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Healthy Habits for a Hectic Self-employed Life
Maybe you’re already bonkers enough from all the multitasking that you have turned into an octopus filling out the application for the Ministry of Silly Walks, but it’s never too late to reclaim your sanity from the claws of ambition.
There’s no such thing as the wrong time to do the right thing that will help you advance in your career without jeopardising your health. The key, as always, lies in the elusive notion of balance, the holy grail of living a happy life, and the treasure trove at the end of the rainbow. But since we’re not here to send you on a wild goose chase, here instead are some ways you can make your own treasure trove and use it to safeguard your well-being and your professional growth.
Fill your belly in the morning.
And not just with coffee, because apparently, you’ll be 66% more likely to be less productive if you don’t have your morning meal as well. As deliciously tempting as it may be to stick only to a ‘cup of joe’ that will give you that early morning ‘kick’ of energy, your metabolism and your cognitive abilities can only thrive when they get proper nutrition from the get-go.
A healthy breakfast should be a source of complex carbs that will give you a prolonged source of stable energy for several hours, ample vitamins and minerals, and of course, you need protein to keep you full for longer. For example, oatmeal with the addition of nuts, seeds, and berries makes for a great breakfast for a busy bee or a couple of boiled eggs with cheese and salad.
Kickstart your day with exercise.
According to a study conducted by the Bristol University, people work better on days when they hit the gym as opposed to their non-workout days. To put it in perspective, you can notice clear improvements in the areas of dealing with stressful situations, working on a deadline, and your focus will also flourish. In fact, 79% of participants noticed their mental and interpersonal performance was improved on the days they exercised, so why not take a workout break?
Cardiovascular exercise helps improve your memory, learning abilities, works to prevent dementia, and of course, has a profound effect on how well you perform in your job. So, even brief high-intensity interval training sessions can make a difference in staying on top of your workload without going off your rocker.
Create a friendly environment.
If only working in a ball pit were stimulating enough to boost your productivity and not inspire you to goof off the entire day. Unfortunately, our brains truly respond to the right type of environment that has just the right amount of creativity, but it is still clearly designated for work.
To put yourself in the right mindset of zero time-wasting and full-blown productivity, you can introduce an ergonomic chair, a few branded products, use natural lighting and eliminate all digital and other distractions such as your TV and social media. Less noise means less stress, and that often translates to a happier workday that ends faster, with more work done.
De-stress the healthy way.
We all have our weaknesses, and whether yours is chocolate, beer, or cigarettes, they shouldn’t be your go-to stress response for whenever you’re overwhelmed with work and in need of relief. Although a glass of wine is good for your heart, finding a healthy alternative for your habits to ward off stress would do good for you and your work.
Consider starting a daily meditation practice to detox your mind, start doing yoga, or a walk with your pooch. Regular trips to nature also have a soothing effect on your mind, plus they help increase your productivity, so it would be time invested in your inner peace as well as your professional growth.
Don’t forget your zzz’s.
Pulling an all-nighter every now and then might not be a bad idea if you’re preparing for a very important presentation or if you’re feeling a flow of creativity you don’t want to interrupt. But chronic sleep deprivation can only do some serious harm to your wellbeing, and your work will suffer as well.
In order to keep your inner clock happy, try setting up a schedule for sleep that you’ll consistently stick to every night. It’s important to go to bed at the same time and get approximately eight hours of shut-eye for your brain and your body to recover and heal from your day’s work, and to be able to produce meaningful, creative ideas the following day.
Get your munchies in order.
Just like you shouldn’t go shopping on an empty stomach, you shouldn’t make eating decisions on one, either. You’ll likely end up succumbing to your worst cravings (ice-cream bucket, here I come), eating much more than you need, and creating a surge of sugar in your blood that will quickly drop and leave you feeling sluggish and drowsy.
Instead, take the reins of your menu, clear your kitchen and your snack drawer from unhealthy treats, replace them with carrot sticks, nuts and seeds, wholesome protein bars, and fresh fruits, and munch away on a set timetable. When you eat well, your body will have all the fuel it needs to stay productive and of course, avoid going bananas on a daily basis.
So, give these a try and see for yourself the difference that these healthy habits can have on not only your productivity but also your sanity.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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