Welcome to 2021

Hello, hopefully this year will lead to a resolution of the current Covid-19 epidemic. 2020 has taught us the importance of personal hygiene (wash hands), and social distancing. at the same time there is increased awareness of psychological health and the importance for many of social connections. Perhaps the words for 2020 should be adaption and endurance.

2020 was a time for change for me – poor health in 2019 led to a major change in lifestyle and moving health to my number 1 priority. During the year I also left my employment with a pharmaceutical company (Indivior). I am very grateful for my experiences with the company and leave with good memories however, I also recognise that the lifestyle I had adopted was not good for my health. Having left the company I decided to return to clinical work and focus on health and psychology. I now work part time in practice based in Sydney Australia.

During 2021 I will be focusing upon building a new service (apart from my psychological practice) that focuses on lifestyle management – watch out for a new web site.

To start this year I have found a few research articles you may find interesting.

Mark Anns

Lifestyle and Mental Health

Comment: A study from the University of Otago reported in the Science Daily adds to the evidence of the importance of lifestyle on overall health. This study looked at young adults and mental health – in summary, Getting good quality sleep, exercising, and eating more raw fruits and vegetables predicts better mental health and well-being in young adults, a University of Otago study has found. The interesting aspect related to sleep was that it was quality rather than quantity that seems most important.

“Sleep, physical activity, and a healthy diet can be thought of as three pillars of health, which could contribute to promoting optimal well-being among young adults, a population where the prevalence of mental disorders is high and well-being is suboptimal,”

Senior author, Associate Professor Tamlin Conner, of the Department of Psychology, says most prior research examines these health behaviours in isolation of each other.

“We showed that they are all important for predicting which young adults are flourishing versus suffering.”

She also stressed the study’s findings were correlations only.

“We didn’t manipulate sleep, activity, or diet to test their changes on mental health and well-being. Other research has done that and has found positive benefits. Our research suggests that a ‘whole health’ intervention prioritising sleep, exercise, and fruit and vegetable intake together, could be the next logical step in this research,” she says.

Link to Science Daily article

Link to research article

Changes in perception of time

If like me in the era of Covid-19 your ability to tell which day of the week it is seems a bit off, you are not alone. For many, normal routines that assist us to focus on when we were planning to do an activity, are disrupted, this may contribute to a sense of loss and being alone. Research now indicates many people are experiencing alterations in how fast time seems to be flowing.

A survey conducted in the U.K. suggests that social and physical distancing measures put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted people’s perception of how quickly time passed compared to their pre-lockdown perceptions.

Click here for original article Science Daily release