There is no doubt that the past year has impacted all areas of our lives in one way or another, with many Australians forced to constantly change their routines and adapt to the ‘new normal.’ With JobKeeper coming to an end in March, no-notice border closures always at the back of our minds, and hybrid workplaces becoming the norm, this ‘Age of Uncertainty’ brings to the surface many questions and concerns about the future of work, study, living and travelling.
Watching carefully as imminent changes unfold, new research commissioned by integrative healthcare brand Flordis KeenMind®, has delved into the realities of constant changes at home and in the workplace over the past year, and uncovered which Aussies remained calm and focussed in the face of adversity, and those who may not have fared as well through disruption and change, and why. Key findings have revealed that:1
• 25% of Australians felt less calm and focussed working/studying from home over the past year, with millennials the biggest demographic to struggle (38%).
• Interestingly, as age progressed, many Aussies were able to thrive, with some even saying that their sense of calm and feeling of focus either remaining steady or increasing (34-49 at 71%, 50-60 at 77%, and 60+ at 87%)
• With change on the horizon, 30% of Australians are worried about their ability to stay calm. This feeling was expressed predominately by younger Australians again (44% of 18–33-year-olds).
• For those who said they were worried about their ability to stay calm and focused, more than half (56%) declared there was still too much uncertainty.
• One in seven Australians are still worried about their health and the health of those around them.
The research went on to show that the leading factors that impacted people’s ability to stay calm and focussed were; financial stress and job uncertainty (34%), and the constant need to adapt and change routines (29%).
Women were most impacted with 39% saying that distractions at home and procrastination were the main reasons they weren’t able to stay on task.
However, of those who fared well, 44% noticed an increase in their ability to focus through creating a more balanced lifestyle which included exercise, eating well, mindfulness and supplements. 25% said they didn’t have the commute to worry about; 16% said they didn’t have workplace distractions, and 15% found it easier to set boundaries such as logging off from work.
Mark Mathieson, who has worked TV Shows including SAS Australia and Survivor, and is the founder of Psyched Up Clinic, commented on the findings, “Whilst some thrived, the Flordis KeenMind® research has shown that the adjustment to working from home certainly took a toll on many people’s wellbeing.
“Surprisingly, of all age demographics, millennials expressed the most concern in light of the uncertainties, and this is really unfortunate. This is a key time for this age group who are in many instances starting out in their careers (or study) and require stable environments to support them in their growth – which working-from-home may not be as conducive to, for example.
“As we find our feet in new hybrid environments and still navigate constant change, it’s important to put time and effort into health…and potentially correct some bad habits that were picked up over the past year.”
In support of this, leading health commentator, Gerald Quigley says that as we continue to adapt, this is the best time to think about improving cognitive performance – and shares his top tips for how Australians can stay ahead of the curb to keep their mental acuity in check.
“It’s great to see that so many Australians did well by leading a balanced lifestyle. But for those of us who are struggling to stay focused and calm after massive disruptions, there are some great ways you can help get yourself back on the right path.
“If you are looking to maintain or support your focus and sense of calm, it is recommended you find methods that are backed by clinical research or contain ingredients that are beneficial to improve cognitive function, like CDRI-08TM.
“CDRI is an extract derived from the Bacopa monnieri plant, which has been clinically proven to support mental clarity and assist with calm focus. As a plant-based ingredient, it has been around for decades, and is a little know secret that can truly have a noticeable impact. If you have questions about your cognitive function in any way, be sure to consult a health professional find the right approach for you.”
Gerald’s additional tips to improving cognitive function and ability to stay calm and focused include:
1. Cut Down on Screen Time: NBN reported a 71% increase in business traffic on screens in 2020, compared against pre-lockdown figures. This year, people should find ways to cut down on screen time, which has been widely researched as having detrimental effects on cognition an development, especially among young adults.8 In your downtime, find some ways to minimise screen exposure and ensure you get up from your desk every 20-30 minutes.
2. Find a New Hobby: Many of us tried our hand at sourdough or banana bread making over the past year, but this experimentation shouldn’t stop now. Studies have shown that activities such as exercise, cooking or meditation can help improve cognitive function and overall wellbeing.
3. Explore complementary medicines: There is so much research available about the benefits of natural supplements and complementary medicines. If you are looking to start adding supplements to your routine, make sure you do your research and use products whose efficacy has undergone clinical research. Always consult a health professional if you are unsure.
[KeenMind is the result of over 40 years of research. It demonstrates benefits for enhancing memory retention and recall, support ing mental clarity and focus, as well as assisting in learning, concentration, and attention. Clinical research has shown that KeenMind supports mental wellbeing and maintaining a sense of calm. KeenMind contains a special extract called CDRI 08™ which is made from the plant Bacopa m onnieri. It is a natural nootropic (well tolerated cognitive enhancer) designed to support brain health and function. ]