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Workplace Mental Health eMag - WorkLife Oct 2019 Issue - Better Workplace Resilience and Wellbeing

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October 2019
Asking For Help
We show you how to
become 30 times more
influential
A Little More
Conversation
How to talk so...
FROM THE CEOFROM THE CEO
Peter DiazCEO -WorkplaceMental HealthInstitute
Y
You’ll immediately notice this month’s eMag cove...
W
Workplace mental health
issues have been swept
under the proverbial rug for
too long.
As a business owner or
manager, on...
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Workplace Mental Health eMag - WorkLife Oct 2019 Issue - Better Workplace Resilience and Wellbeing

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Mental Wealth reveals an approach to workplace mental health and wellbeing that is proven to get results. We are talking about Mental Wealth through our just released book, Mental Wealth: An Essential Guide to Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing. What else is in WorkLife this month? Check it out here…

Mental Wealth reveals an approach to workplace mental health and wellbeing that is proven to get results. We are talking about Mental Wealth through our just released book, Mental Wealth: An Essential Guide to Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing. What else is in WorkLife this month? Check it out here…

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Workplace Mental Health eMag - WorkLife Oct 2019 Issue - Better Workplace Resilience and Wellbeing

  1. 1. October 2019 Asking For Help We show you how to become 30 times more influential A Little More Conversation How to talk so your people open up to you Become Invincible There’s a way to deal with rejection that can yield great dividends Setting Goals Sucks How committing to processes works best Peter Diaz Emi Golding The Power of Mental Wealth
  2. 2. FROM THE CEOFROM THE CEO Peter DiazCEO -WorkplaceMental HealthInstitute Y You’ll immediately notice this month’s eMag cover has Emi Golding and myself on the cover. If you are tempted to cry out ‘narcissist!’ then we’ve beaten you to it. Often. So why did we go with it anyway, when the risk was that our being on the cover might upset some people? Put simply, because the message we must convey is so important, that we are willing to do whatever it takes – even if means being vulnerable, or feeling uncomfortable. After all, we must put our actions where our mouth is. And this month we are tackling Mental Wealth We are talking about Mental Wealth through our just released book, Mental Wealth: An Essential Guide to Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing. As our publisher says: “NEW YORK—October 21, 2019—Morgan James’s new release, Mental Wealth: An Essential Guide to Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing, by Emi Golding and Peter Diaz, is the ultimate guide for leaders and managers wanting to effectively tackle mental health in their teams. Emi Golding and Peter Diaz understand how essential it is to cultivate a safe and supportive work environment, and they have devoted years to researching and training managers to better handle these issues. Mental Wealth reveals an approach to workplace mental health and wellbeing that is proven to get results.” So, in short, get the book, read it, share it, get copies for your colleagues. But more importantly, apply it! What else is in WorkLife this month? • How to talk so your people open up to you • A way to ask for help that is 30 times more effective • Become Invincible, deal with rejection and yield great rewards • Setting Goals Sucks – Let us show you a better way And there you have it, a brilliant issue of WorkLife that is full of relevant content for workplaces and leaders. Enjoy! Have a mentally healthy day. 2 WORKLIFE|OCTOBER 2019 Peter Diaz
  3. 3. W Workplace mental health issues have been swept under the proverbial rug for too long. As a business owner or manager, one of your responsibilities is to take care of your employees so they can take care of your customers. There is a lot of talk today about employee engagement and finding and retaining good TAKING THE RISK OUT OF MENTAL HEALTH employees in a challenging hiring environment. How your organization responds to mental health issues in your workplace affects your employees more than you know. I have spent 40 years in the risk management and insurance business. I have seen firsthand the consequences of employee mental health problems: higher worker injury rates, decreased productivity, an increase in employment- related lawsuits, and in extreme cases, employee violence. Organizations of all types and sizes face real financial costs when they ignore this issue. Of course, there are risks when you take action. When you do anything, there’s a certain amount of By Steve Anderson 4 WORKLIFE|OCTOBER 2019
  4. 4. risk involved. But I’ve also learned that if you don’t act (hoping if you ignore the problem it will eventually go away), the risks that supervisors, managers, and the organization face could be even higher. As a business or organization, are you at risk for a harassment or bullying claim being brought by the employee? Mental Wealth will help you understand how to manage that risk effectively. Are you afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing? Mental Wealth: An Essential Guide to Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing book will help you understand how to take the best approach for both your employee and your business. Are you accountable for what you do (or don’t do) regarding the mental health of your organization? Mental Wealth will help you look at both the physical as well as the fiscal responsibilities of creating a healthy organization and healthy, productive workers. It seems obvious, but prevention is more cost- effective than managing a crisis because when unaddressed, reaction to a problem after it’s happened is the most expensive way for businesses to manage mental health. Not taking proactive steps to address mental health issues that are in your workplace right now (and we all have them) could actually be the riskiest decision you make. Too often, mental health issues are avoided because they are “messy” and best left to the professionals in Human Resources, Risk Management or the Health and Safety Department. But in today’s environment, everybody has to be on board. That’s why I was encouraged when I met Peter Diaz and Emi Golding some years ago when we were both part of a small intensive training group here in the US. Over the days we were together, I listened to Peter and Emi describe the challenging issues of mental 5WORKLIFE|OCTOBER 2019
  5. 5. Steve Anderson Authority on Risk, The Bezos Letters From the Foreword to Mental Wealth: An Essential Guide to Worplace Mental Health and Wellbeing by Emi Golding and Peter Diaz, 2019 health in the workplace in Australia and the world, and their concern that mental health issues were not being proactively managed by many organizations. Their passion for helping organizations address this issue head-on is impressive. They founded the Workplace Mental Health Institute to lead the fight to help individuals and organizations tackle this complex problem with proven, effective plans and strategies. I have watched as both Peter, Emi and their team have traveled the world the last few years providing workshops and seminars for Fortune 500 companies, large and medium organizations, and government departments. They have trained thousands of managers and supervisors on the importance of taking care of employees’ well-being and how to tackle the mental health epidemic in the most effective way. I don’t know of a better team than Peter and Emi. Their energy, education, and passion for helping businesses of all sizes improve the workplace and well-being environment are exceptional. Their new book Mental Wealth provides you with access to their vast knowledge and experience in a practical and useful format. Peter and Emi have identified Seven Pillars you can use to build a mentally wealthy workplace. You will find this section to be your “plan of action” for what to do next. For each of the pillars, they provide a section on “How do you apply this pillar?” As well as specific initiatives you can take within your organization immediately to implement a safer and more responsive workplace. Both Peter and Emi have the knowledge, skills, credentials, and experience to guide you through this process. Peter is also upfront about his personal encounters with mental health issues, providing sage insight and perspective. Their credentials are extensive, but more importantly, they have real-life experience working with organizations worldwide. They don’t just bring an academic view; their decades of experience have helped them to address practical problems, (expected) resistance, and the unique challenges organizations face. This new book “Mental Wealth” provides you with access to their vast knowledge and experience in a practical and useful format. Remember what I said about higher worker injury rates, decreased productivity, an increase in employment-related lawsuits, and in extreme cases, employee violence? Again, organizations of all types and sizes face real financial costs when they ignore this issue. That’s why this book is so important. It helps you understand the issues and provides you with practical language, steps, and processes you can take to effectively create a Mentally Wealthy workplace. Your organization will address mental health issues in the workplace at some point in the future. Creating Mental Wealth is an excellent first step to begin the process of enhancing your workplace culture to better care for employees so they can better care for your customers. 6 WORKLIFE|OCTOBER 2019
  6. 6. S Sydney, Australia – On the 8th of October, 2019, Workplace Mental Health Institute in partnership with BridgeClimb Sydney, launched ‘Climb For Mental Health,’ an initiative to put the spotlight on the existing mental health issues in our communities and the mental health tsunami that’s coming worldwide to workplaces everywhere. The Climb for Mental Health is the initiative of the Workplace Mental Health Institute, Australia’s premium private body for the advancement and delivery of mental health services and training in the workplace. Recognized as world leaders in the field of NEWS UPDATE: Launch of Climb ForMentalHealth workplace mental health, they believe the concept will bolster Australia’s reputation as a nation committed to action on mental health in the workplace. The event showcases the importance of moving onwards and upwards to raise awareness of mental health The official launch and inaugural Climb for Mental Health bridge climb took place this Tuesday, the 8th of October, from 10.15 am. Prominent Australians, business leaders, and sporting personalities took part in the launch and the climb to showcase the importance of moving onwards and upwards to raise awareness of mental health. The celebrities that took part included: Dr. Kerryn Phelps, Councillor, City of Sydney, Glenn Lazarus, rugby league legend, Ed Phillips, media personality, and Cameron Daddo, actor and producer. They all spoke brilliantly on the importance of mental health. It was a fabulous day, full of reflection of what is essential, and lots of fun. We are pleased to bring you a video we’ve put together of the day. Please watch. If you want more information on this epic event and would like to participate next year, 2020, then check www.climbformentalhealth.com 7WORKLIFE|OCTOBER 2019
  7. 7. T The manager was deeply troubled, she’d just heard me say that over fifty percent of staff never tell their boss that they have a mental health issue. She was a caring person and wanted her team to be able to come to her if they had a problem. So, she asked me, ‘But, how do I get them to talk to me? How do I get them to feel good about letting me know if they have a mental health problem?’ ‘Well’, I said, ‘the trick is to make sure that you regularly and often have conversations with your team that build work relationships’. She looked at me and said, ‘But, how?’ But ‘how’, indeed. That communication happens at all these days is a miracle. We spend roughly 60 percent of our communication time listening, but we retain just 25 percent of what we hear. We’re becoming impatient; we want sound bites. The art of conversation is being replaced by personal broadcasting. Media have to scream at us with headlines in order to get our attention. That means it’s harder for us to pay attention to the quiet, the subtle, the understated. Many of you have already heard a lot of advice on this; like look the person in the eye, think of interesting topics to discuss in advance, nod and smile to show that you’re paying attention, repeat back what you just heard or summarize it. This is pointless. There is no reason to learn how to show you’re paying attention if you are authentically paying attention. Don’t multitask. Be present. Be in that moment. Don’t think about your A little more conversation, and less distraction. 8 WORKLIFE|OCTOBER 2019
  8. 8. argument you had with your boss. Don’t think about what you’re going to have for dinner. If you want to get out of the conversation, get out of the conversation, but don’t be half in it and half out of it. Don’t pontificate. If you want to state your opinion without any opportunity for response or argument or pushback or growth, write a blog. The famed therapist M. Scott Peck said that true listening requires a setting aside of oneself. And sometimes that means setting aside your personal opinion. He said that sensing this acceptance, the speaker will become less and less vulnerable and more and more likely to open up the inner recesses of his or her mind to the listener. Use open-ended questions. In this case, take a cue from journalists. Start your questions with who, what, when, where, why or how. If you put in a complicated question, you›re going to get a simple answer out. If I ask you, «Were you terrified?» you›re going to respond to the most powerful word in that sentence, which is «terrified,» and the answer is «Yes, I was» or «No, I wasn›t.» Ask instead, “What was that like?” “How did that feel?” Because then they might have to stop for a moment and think about it, and you’re going to get a more useful and interesting response. Go with the flow. That means thoughts will come into your mind and you need to let them go out of your mind. We’re sitting there having a conversation with someone, and then we remember that time that we met Hugh Jackman in a coffee shop. And we stop listening. Stories and ideas are going to come to you. You need to let them come and let them go. If you don’t know, say that you don’t know. Now, people on the radio, especially on NPR, are much more aware that they›re going on the record, and so they›re more careful about what they claim to be an expert in and what they claim to know for sure. Do that. Err on the side of caution. Talk should not be cheap. Don’t equate your experience with theirs. If they’re talking about having lost a family member, don’t start talking about the time you lost a family member. All experiences are individual, and it’s not about you. You don’t need to take that moment to prove how amazing you are or how much you’ve suffered. Try not to repeat yourself. It’s condescending, and it’s really boring, and we tend to do it a lot. Especially in work conversations or in conversations with our kids, we have a point to make, so we just keep rephrasing it over and over. Stay out of the weeds. Frankly, people don’t care about the years, the names, the dates, all those details that you’re struggling to come up with in your mind. They don’t care. What they care about is you. They care about what you’re like, what you have in common. So forget the details. Leave them out. Listen. The average person talks at about 225 word per minute, but we can listen at up to 500 words per minute. So our minds are filling in those other 275 words. It takes effort and energy to actually pay attention to someone, but if you can’t do that, you’re not in a conversation. You’re just two people shouting out barely related sentences in the same place. You have to listen to one another. Stephen Covey said it very beautifully. He said, “Most of us don’t listen with the intent to understand. We listen with the intent to reply.” Be brief. There is power in brevity. All of this boils down to the same basic concept: Be interested in other people. Assume everyone has some hidden, amazing thing about them. Go out, talk to people, listen to people, and, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed. There is no reason to learn how to show you’re paying attention if you are authentically paying attention. 9WORKLIFE|OCTOBER 2019
  9. 9. NOGO M My adult daughter is leaving home. She is making plans with friends, attending open homes for rentals, and gathering furniture and kitchenware from helpful friends and relatives. Oh, did you think I was going to tell you that I feel rejected? No, I’m excited, for both her and me! Let me explain the relevance. After looking at an apartment at the top of her budget, which ticked all of the boxes in terms of the number of car parks and bedrooms, air conditioning and of course a dishwasher, she and her soon-to-be flatmate submitted a rental application. But someone else got the apartment. And now she is one hundred percent convinced that no one is approving applications for first-time renters, and that she will not find an apartment unless she rents through a specific agency where she has insider-connections, and above her original budget. By Alison Skate One rejection has led to a catastrophic interpretation, which in turn has led to unvalidated beliefs and changes in behaviour. And all because the risk of hearing another ‘No’ feels too uncomfortable. Jia Jiang, author of Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection, says that rejection is an opportunity for greater understanding, as long as we use the magic word, “Why?” By holding our ground and making ourselves visible with this question, our humiliation and fear turns to curiosity and understanding that could help with our next endeavor. In order to overcome the legacy of a painful rejection at the age of six, Jiang embarked upon a challenge to seek out rejection every day for 100 days. After a somewhat shaky start, he began to notice that exploring the rejection could lead to opportunities to address an obstacle, to obtain a DEALINGWITH REJECTION 10 WORKLIFE|OCTOBER 2019
  10. 10. referral, or directions for successful outcomes. Another strategy for dealing with the potential for rejection that Jiang discovered was to disarm the cautiousness and confusion of the other person by naming the discomfort upfront. “Is that weird?” he would ask, without waiting for the response to his absurd requests. Jiang explains that acknowledging the unfamiliar nature of his requests resulted in a shift from him being perceived as weird, to the request itself being considered unusual. Sometimes, people even said “Yes” to his rejection-worthy requests, and this led Jiang to realise that he may be able to achieve outrageous results, simply through the act of asking, where once the fear of rejection would have eliminated all possibility. Through this same willingness to experience rejection we recognise people who changed world paradigms and cultures. These people, like Martin Luther King, Jr, Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Gandhi, were often met with strong and violent rejections, but they did not let rejection decide their results, only their efforts. So the next time I have a few minutes with my daughter, I will suggest she watches this amusing and entertaining video. And I recommend it to you, too. In the world of sales, Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz, use an entertaining but enlightening parable in their book Go for No! Yes is the destination, No is how you get there. Described within the first pages of the book is a not- too-fictional account of a junior sales person at a men’s clothing store, who was bursting with pride whilst ringing up a large sale in the presence of the visiting regional manager. According to the story, the manager asked the young salesperson about the sale. In reply, the salesperson declared that the customer had purchased every suit, shirt and tie he had recommended, with a sale price in the thousands of dollars. “And what was the thing he refused to buy? What did he say ‘no’ to?” The salesperson replied that the customer hadn’t said no to anything. “Then how did you know that you had attained the highest sale, and met each of his needs without omission?” In this example, a ‘no’ simply exhausted and concluded the transaction. Not hearing ‘no’ came with greater risk. “Because rejection is painful, we often succumb to our psychological tendency to fight or flight, just like our ancestors when they were fighting beasts in the wild. However, in modern day business negotiation and communication when intricate emotions and interests are involved, relying on our primary instinct is very unproductive. Use the magic word instead. Ask why.” Jia Jiang RejectionTherapy.com 11WORKLIFE|OCTOBER 2019
  11. 11. G Goals are overrated. There, it’s been said. Probably not for the first time, either. What is the problem with a goal? It is the notion that there is an end-date by which to achieve a specific outcome, and therefore that there is only one date or experience that represents success. And then what? The idea of having achieved a goal implies the conclusion of efforts in relation to that outcome. Have a goal to see a specific set of numbers on a scale? Success or failure is then determined only by the numbers on the scale, on or prior to a set date, but fails to acknowledge the process that one engages in daily to see those numbers. We have all heard the SMART goal formula – Specific outcomes, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and linked to a particular Time. And whilst it is a useful tool by which you can visualize an outcome and set our behavioral compass, you really have to reconsider whether the goal is actually the same as your intention. Let’s go back to the easily relatable weight specific goal (whether that is to drop or increase weight to a certain number on the scales). For simplicity, let’s say you wanted to lose 5kg and see 65kg on the scale. Commit to Processes Instead STOP SETTING GOALS: 12 WORKLIFE|OCTOBER 2019
  12. 12. Instead of considering what specific number you would like to see on the scales by a particular date, ask yourself these five questions instead. What is my intention? If I lost that weight, what would that mean for me? Really try to experience the feeling of becoming the person who is meeting this intention. This is a much more powerful driver than the number itself. Can the intention be achieved now? If the intention is an emotional state – happy, self-loving, excited, etc – these are all reliant upon a decision, rather than an outcome. What would I see, hear, feel or be doing that would help me recognise this benefit? Recognise that there may be more than one outcome that would achieve the benefit. Want to see well- fitted clothing? Want to feel energetic and confident? Want to complete a park-run without walking any of the route? Want to hear compliments? It could be these or any number of alternatives. Does 65kg on the scales guarantee the intention is met? Are there other ways to experience these benefits? What do I need to sacrifice for this intention? Here’s the nitty-gritty! What are you prepared to sacrifice for that new benefit? What time-wasters are you prepared to release? What consumables will you be willing to forgo? What self-talk or self-sabotage will you need to switch off? What am I prepared to commit to for this intention? Identifying the general vision that you are setting your compass for is one thing – understanding the vehicle that you need to get you to those benefits is another! There will be processes to be observed on a regular basis that will form the habits of success. What are those actions or behaviours? What conversations need to be spoken? What tools need to be gathered? What daily/weekly behaviours require your commitment? Would I be willing to commit to continuing these processes even if I achieved my intention? Whether it is optimal nutrition, exercise, sleep routine, hydration or elimination processes that you are committing to, if you are not able to become the person who engages in these behaviours, the results will not be lasting. Any achievement celebrations will be short-lived. Don’t do whatever it takes unless you can keep doing it for as long as you want to enjoy the benefit. Bonus question – this is probably one of the most empowering or disempowering processes you can observe when you commit to your intention. Am I? These two words are very powerful – but in the opposite order. I am signifies our identity. When you say words that don’t align with your intention, you may find it harder to engage in the process to becoming your intention. “I am never going to lose those 5kg” is disempowering to the process, whilst “I am improving my health every day” is a motivation maintenance statement that you can relate to and make a renewed commitment to each day. Think of your own intentions. • What are the benefits of that intention and can you experience those benefits now? • Are there other ways to experience those benefits? • How would you recognise those benefits? • What sacrifices are you willing to make, and what processes will you commit to in order to experience the benefits? • Are you able to continue these sacrifices and commitments after you have recognised the benefits? • Who do you have to be, or what do you have to believe about yourself, in order to experience your intention? 13WORKLIFE|OCTOBER 2019
  13. 13. HAPPY HELPERSasking for help in a way that makes others more willing to contribute at work. 14 WORKLIFE|OCTOBER 2019
  14. 14. I I’ve actually never seen asking for help on one of those top ten lists of things people fear, like public speaking and death, but I’m pretty sure it belongs there. So, if we’re going to ask for help - and we have to - the only way we›re going to even begin to get comfortable with it is to get good at it. Which means asking in a way that the helper is going to find it actually satisfying and rewarding to help you. If you need help, ask for it out loud. We all, to some extent, suffer from referred to as «the illusion of transparency» -- basically, the mistaken belief that our feelings and needs are obvious to other people. Approximately 90 percent of the help that co-workers give one another in the workplace is in response to explicit requests for help. Use the words “I need your help.” When you ask for help, be very specific about the help you want and why. Just as important as knowing you want help is knowing whether or not we can be successful in giving you the help. So be clear, “I’m hoping to discuss opportunities to work in your company,” or, “I’d like to propose a joint research project on a subject you’re interested in.” Avoid disclaimers, apologies and bribes. ‘I’m so, so sorry that I have to ask you, I really hate bothering you with this.” “Can I ask a favour? I’m happy to pay you for your time.” When you have a relationship with someone, helping one another is a natural part of that relationship. It’s how we show one another that we care. If you introduce incentives or payments into that it starts to feel like it isn’t a relationship, it’s a transaction. This is experienced as distancing, which makes people less likely to help you. Do not ask for help over email or text. We ask for help over email and text because it feels less awkward for us to do so. Telling you no is also less awkward in a text. In-person requests for help are 30 times more likely to get a yes than a request made by email. When you ask someone for their help and they say yes, follow up with them afterward. What is rewarding about helping is knowing that your help had impact. Take time to tell your colleague that the help that they gave you helped to land that big sale, or helped you get that interview. It is not easy to ask for help. Most of us are a little bit afraid to do it. It makes us feel vulnerable. But the reality of modern work and modern life is that nobody succeeds in a vacuum. We have to rely on other people, on their support and collaboration, in order to be successful. So, when you need help, ask for it out loud, in a way that increases your chances that you’ll get a yes, and makes the other person feel fulfilled for having helped you. 15WORKLIFE|OCTOBER 2019
  15. 15. S So, there you are wide awake! You know you should be asleep, you MUST be asleep! You do have that presentation in the morning, and you need to be fresh for it…but you can’t. You’ve been tossing and turning and, nothing! Sleep is not coming. Don’t fret, there’s something you can do, but you may not want to hear it. Sleeplessness is a fairly common complaint, especially at times when people need their sleep most – when they’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious or stressed. The quality of sleep is often unrelated to the amount of time spent in bed, with many insomniacs feeling wakeful throughout the night, only to feel most ready for sleep two minutes before the alarm sounds. There are some simple strategies that will quickly improve the quality of an individual’s sleep, but they tend to be the opposite of what many people do when they’re struggling to get a good night of rest. Knowing what improves sleep isn’t going to be effective unless the strategies are practiced daily. As a result, the very first thing that needs to happen is for a commitment to be made to improving the quality of sleep. No Alcohol, sorry! Alcohol depresses the central nervous system and has the effect of increasing drowsiness and relaxation. This may be why some people who feel stressed opt for one or more glasses of alcohol between working hours and when they go to bed. In response to the suppressant effects of alcohol (and the release of insulin to manage excess glucose from many beverages) the body releases a surge of cortisol to return the body to its state of equilibrium. This cortisol release occurs two to four hours after alcohol is consumed, resulting in a stress response at the time when an individual is typically trying to sleep. Get Your House in Order The idea of putting things in order could be interpreted figuratively or literally. Complete tasks that weigh on your mind. Assignments or reports that remain unwritten diminish the quality of relaxation, so set a goal to achieve a percentage of completion before bed. Open bills, pay them or set up a payment plan, then file them. Address issues as they arise quickly and as completely as possible at the time. Equally, maintaining an orderly and tidy living and sleeping space can promote a sense of restfulness. Switch Off Television and games are frequently used to distract attention from racing thoughts, however, once they are turned off the internal chatter returns loud and clear, added to the stimulation of commercials during programs and competitive gaming. Remove consoles and televisions from the bedroom, and set a no TV/games buffer of a couple of hours before bed. Instead, try writing in a gratitude journal, reading a self-development book, and engaging in light exercise during the day. Try these tips and see how you go. Over time, you will notice an improvement. Nighty night! THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR 3 WAYS TO ACHIEVE BETTER SLEEP, 16 WORKLIFE|OCTOBER 2019

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