The 5:2 way of living

 In Unimenta Blog

I was listening to the radio yesterday morning and one of the announcements was that adults over 45 in the UK should have at least two alcohol free days per week. It seems we are a nation of drinkers but this that age group in particular seems to be drinking more. Chris Evans, who was presenting his show at the same time, remarked afterwards that Monday morning newspapers often have “Health” sections in them and actually, why stop at 2 alcohol free days, why not stop drinking alcohol in the week altogether? His argument was that by living more healthily during the week we are that much more alert and present in our lives. Weekends can then be enjoyed for free time and perhaps that glass or two of wine. I think he is right.

Our days, for most of us anyway, are already overloaded and busy. We tend to rush around from deadline to deadline or from one meeting to another and probably have a never-ending “to-do” list. It’s easy for one day to melt into another and for the week, or whenever we are working, to feel like a rollercoaster.

What if, by living a little more healthily, we could be more effective, productive and happier? Here are three ways to do that and maybe by adopting a 5:2 approach at first it will soon simply become part of how we live:

  1. Healthy food and drink – okay I am on a mission to lose some weight this Autumn which is making me super aware of my eating habits but food gives us energy. It makes sense to look after ourselves and think more about what we are putting into our bodies. So I’m all for eliminating alcohol during the week. It’s so easy to have that evening glass of wine after work but actually it just makes you sluggish and sleep less. If I want to be productive at work (and you) then it makes total sense to have a healthy and nutritious breakfast, an energising and nurturing lunch and to make time to cook a meal from scratch in the evening. I know most people might argue they don’t have time to cook but you can make time….

2. Walking and movement – no matter how busy your day is, make time to get outside and get walking. You’ll feel so much better and make space for reflection and ideas. You can even try having your meetings during a walk – so much more productive. Moving our bodies is crucial for vitality and wellbeing but can be easy to not make time for during a working day. Try incorporating walking into your commute or breaks. Never tell yourself you are too busy. Whilst you are walking you can also practise mindful breathing and noticing things around you bringing your mind more into the present.

Fresh tasty home cooking
Business multiracial group walking in London

3. Getting more sleep – sleep is vital for renewing body cells, rebooting your brain and for decision-making, effectiveness and productivity levels overall. Studies abound on the benefits of sleep to your health and wellbeing. Yet it is far too easy to stay up and watch one more box set or to work late at night when you should be resting. Many of us have trouble sleeping but we often are contributors to this, whether that is by having our phone beside us so that we check it too much in the evenings or by not making enough time to wind down sufficiently. The results of not sleeping well are many and will definitely impact how you work the next day.