Do you have the energy for it? Here’s how to achieve and maintain good health as a busy professional
The life of a busy professional is an endless series of urgent projects and deadlines. With the demands that our roles impose on us, it is very easy to lose sight of basic personal requirements like eating to fuel your body effectively, and getting sufficient sleep.
The need for work-life balance
Whether you are a busy professional in the corporate sphere, or an entrepreneur, we generally prioritise work, leaving eating, sleeping, and leisure to take a backseat. For those that have family, the situation on our health and nutrition worsens, as we also struggle to find time to also prioritise our families.
Recent research on 10,000 employees in 12 countries revealed that 40 % of respondents agreed that their job creates a great deal of negative stress in their lives.
Can you relate?
In a world where 94% of working professionals admitted they worked over 50 hours per week, and almost half were found to be doing over 65 hours a week, the need for work-life balance is more important now than ever. In simple terms, it means striking a balance between work and lifestyle. You cannot expect to increase your energy and efficiency at work, as well as improve your physical, emotional, and mental health, without work-life balance, or at least seeking ways in which your organisation can help you do so.
Below are a few simple techniques to adopt in achieving a healthier work-life balance:
How to stay energised
- Avoid being a perfectionist, let some things go
- Occasionally pull out the plug – for example, avoid using your communication devices at dinner.
- Allocate time in the week to exercise and meditate
- Avoid time-wasting activities such as browsing mindlessly through social media
- Be prepared to make nutritional changes in your lifestyle
- Delegate and outsource tasks consume you unnecessarily
- Actively seek ways in which your ogranisation assists with employee wellbeing
If you feel that you have lost your spark, and you find it difficult to go on with your daily routine, you may be headed for ‘executive burnout’, defined as “a total loss of energy and interest and an inability to function effectively, experienced by some executives as a result of excessive demands upon their resources or chronic overwork”.
Try out these simple steps to restore your vigor and get back your energy:
- Take care of your body. You only have one! Eat well and try to sleep early a few nights a week.
- Think positive. Negative thoughts create negative energy, and drag you down further.
- Associate with people who support you. Create a support system.
- Allocate time in your calendar for daily or weekly leisure.
- Give your brain a rest by taking short breaks from your laptop regularly.
- Be fully engaged in non-work activities such as reading a story to your child, mediating, or walking the dog.
The food we eat greatly impacts our overall wellbeing. Food packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals such as fruit and vegetables, will help to restore energy and increase activity levels. Food is the fuel which creates energy for your body, but as a busy professional, you need to enforce some food-life balance. When we are told to “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”, this may not apply to everyone’s situation. We are all unique and depending on job function, physical activity levels, height and weight, some may need to tweak the amount they eat at certain times of the day. Following are a few tips for how to create some food-life balance for the life of the busy executive:
- Practice self-discipline in eating healthy food, start slowly with one meal a day.
- Observe your hunger and fullness ques. Mindful Eating is very powerful.
- If you’re a ‘big eater’ replace your typical quantity of food, with food that is fibre-rich - such as salads, vegetables, leafy greens, wholegrains, or fresh fruit.
- Monitor the portions for each meal and use a smaller plate.
- Eat slowly, chew your food thoroughly, and enjoy each morsel.
Feeling energized as a busy professional is key to performing well at work, and in your personal life. To reach your potential however, take some time to understand work-life balance and food-life balance, and how you can apply these connects to your lifestyle for better output.
For more information on how to initiate work/life balance visit: http://www.octanner.com/au/institute/research.html
With over 15 years local and regional experience in business development, and corporate health and wellness, Karen Aroney now helps employers create the best places to work. How? By building engaged workplace cultures globally through everyday recognition best practice!