2020 was a challenging year and saw the pandemic affect everyone in different ways. Looking after our mental and physical wellbeing has never been more important. Billy Hughes is UK Area Manager Ascott Hospitality Management UK, which includes Citadines Islington, the newest addition to the Citadines Apart’hotel portfolio. Chirag Ghelani is from Lotus Leadership and hosts mindfulness and leadership workshops at wellness space OMNOM. They share their tips on how to improve your wellbeing and feel less stressed in 2021.

“Many of us have been working from home and with more people likely to make the shift towards working from home in the future, it is important to stick to a routine like you would when going into the office each day. Get up, have a shower and get ready for work and why not consider going for a walk to get some fresh air before your start your working day?” says Billy.

“Remember to drink lots of water throughout the day and plan in exercise. I block my diary out for three one-hour sessions a week and complete a 10-to-15-minute stretching programme every day. Unless it is important to the business, I do not compromise on that diary time. Always surround yourself with positive people, and if you make a mistake and it is playing on your mind then you should confront it. What is the worst that can happen?

“With wellbeing on the rise, at Citadines Islington we provide yoga mats to guests staying in our deluxe studio and apartments. We are also partnering with our neighbour, plant-based restaurant and wellness space OMNOM to provide our guests with discounted yoga and meditation classes and healthy and nutritious food and drink.”

Chirag says: “According to a recent survey by King’s College London, more than half the UK’s population struggled with sleep during the first lockdown period. It has been a difficult and stressful period for all so it is important that people develop and strengthen resilience to improve their ability to bounce back from setbacks, adapt well to change and cope with personal and professional demands.  Dealing with challenges are an inevitable part of life and how we deal with these setbacks will be a key factor in our success. My top four tips can be remembered with the acronym REST.”

Rewire your brain to shift your mindset and perspectives. Learning how to transform automatic negative thoughts into positive empowering thinking patterns will enable us to spot growth opportunities in challenging situations and focus on areas of control.

“Exercise, get the body moving to relieve tension and stress, boost physical and mental energy and enhance wellbeing through the release of endorphins which can be done at the gym, at home or by simply going for a walk.

“Seek support. We are all inherently social beings and connecting with friends releases a hormone called Oxytocin which can negate the effects of stress. Whilst physical interaction might be limited in the current environment, the wonders of modern technology mean we still have opportunities to connect with each other.

“Take time out for yourself. Take a tech detox, have a meeting with yourself and have some much needed “me” time. It is important to take breaks and remind ourselves that our text messages, emails and social media are not going to disappear if we don’t respond immediately.”