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New Year, New You!

With the festive season officially over, now is the ideal opportunity to take some time and space to do that future thinking. During the year it can be hard to get your head in the right place to focus on the changes needed in your life to impact your future. Often you only need to make small, manageable change to reap the rewards – whether that’s lifestyle or career opportunities.

If you decide that 2019 is going to be the year you invest time in your personal health and wellbeing, there are some simple actions you can take to start the journey.

Reducing stress in your life, either at work or at home, can have great flow on benefits. Simple meditation can help start the de-stress process and research indicates that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress. Best of all you can do it anywhere, any time. It’s simple. Sit up straight with both feet on the floor. Close your eyes. Focus your attention on reciting — out loud or silently — a positive mantra. Place one hand on your belly to sync the mantra with your breaths.

Breathing deeply is another option for helping to reduce stress. Take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth.

If you are keen to focus on a healthier lifestyle there are some simple and easy steps to take that don’t have to cost money but will pay dividends. Being fit gives you stamina and increases energy levels. It also improves productivity, motivation and satisfaction.

Start out with a fifteen-minute walk and increase the time you spend striding out, by five to ten minutes every day. You don’t need any special equipment and you can fit it into a lunch hour or walk to work or home. Use the time to sift through what’s ahead in your day and bring some order to a busy schedule or to analyse what happened in the day gone past.

If you work at a job where you do a lot of sitting – many of us do – then take note of recent study results that showed that men who sit for more than six hours a day at work are 54% more likely to have a heart attack and women were 40%. So, make your 2019 mission to stand up for five minutes every hour. This simple action will help strengthen back and core muscles, burn calories, enhance alertness and cognitive function, increase focus, boost circulation and activate your metabolism.

Finally, use the new year to think about upskilling yourself. You might open a world of new career opportunities or you may want to undertake study to reach a personal development goal. There’s a huge sense of satisfaction that comes with learning a new skill.

The more you practice a new skill, the more dense the myelin in your brain becomes. Myelin helps improve performance and helps you learn more easily. Learning a new skill also helps keep interest levels high so you don’t get bored and it helps break that cycle of monotony and prevents boredom from setting in. It can also make it easier to adapt to change. Adapting to change is a skill in itself, and the more varied your life experience, the easier it is to adapt.

If you decide that 2019 is the year for you to learn a new skill, then consider eCampus NZ as an option. There are a range of courses available and our flexible online environment means you can easily incorporate learning into an existing busy lifestyle.

Important information for new learners

eCampus NZ as a business unit of Open Polytechnic, is now part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology.

From 1 January 2023, eCampus NZ will no longer enrol new learners into study plans delivered on the eCampus NZ learning platform.

However, all courses/programmes will still be available for online study through Open Polytechnic - Te Pūkenga.

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