody even noticing the meaning of hygge in the pre-recession days or attributing any value to it.

Family Of Four Stock Photo

It’s biggest accomplishment is to bring people back to basics in order to value living less stressed lives, appreciating all the existent material possessions without coveting more or envying what others have, cherishing precious family and social moments, investing quality time doing things you truly love in a healthy, constructive and safe manner.

For example, lit up candles, read a good book, sit with a warm blanket by the fireplace, drink a hot chocolate with a delicious cinnamon bun.

It is simply remarkable, surreal and unbelievable that the trend of eating clean has really taken up in the UK in the recent years !It is also singular to learn what has is generally classified as clean eating in the first place.
The fact that somebody decided to label the habit of eating fresh, healthy ingredients, cooked from scratch in a simple way as eating clean is something I still struggle to come to terms with.

preparing food
In many countries out there (developed and less developed) that is only part of daily living and nobody even considers fuelling their own body system in any other way.
In Italy for example, the Slow Food movement has advocated for the consumption of local traditional dishes, seasonal fresh produce for the past 30 years, yet only recently the Brits discovered the beauty of that meaning…thanks to the US health freak induced influence.
I still remember the shock and gasps that I innocently caused to my fellow housemates when I first arrived in the country. This for simply cooking healthy meals from scratch every day, eating fresh, seasonal ingredients each time…even though I was studying and working as working but earning a pauper’s wage!

Woman in the kitchen
I guess for them I was an alien who refused to be addicted to their toxic lifestyle, junk food, take away curries and cheap lagger. The level of suspicion, rumours and prejudice triggered by my delicious smoothies and healthy meals was such that I started to regard their reactions as pure envy. They simply did not know how to cook and they did not know how to eat either!
Studies have proven that youngsters in London regularly enjoy eating out ( which does boost the leisure economy) because they do not know how to cook! In many cultures, cooking and eating in a balanced way itself are a true form of art that people dedicate themselves to and aim at constant self- development.

I suspect that concept will take a lot more time to sink in the minds of the fattest nation in Europe. Right now the bloggers and vloggers are doing the government a huge favour by educating, inspiring and guiding the national population towards a healthy diet and balanced lifestyle.

Heart shaped display of green, red healthy foods
God knows that alone will save a lot of grief to the NHS obesity black list of patients. I only hope the trend will become far more than just a trend. It needs to remain part of people’s subconscience in order to change their personal attitudes, behavior and lifestyle on a longer term basis.
Those who have taken the first steps towards positive change now need to stop being lazy in order to motivate themselves to cook regularly from scratch and program their brains so that this becomes the new way forwards after leaving behind the toxic habits of the past.