Like many people, I find this time of year particularly busy as I am in full festive flight and mentally and physically juggling work, family, presents, turkeys, vegan dinners and the like!

So, in the festive spirit, here are my 12 health work-related thoughts for the day/season/year (in no particular order!). I hope you find them useful and thought-provoking.


1)  Exercise is medicine 

I am planning to get a few walks in over the holiday and not fall asleep to “It’s a Wonderful Life”. What are your plans to keep moving this holiday and into the new year? How do you help your team and yourself to incorporate movement into your work?


2)  Think Exercise Snacking

150 mins of exercise a week can be broken down into 2 x 10 minutes of brisk walking a day. That’s doable. See the ‘Active 10’ App to help you to measure this for yourselves.


3)  Revisit the HSE Mental Health guidelines 

Some excellent guidelines for improving the mental health of any business and will help us all to understand the psychosocial risk factors in work and look to modify job roles to reduce stress and mental health problems at work.


4)  Chronic Illness is a disability 

Ensure chronic illness is on the agenda of your disability and inclusion working groups. It’s important to meet the needs of all your employees, focusing on the individual’s ability to fulfil their role and the modifications that may be needed to help them do their job well.


5)  Work is a health outcome 

If someone is off sick, remember getting back to ‘Good’ work is rehabilitation.


6)  Add Health Value to your Networks

Think about the people around you. Consider their wellbeing both mental and physical and how to work and add value to employees, claimants, customers and colleagues by thinking about their needs as well as your own.


7)  Share your own Stories

Mental Health problems affect all of us; come closer to the issue by sharing your personal stories. It’s not just happening to other people. It’s happened to me too.


8)  ‘Its OK to not be OK’

We are often very hard on ourselves. Perfectionism is not real and can be very damaging to our health and those around us.


9)  ‘It’s good to talk’ 

How many times have you noticed that someone doesn’t seem quite themselves but haven’t asked? Remember, it’s good to talk.


10)  Fight or Flight 

Let’s talk about ‘fight or flight’ more. Not just that we know about it, but talk about how we experience it, how fabulous our body is to jump to our defence and how we can help soothe it back to normal again.


11)  Join up the dots of mental and physical ill health 

Help the mind and body to hold each other’s hands and move along together. That has always been the Working Towards Wellbeing modus operandi.


12)  Relax a bit and have fun! 

Don’t forget to make time to have fun in the mayhem that is work, family, presents and turkeys.