insideKENT Magazine Issue 59 - February 2017 - Page 108

HEALTH+WELLNESS CHANGE YOURSELF, CHANGE THE WORLD cont. WORK MEASURE YOUR SUCCESS Not trying to come across all ‘motivational team-building day’ (*shudder*), but goal setting is a really effective way of working out whether you’re getting enough out of your work. First, write down all of your aims and aspirations, then go through them one by one making notes about how you can achieve them. Just the act of writing them down will focus your mind on what you really want to accomplish and how you can set about doing it. More focused you = more motivated you = happier you = happier everyone else around you. RETRAIN Retraining is a big step and one that most people quickly dismiss as impossible if they even dare to think about it, but according to research, between 20 and 40 per cent of people are unhappy in their jobs. Follow-up studies have reasoned that unhappiness at work can lead to stress, weight gain, a weaker immune system, relationship difficulties, insomnia and depression – all of which are a strain on you and a strain on your employer. The bottom line is if you really don’t like your job, it’s well worth getting some advice about other roles and companies that could benefit from your skill set. VOLUNTEER Volunteering isn’t all about soup kitchens and helping the homeless these days, and although they’re fantastic ways to reach out to people who are less fortunate, working that closely with vulnerable people doesn’t suit everyone. If you’re handy with knitting and crochet, make warm clothing for mother and baby shelters; if you’re a professional, find a school that needs motivational speakers, or mentor a young person interested in your industry; if you love to socialise, visit with the elderly for an hour or two; if you’re an animal lover, donate a few hours of your time to a shelter…seek and you will find lots of opportunities to make a really significant difference to someone else’s life. THE ENVIRONMENT THINK ABOUT HOW YOU TRAVEL Driving and flying are two areas where you can make a really positive environmental impact. To reduce your carbon footprint (the sum of all carbon emissions induced by your activities over the course of a year), choose fuel-efficient travel options (as a rule of thumb, trains and buses are better than planes and cars), travel less and try to pick more direct routes to save on fuel, and ride a bicycle or walk wherever possible. CLEAN UP If you’re always on top of your own rubbish, but you despair at the array of crisp packets and empty bottles thoughtlessly discarded in parks and on roads, then pick them up – arm yourself with rubber gloves and stage a quick litter-pick to keep the outside spaces near you looking spick and span, or, if that’s a step too far, think about joining a community clean up. A crucial difference you can make here is to support the ‘ban the bottle’ campaign; single-use plastic water bottles are one of the greatest threats to our oceans, so stop buying plastic and find yourself a refillable alternative like those available at DON’T DUMP, DONATE Based on the fact that you don’t trigger one item being produced while another is headed to landfill, it’s estimated that for every item of clothing donated, over 12 kilos of carbon emissions are reduced. And it’s not just clothes that count here too – old TVs, kitchenware, kids’ toys and furniture that you may no longer need will be really appreciated somewhere else. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so find a charity shop that’ll take them off your hands. 108