MENTAL WELLNESS: NAVIGATING MENTAL HEALTH THROUGH COVID-19

Mental wellness is more important than ever. Taking care of your mental health and wellbeing is a priority. Especially at a time where dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and work.

Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation

IT’S NEVER WEAK TO SAY THAT YOU’RE NOT OKAY

It’s important to look after your mental wellness during this time by:

  • Being aware of how you’re feeling
  • Understanding what you can do to take care of your mental wellbeing

Mental health is the way we think and feel as well as our ability to deal with ups and downs.

NAVIGATING MENTAL HEALTH THROUGH COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, prioritising mental health and wellbeing is more important than ever. It’s important to get support if you spot any early warning signs. For example, at work you might notice that you are:

  • More tired than usual
  • Make silly mistakes
  • Often late for work
  • Irritable and short-tempered

When we enjoy good mental health we are better equipped to deal with life’s challenges.

Check out other posts in our Toolbox Talk and Wellness series for tips on how to manage your health and wellbeing including, for example,  Mental Health Matters,  our Fuel your Body posts covering breakfastlunch, snacks, shift work – tips for healthy eating as well as Alcohol and Your Health, Tips for your Financial Wellbeing and more…

TIPS FOR TAKING CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
  • Look after your physical health. Regular exercise and a healthy diet is good for your physical and mental wellbeing
  • Develop and stick to a routine. Having some structure to our days can help with providing stability during challenging times
  • Keep in touch with family and friends.  Maintaining social connections is important to feeling safe and well. It can also help to share the ups and downs you’re experiencing with someone you feel comfortable with
  • Take breaks.  Make the most of your work breaks to help clear your head, get some fresh air or have some time for yourself
  • Stay informed. Remember to only get updates from reliable sources such as government websites Australia.gov.au and health.gov.au
  • Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to seek support if you need help. Your GP is a good place to start and there are also some great online resources available. Beyond Blue has a dedicated coronavirus online and phone support service and the government’s  Head to Health website also provides links to trusted Australian resources
NATIONAL SAFE WORK MONTH 2020

Labourpower is proud to join National Safe Work Month as part of our commitment to building safe and healthy workplaces for all Australians.

WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY

As part of National Safe Work Month, Labourpower also recognises World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2020, including this year’s message to:

 “Look after your mental health, Australia.” 

Visit their website for more information

 

WELLNESS GOES 24/7

Labourpower values your health and wellbeing and is committed to wellness in the workplace. We are proud to partner with Workactive to bring you safety and wellbeing programs throughout the year.

Look out for our regular Toolbox Tuesday and Wellness Wednesday posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and the Labourpower website.

 

#safeworkmonth #safetytogether #LookAfterYourMentalHealthAustralia #WMHD2020

EATING A HEALTHY DINNER: FUEL YOUR BODY – PART 6

 

Eating a healthy dinner helps make you feel good and complete your food intake for the day.

Disclaimer: The following information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation

A HEALTHY DINNER IS ALWAYS A WINNER

Eating a healthy dinner that provides a well-balanced meal is important to:

  • Unwind after the challenges of your day
  • Provide your body with the energy and nutrients it needs
  • Reduce your risk of diet-related chronic diseases

Tip: Try making small, practical changes at dinnertime with healthy meal recipes that work for you.

GOOD FOOD EQUALS GOOD MOOD

Meals that include wholesome foods have been shown to boost your mood as well as your overall health. Aim for a healthy dinner plate with a balance of items from different food groups that includes:

  • ¼ plate of lean protein e.g. meat, fish, chicken, tofu
  • ¼ plate of healthy carbs e.g. brown rice, pasta, potato, sweet potato
  • ½ plate of veggies e.g. leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, baby corn, carrots, capsicum, celery, cucumber, eggplant, sugar snap peas, tomatoes

Tip: If your schedule means a late dinner, make healthy food choices and aim to eat a lighter meal

Check out other posts in our Fuel Your Body series for tips about healthy food choices, such as breakfast, lunch, snacks, shift work – tips for healthy eating and food labels.

TIPS FOR EATING HEALTHY DINNERS

Firstly, planning your dinners in advance will make your shopping easier.  Also, it will help you manage your budget and ensure dinners give you the nutrients you need. In addition:

  • Include three to four foods from different food groups
  • Cook large amounts and freeze some individual portions to eat later
  • Stock your pantry with some basics that let you whip up an easy meal on busy nights
  • Check out your local supermarket for quick and healthy meal ideas with free cookbooks available in-store and recipe ideas on their websites
  • You can also find lots of health recipes online by searching “easy healthy dinner ideas”

For further information visit: eatforhealth.gov.au/ or health.gov.au/health-topics/food-and-nutrition

 

WELLNESS GOES 24/7

Labourpower values your health and wellbeing and is committed to wellness in the workplace. We are proud to partner with Workactive to bring you safety and wellbeing programs throughout the year.

We look forward to bringing you more health and wellbeing tips as part of our FUEL YOUR BODY series.

Look out for our regular Toolbox Tuesday and Wellness Wednesday posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and the Labourpower website.

 

 

FOOD LABELS: FUEL YOUR BODY – PART 5

 

Food labels contain lots of useful information that can help you make healthy choices about the food you eat. 

Disclaimer: The following information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation

HOW TO BE ABLE TO CHECK YOUR FOOD LABELS

Learning how to interpret labels on packaged food can help you include healthier food in your diet. When shopping for food the most useful things to pay attention to on the labels are the:

  • Nutrition information panel
  • Ingredients list
INGREDIENTS LIST

The ingredients list details all food products listed from largest to smallest by weight. You can use this to check the first three ingredients for items high in:

  • Saturated fat
  • Sodium (salt), or
  • Added sugar
ALLERGENS ON FOOD LABELS

Food labels are helpful if you have a food allergy or intolerance. The main foods or ingredients that  can cause severe adverse reactions must be declared on the label no matter how small the amount. Common foods that may cause allergies include:

  • Peanuts, Other Nuts, Seafood, Fish, Milk, Gluten, Eggs, Soybeans
NUTRITION INFORMATION PANEL

Firstly, checking out the Nutrition Information Panel on labels can help you choose healthier food. Also, knowing what to look for can help you avoid unnecessary saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and kilojoules.

TIPS FOR UNDERSTANDING FOOD LABELS

Here is a brief summary of the Dept of Health’s guidelines of what to look out for on a Nutrition Information Panel to help you make healthier food choices:

  • 100g Column and Serving Size: If comparing nutrients in similar food products use the per 100g column. If calculating how many kilojoules you will actually eat, use the per serve column. Make sure you check whether your portion size is the same as the serve size
  • Energy (Represented Kilojoules): Check how many kJ per serve to decide how much is a serve of a discretionary’ food, aka junk food / sometimes food which has 600kJ (140 calories) per serve. Eat less of these if you’re trying to lose weight
  • Total Fat: Aim for less than 10g per 100g. For cheese, look for less than 15g per 100g, and for milk, yoghurt and ice cream, less than 2g per 100g
  • Saturated Fat: Less than 3g per 100g is best but aim for the lowest possible. (As a broad rule, the greater the difference between the total fat and saturated fat, the healthier a food is deemed to be)
  • Sugar: You may not be able to avoid all sugars but know what you’re consuming.  A food with less than 5g sugar per 100g is considered low-sugar (or less than 2.5g per 100ml for a drink). More than 15g per 100g is considered high sugar, especially if sugar is among the first ingredients listed
  • Fibre: Look for 3g or more per serve
  • Sodium: Choose the lowest sodium option where possible. Less than 400mg per 100g is good, and less than 120mg per 100g is best
WHERE TO FIND MORE INFORMATION

Check out the Eat for Health website where you will find  calculators to work out your daily energy and nutrient needs as well as your average recommended serves. Visit  https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/eat-health-calculators

Finally, don’t forget to check out other posts in our Fuel Your Body series for tips about healthy food choices, such as breakfast, lunch, snacks and healthy eating for shift work.

WELLNESS GOES 24/7

Labourpower values your health and wellbeing and is committed to wellness in the workplace. We are proud to partner with Workactive to bring you safety and wellbeing programs throughout the year.

We look forward to bringing you more health and wellbeing tips as part of our FUEL YOUR BODY series.

Look out for our regular Toolbox Tuesday and Wellness Wednesday posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and the Labourpower website.

 

 

SHIFT WORK – TIPS FOR HEALTHY EATING: FUEL YOUR BODY – PART 4

 

Shift work can disrupt your body clock which not only affects your sleep patterns but can also wreak havoc on your diet.

Disclaimer: The following information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation

EATING A HEALTHY MEAL CAN IMPROVE HOW YOU FEEL
  • Firstly, eating healthy food regularly makes shift work easier to manage
  • In addition, it gives you the right fuel for your body, so you have the energy you need to get you through the day

Tip: Aim to maintain a regular and healthy eating pattern throughout each day. 

WHAT SHOULD I EAT AND WHEN?

Shift work can put a strain on your body.  So, eating a healthy diet is important for your:

  • Day-to-day energy levels
  • Protecting your health, and
  • Reducing your risk of chronic illness

Avoid skipping meals, eat regularly and over a 24-hour period make sure you:

  • Firstly, aim for 3 main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner-style meals)
  • Also, include 2-3 healthy snacks

Check out other posts in our Fuel Your Body series for tips about healthy food choices, such as breakfast, lunch  and snacks.

HEALTHY EATING TIPS FOR SHIFT WORKERS
  • Make an eating plan for the week that helps you organise food around your shifts
  • Eat lighter meals and snacks during your shift as they are easier to digest
  • Avoid high fat foods to reduce heartburn and indigestion
  • Watch the portion sizes for each meal (try not to overeat)
  • Choose healthy snacks that contain some protein
  • Avoid sugary snacks and drinks
  • Keep up your fluids and drink plenty of water
  • Limit your caffeine intake (including coffee, tea, cola and energy drinks)
  • Avoid caffeine about 6 hours before bedtime (so that you can get good sleep)
  • Avoid alcohol after a night shift
  • Eat a small meal after your shift so you don’t go to bed hungry

For further information visit: Shifting nutrition: A shift workers guide to nutrition

 

WELLNESS GOES 24/7

Labourpower values your health and wellbeing and is committed to wellness in the workplace. We are proud to partner with Workactive to bring you safety and wellbeing programs throughout the year.

We look forward to bringing you more health and wellbeing tips as part of our FUEL YOUR BODY series.

Look out for our regular Toolbox Tuesday and Wellness Wednesday posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and the Labourpower website.

 

 

HEALTHY SNACKS: FUEL YOUR BODY – PART 3

 

Healthy snacks are an important part of healthy eating.

Disclaimer: The following information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation

IT’S TIME FOR HEALTHY SNACKING WHEN ENERGY IS LACKING

Healthy snacks should be eaten between meals to help ease your hunger.When you eat healthy snacks they should provide you with the:

  • Nutrients your body needs
  • Also, energy to get you through the day

People who eat well are more likely to be healthier, happier and more productive.

BEAT THE SNACK ATTACK

Processed foods are filled with carbs and sugar. Therefore, they won’t give you the nutrients you need to get through your working day. You might get a rush at first, but you’ll soon find you come crashing down.

Healthy snack choices can help you beat the slump as well as helping you to:

  • Stay energised
  • Be more productive
  • Sharpen your mind
  • Improve your mood
  • Feel engaged
  • Make better food choices
TIPS FOR HEALTHY SNACK HABITS

Nutritious snack choices help boost mental and physical performance.

Firstly, aim to pack your own healthy snacks that you can take to work each day.

Also,  create a routine by planning your snack times between meals.

Try to avoid unhealthy choices from vending machines and make sure you drink plenty of water throughout your day.

Finally, choose nutritious options that will help keep your energy levels up throughout the day, for example:

  • 40g unsalted mixed nuts + 1 rye cruskit and sliced avocado with pepper to taste
  • 1 wholegrain crispbread (such as a vita-wheat) with reduced fat cream cheese or peanut butter
  • A boiled egg
  • A small tub of high protein plain yoghurt with fresh or frozen berries
  • A slice of cheese on a rice cake

Source: https://blog.csiro.au/healthy-filling-snacks

 

WELLNESS GOES 24/7

Labourpower values your health and wellbeing and is committed to wellness in the workplace. We are proud to partner with Workactive to bring you safety and wellbeing programs throughout the year.

We look forward to bringing you more health and wellbeing tips as part of our FUEL YOUR BODY series.

Look out for our regular Toolbox Tuesday and Wellness Wednesday posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and the Labourpower website.

 

 

EATING A HEALTHY LUNCH: FUEL YOUR BODY – PART 2

 

Eating a healthy lunch every day is important to your wellbeing and productivity. Making time for a healthy lunch gives you the energy you need to get through an afternoon of work.

Disclaimer: The following information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation

GET YOUR LUNCH RIGHT WITH EVERY BITE
  • Eating lunch helps reduce cravings for unhealthy snacks
  • Eating lunch helps avoid afternoon energy slumps so that you stay alert

Taking a lunch break allows your mind to rest, recharge and refocus.

EAT LUNCH EVERY DAY

Eating a healthy lunch and taking time for a lunch break at work gives your physical and mental health a boost. Studies show that taking a lunch break can directly improve your productivity for the rest of the day as well as making your working day more enjoyable.

Making time for lunch is important to your overall wellbeing. The benefits of eating a healthy lunch each day include (but are not limited to):

  • Improves physical health
  • Greater enjoyment of work day
  • Helps ability to cope with stress
  • Recharges your brain
  • Helps control your weight
  • Increases afternoon energy levels
TIPS FOR A HEALTHY LUNCH ROUTINE

Eating lunch every day will give you with the energy you need to work through the afternoon.

Firstly, aim to pack your own healthy lunch that you can take to work each day. Also try to plan your daily lunches in advance and include lunches that you know you will enjoy.

In addition, cook a bit extra for dinner or over the weekend so that you can take leftovers for lunch.

Make sure that your lunch gives you enough fuel to get you through the rest of your working day i.e. someone who does manual labour and physical work needs more high energy foods at lunchtime than someone who does sedentary work in an office.

Visit the Better Health website or Nutrition Australia for more information. 

 

WELLNESS GOES 24/7

Labourpower values your health and wellbeing and is committed to wellness in the workplace. We are proud to partner with Workactive to bring you safety and wellbeing programs throughout the year.

We look forward to bringing you more health and wellbeing tips as part of our FUEL YOUR BODY series.

Look out for our regular Toolbox Tuesday and Wellness Wednesday posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and the Labourpower website.

 

 

BREAKFAST BENEFITS: FUEL YOUR BODY – PART 1

 

A good breakfast every day provides plenty of benefits to your overall health and wellbeing. Eating breakfast breaks your overnight fast and gives you the fuel you need to boost energy levels and alertness as you start your day. 

Disclaimer: The following information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation

A GOOD BREKKIE EACH DAY FUELS YOUR BODY THE RIGHT WAY
  • Eating breakfast replenishes your energy
  • Eating breakfast helps to kick start your metabolism

Nutritionists advise that you eat breakfast within two hours of waking.

DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST

Making time to eat something nutritious at the start of your day can make a great deal of difference to your overall wellbeing. Eating a healthy breakfast also has long-term health benefits. It can help reduce obesity, high blood pressure, risk of heart disease and diabetes.

There are plenty of reasons why eating breakfast each day is good for you, including:

  • Increases energy levels
  • Boosts memory and concentration
  • Provides essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients
  • Stabilises blood sugar levels
  • Improves metabolism
  • Helps you make better food choices throughout the day
TIPS TO SHAKE UP YOUR WAKE UP

Eating a good brekkie energises your mind and body which helps improves your focus and productivity.  Here are some tips for including breakfast in your day:

Firstly, try to create a routine that fits in with your schedule. For example, setting your alarm 10 minutes earlier to make time to eat brekkie at home

In addition, choose nutritious options such as protein, fibre and wholegrains. This means that your breakfast keeps you energised and alert throughout the day, for example:

  • Wholegrain toast with a thin scrape of peanut butter, or avocado and spinach or reduced fat ricotta
  • Porridge or yoghurt with fresh fruit
  • Wholegrain cereals with reduced fat milk
  • Fruit or vegetable smoothies
  • Boiled eggs with wholegrain toast

Visit the Nutrition Australia website for more information  https://nutritionaustralia.org/fact-sheets/breakfast/

 

WELLNESS GOES 24/7

Labourpower values your health and wellbeing and is committed to wellness in the workplace. We are proud to partner with Workactive to bring you safety and wellbeing programs throughout the year.

We look forward to bringing you more health and wellbeing tips as part of our FUEL YOUR BODY series.

Look out for our regular Toolbox Tuesday and Wellness Wednesday posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and the Labourpower website.

 

 

SMOKING AND YOUR HEALTH: IS IT TIME TO QUIT?

 

Tobacco smoking is the main cause of preventable death and disease in Australia.  It’s never too late to quit smoking! Even if you’ve smoked for years, once you’ve quit smoking you can reverse the effects and experience the health benefits.

SMOKING AND THE WORKPLACE

All indoor and enclosed areas in a workplace including company vehicles should be smoke-free. Make sure that you are familiar with the smoking policy at your place of work.

Disclaimer: The following information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation

DID YOU KNOW?
  • 20 minutes after your last cigarette your blood pressure and pulse will start to return to normal levels
  • 24 hours after your last cigarette you will have already decreased your risk of heart attack
  • Giving up smoking can also reduce anxiety by more than a third
QUITTING HAS MANY BENEFITS

If you’re a smoker then deciding to quit can be one of the best things you can do for your health. You and those around you will start to benefit almost immediately:

  • Improve health, reduce risk of disease
  • Look younger and live longer
  • Help friends,  family and the environment
  • Save money
TIPS TO HELP YOU GET STARTED
  • Set a date to quit and try to stick to it
  • Find approach that is going to work for you (some people find patches, chewing gum or other nicotine replacement products useful)
  • Find ways to distract yourself and try to change any habits you associate with craving a cigarette
  • Let your friends and family know you are trying to quit and ask for their support
  • Try some form of exercise (walking, bike riding, stretching) – it will  help you beat the cravings
  • Be kind to yourself. Some days will be easier than others but it’s important to keep going
  • For more information, visit the Quitline website, speak to your GP or call the Quitline on 13 7848

 

WELLNESS GOES 24/7

Labourpower values your health and wellbeing and is committed to wellness in the workplace. We are proud to partner with Workactive to bring you safety and wellbeing programs throughout the year.

Look out for our regular Toolbox Tuesday and Wellness Wednesday posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and the Labourpower website.

 

 

ALCOHOL AND YOUR HEALTH

 

When it comes to alcohol and your health, it’s important to stay within the recommended guidelines. The less
you choose to drink, the lower your risk of alcohol related harm

ALCOHOL IN THE WORKPLACE

Labourpower does not permit the consumption, possession or being under the effects of alcohol during work hours and has a zero tolerance policy. A reminder that random alcohol testing can occur at any of our client’s sites.

Disclaimer: The following information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation

IS IT TIME TO RETHINK HOW MUCH YOU DRINK?

Enjoying a social drink from time to time is often considered to be part of the Australian culture. But indulge too much and you increase your risk of developing an alcohol-related injury or disease.

  • Healthy men and women can reduce the harm of alcohol-related disease or injury by limiting their drinking to no more than two standard drinks on any one day
KNOW YOUR STANDARD DRINKS

Alcoholic drinks come in different strengths and serving sizes. Always keep track of how many drinks you have had. In Australia, a standard drink provides 10g alcohol and is equal to approximately:

  • 285 mL of full-strength beer
  • 100 mL of wine
  • 30 mL of spirits
  • 275 mL of premixed ready-to-drink beverage
TIPS FOR CUTTING BACK ON THE BOOZE
  • Set yourself some drink limits that you stick to and aim for two alcohol free days per week
  • Make every second drink a glass of water or non-alcoholic beverage
  • Avoid snacks that are high in salt. Too much salt is unhealthy, and it can also increase your thirst
  • Never mix alcohol with energy drinks as the caffeine lowers your ability to manage your alcohol intake
  • Try alternatives such as low carb or light beers or reduced-alcohol wine
  • For help and more information, visit the Drinkwise website or call the  Alcohol Drug Information Service (ADIS) free, 24-hour support line on 1800 250 015
WELLNESS GOES 24/7

Labourpower values your health and wellbeing and is committed to wellness in the workplace. We are proud to partner with Workactive to bring you safety and wellbeing programs throughout the year.

Look out for our regular Toolbox Tuesday and Wellness Wednesday posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and the Labourpower website.