When your health takes a dive, these four areas of wellness will keep your work-life afloat.
There’s no denying that our health has a massive impact on our overall lives, let alone our ability to show up at work. After all, if we don’t feel good how can we possibly expect to perform at our optimum?
We all have our days when we’re not feeling 100%, but when those days turn into weeks and months, the challenge of managing our work while also trying to get our health on track is no easy task.
So, at a time when you’re feeling well below average, these four areas of wellness are key to providing you with the holistic support you require to get through this period as optimally as possible.
In a world that is continuing to escalate in pace, this wellness area is possibly the most obvious to identify, yet the most difficult to take. So, ask yourself this: How can I rest in my working life?
Don’t limit yourself to what you necessarily feel is achievable, just make note of what comes to mind and what you feel you need the most. If you get a little stuck, here’s a handful of ideas to get you started:
- Maximise flexibility can you work from home, reduce your work load, reduce your work hours/days, invest in additional resources (e.g. programs, people etc.) that will maximise your efficiency at work?
- Block time out in your calendar scheduled times of rest can mean anything from taking a nap, doing some meditation and having a massage, to simply removing yourself from your work space for some fresh air.
- Commit to a regular sleep pattern most of us know what our sweet spot is when it comes to the number of hours of sleep we require to operate at our optimum. So, can you commit to getting yours each day?
- Minimise your commitments review your calendar and see whether you can cut out or reschedule items that are clustered together, so your commitments are balanced, and you avoid jumping from one thing to the next.
- Book a relaxing getaway whether it’s a weekend away or a longer break interstate or overseas, having a little getaway without a busy daily schedule will not just allow you to rest, but it will also do wonders for your overall wellness.
Life as we know it is challenging enough, so when you throw in having to deal with a personal health issue it gets taken to a whole new level. During this time, it’s more important than ever to ensure you nurture your mental health and keep your perspective on track. Here’s some ideas on how you can achieve this:
- Engage an independent ally Although those immediately around you create your key support network (the value of which can’t be underestimated), family and friends are emotionally attached, as work colleagues are professionally attached. This attachment can at times impact their positioning, which is why an independent check-in can be quite refreshing. From enlisting a life coach, counsellor or psychologist, to chatting to a member of your community in which you trust; think about the type of ally you’d best connect with and then reach out to them to see where your conversation takes you.
- Develop a daily meditation practise this mindfulness training practise also gives you time to rest… but it doesn’t always mean your mind will be empty, as it’s quite common for thoughts to unravel. There’s some fantastic free guided meditation apps available, such as 1 Giant Mind, that make committing to a daily meditation practise easy… and if you’re worried about time, you also get to decide this before each practise.
- Have a digital detox, or an intermittent fast from technology dedicate time away from the screen to give your mind some breathing space.
- Catch up with people who light you up although you don’t want to overcommit, it’s also important to stay socially connected, as opposed to completely isolating yourself. Surround yourself with people from your key support network that energise and light you up, rather than drain you.
The terms soul foodor feel good food have never been more important than now. These types of food aren’t about instant gratification that you regret later, but rather nourishing wholesome food that best supports where you’re at. If you’re unsure what these are or how to incorporate these into your current lifestyle, then prior to going down the Google rabbit hole, speak to a trained professional, such as a nutritionist or naturopath.
We were made to move, but this doesn’t always mean dedicating specific time to exercise. For some, your health issue may have impacted your previous movement habits, whereas for others, it may have alerted you to the fact that you need to start incorporating movement into your lifestyle. What this looks like is different for everyone, and changes over time; so simply ask yourself: What movement would make me feel good?
Ideally, we need to move in four ways: aerobic, strength, stretch and balance. This doesn’t mean you have to take up four different exercise practises, or always dedicate specific time to exercise. For example, yoga and pilates predominately cover stretch, balance, strength and depending on the type, also aerobic. You may also find that you’re getting enough aerobic exercise from incidental activity, which is all about everyday movement like:
- Riding or walking to destinations, as opposed to driving
- In a carpark, picking a spot away from your destination so your walk is a little longer
- On a bus or tram, getting off a stop earlier to walk a little further
- Using a stand-up desk, rather than sitting down the entire time
- Taking the stairs rather than the lift, escalator, or elevator
- Getting your own coffee or lunch as opposed to relying on a colleague to get it for you
- Carrying items (within reason), rather than asking someone else to do this for you
Although the World Health Organisation has guidelinesin regards to the recommend amount of exercise we require, now more than ever it’s important to listen to your body and move in a way that makes you feel good.
Investing in these four areas of wellness will ensure you’re best supported in your working life, as you focus a large amount of energy on what many would argue is your greatest asset, your health.