Hello Stacy, and welcome to your monthly dose of expertise from The Performance Club. It’s been hot out there, and as temperatures continue to rise, it makes many of us cranky, more likely to have temper flares and feel agitated or restless. With our busy summer schedules, sometimes it can be hard to properly 'switch off', even when we're supposed to be doing just that. So this month, we'll look at how physical changes to our environment can affect our wellbeing and cognitive function - including changes to our established routines. We'll also examine the impact that a lack of body confidence can have on our ability to socialise and thrive - both in an outside of our workspace - and the steps that we can take to combat our insecurities to truly enjoy the season. Wishing you a bright and productive month ahead! If you would like help with ensuring your employees can focus on wellbeing this summer by introducing a workplace wellbeing programme tailored to your needs, then please contact us today to discuss how The Performance Club can become part of that journey.
Live How Summer Heat Affects Performance
When the discomfort of rising temperature is paired with disturbed sleep and dehydration, a growing body of evidence shows that hot weather can have significant effects on mental health, behaviour and performance. And a recent study in New York found that hot days were also associated with higher risk of hospital visits for substance abuse, mood and anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and dementia. We now know that hot weather results in lower performance on standardised tests, higher risk of judgment errors, and higher risks of occupational injuries. So it's clear that heat has important effects on cognition, mood, and other aspects of our mental health and well-being.
When people are not thinking clearly due to heat, it is more likely they will become frustrated, and this, in turn, can lead to aggression. In a recent study, the increased risk was slightly higher for men than for women, the scientists found, potentially because men are less likely to seek early help and may therefore need emergency care more frequently.
The good news is that there are some simple steps that we can do to ease the pressure that the discomfort of a heatwave can bring. Self-awareness and knowing what your own personal triggers might be is key to managing your mood and how you react to extreme changes. You can also find 5 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health in Hot Weather brought to us by Happiful Magazine.
Learn Why Routines Help us to Relax Routines are good for our psychological wellbeing and actually essential at every stage of life - from childhood and adolescence and into adulthood. They help us cope with change, create healthy habits, improve interpersonal relationships, and reduce stress. For this reason, summer can become challenging - as we're often forced to break away from our established habits and patterns. So do try to keep some elements of your routine going; even if the kids are home and a few rules end up going out of the window. Do you every find that you have problems relaxing during the holidays? This is all about balance. Let’s not forget that the summer break should be just that – a break. But do acknowledge those things - like exercise, reading, meditation, time alone (whatever it might be!) - that need to remain in place. Keep those key elements, while giving yourself the space to stop, have some fun and breathe in some glorious summer air. You can read more tips on How to Actually Switch Off And Relax During the Summer in this guide from Stylist Magazine. It may also be the perfect time to find out How to Revaluate your Work/Life Boundaries in this article by Forbes.
Play Overcoming Image Anxiety It’s normal to feel self-conscious about how we look, especially as we peel off extra layers of clothing during the hot summer months. But body anxiety can also be debilitating, and end up affecting every single area of our lives, both personally and professionally. During the warmer months, body confidence issues may be heightened. This is not always related to weight; it can also be due to body shape, condition or skin concerns. Those who don’t deal with body issues may find it hard to understand the intense emotions of someone who feels that they cannot fully relax – or indeed show up at all – due to how they think their body will be perceived by others. Some people might feel that they have to miss out on key summer activities, simply because they don’t feel comfortable in their own skin. Others may not feel comfortable taking the next step in their career, or speaking up in front of a group of people through fear of judgement. If you suffer with insecurity of any kind, surround yourself with people who you know will make you feel good. Sometimes a little reassurance from people who make us feel loved and comfortable, is enough to keep the worry at bay - even on the beach or poolside. At other times, body anxiety is tied to deeper issues. But if body anxiety starts to take over by exhibiting symptoms such as not eating right, poor sleep, isolation, avoidance of previously enjoyed activities, or trouble keeping up with obligations like work, it may be time to seek further support. You can find out more in this superb article on How To Be Less Self Conscious, brought to us by Betterhelp, and read some Tips on Improving Body Image from the Mental Health Foundation.
Pause Our Book of the Month is Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman Four thousand weeks. If you live until you’re 80, that’s roughly how many weeks you’ll get — a sum that is, as Oliver Burkeman puts it, “absurdly, terrifyingly, insultingly short.” Drawing on the insights of both ancient and contemporary philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual teachers, Oliver Burkeman sets out to realign our relationship with time. Asking 'What if you tried to stop doing everything, so you could finally get round to what counts?' This book rejects our modern obsession with getting everything done and introduces its readers to tools for constructing a meaningful life by embracing our limitations and we highly recommend its refreshing approach to managing our time to make life as fulfilling as possible. Happy reading, everyone!
You might be surprised to learn that summer can be a tough time to stay on track with wellbeing goals. For some, it may feel too muggy to keep up a running routine; for others, a family vacation can disrupt a daily meditation practice. It’s okay if you get off track when the summer months hit: this halfway point in the year is the perfect time to reassess your goals and find balance again. So use this time to get outdoors and press the 'reset' button. Whether you're going holiday to a tropical destination, or planning to take some time off at home - there will always be situations that cause stress. But that’s not a problem. Rather than putting an expectation on the season to bring a sense of calm, cultivate it yourself! Feel empowered to do what you need to do to enjoy yourself. You've earned it! If you'd like to find our how The Performance Club can work with you and tailor training packages to meet your individual needs - with a unique emphasis on performance - then please get in touch with our friendly team. Wishing you a wonderful month ahead! Stacy Thomson Founder of The Performance Club sent on behalf of all of the team