Marhaba introduces ‘Wellness Weekly’ featuring tips and advice from certified wellness practitioners in Qatar. In this week’s column, Chola Rajan, Wellness Guru at Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara, talks about dealing with stress-related issues…

With our hectic lifestyles, we often forget to take time out for ourselves. This may lead to stress-related issues, such as being unable to sleep, suffering skin problems or simply feeling run-down. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to look after our minds and bodies.

People don’t always have the time or inclination to think about how we can help ourselves, so I have put together a few handy tips for ensuring you are the best you possible!


  • With deadlines rearing their ugly heads, we often end up scarfing meals in front of our computer screens, forgetting to breathe, let alone be mindful of how our bodies feel. No matter how stressed, slow down, breathe between bites, and take note when you’re full. Odds are you’ll end up eating much less and feeling much better.
  • Schedule changes and delays are inevitable, which means sometimes your relaxing 30-minute lunch window can disappear. And while grabbing a slice of pizza isn’t necessarily a bad option, having an emergency snack supply is healthier and ensures you always have something on hand. Or why not make your lunch the night before, which can be based around any leftovers from your dinner.

  • Lack of iron and Vitamin D can cause fatigue and sometimes even depression. Keep energy high by incorporating oatmeal, lentils, and lean meats into your diet. Iron boosts muscle strength, making it that much easier to get through the workday and your workout. Ask your doctor for a Vitamin D test, as studies have shown most people here have a deficiency, which can be easily rectified with a supplement.
  • Besides being a healthy comfort food, soups are a great way to save time and money. Make a large batch at the beginning of the week, freeze leftovers in single-serving Tupperware, and thaw as needed. And don’t worry about getting bored—healthy soup recipe options are endless!

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  • Busy schedules often mean exercising is the last thing on your mind. But you actually don’t need more than 20 minutes to get a great workout. In fact, short bursts of high-intensity exercises can actually be more effective. So instead of promising to hit the gym tomorrow, hop on the treadmill, do some sprints, and enjoy the post-workout energy boost. If you’re tired, do just 5 minutes – before you know it, you may have done 15 minutes, 30 minutes, maybe more.
  • Most jobs require sitting in front of a computer for the majority of the day. Add that to sitting down for dinner and driving or taking the train to work, and that means you’re sat around for 70% of the day. Sneak in some exercise by running errands on foot, taking the stairs, and parking further away from your destination. All those extra steps add up. Why not walk around the mall before getting your groceries?
  • If time is of the essence, try a routine that targets your entire body instead of just one area. Try using kettle bells, experimenting with push-up variations and burpees, and jump roping. Swimming and yoga are great alternatives too, or sign up for a Zumba or spinning class. It may improve your social life as well!


  • Stress can have an insanely negative impact on health and addressing it is something many people neglect. Include some super-quick stress reducers like breathing and sipping on green tea, smelling lavender, doing a few quick stretches, or taking a stroll around the block.
  • Stressful days can turn into sleepless nights. And while it may be impossible to complete your to-do list every day, you can work on mellowing out at the end of the day. Before turning out the lights, dedicate five minutes to meditation; it’ll help you wind down for a better night of sleep, which means a more productive tomorrow.
  • With all that online buzz it’s hard to turn off even more, thanks to pop-up notifications on phones and computers. At work, put your phone on silent or turn off pop-up notifications to help you stay focused. At home, turn off the TV and social media and read a good book – Instagram will still be there tomorrow.

Join for a Wellbeing Retreat at Banana Island Doha

Balance Wellness Centre

Embark on a journey of healthy transformation with Anantara’s three-tiered programme designed to bring balance and nourishment to your body, mind and soul. Challenge and invigorate your body with our engaging exercise programmes and curated healthy eating options. Restore your sense of holistic balance and rejuvenation with Anantara Spa treatments. You will return to the world feeling re-energised and revitalised.


  • Stay of two nights or more
  • Daily Buffet Breakfast for two persons
  • Daily Healthy Lunch for two persons
  • 1 x 60-minute Yoga and Meditation session for two persons
  • 1 x 50-minute Balance Signature Infusion (50 minutes) for two persons
  • 1 x 30-minute Float Pod for two persons
  • 10% off any additional Anantara Spa menu and Balance Wellness a la carte spa and wellness treatments

Rates starting from QAR4,900

For bookings or more information, call 4040 5158/5159 or email [email protected]