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How to look after your mind and body as a busy professional.

 

By Lisa Olona.

In any professional climate, working a full time job is a demand that means we sometimes neglect the subtler needs of our mind and body. Cramming a work out into an already busy schedule can seem an impossible task when we are staring down the barrel of demanding deadlines. What is worse is being surrounded by co-workers that seem to be able to do it all, have it all and still have time for a spot of yoga on their lunch break. It doesn’t take being superhuman to look after yourself and balance your career. A few simple tips and tricks, straight from Lisa Olona’s Fit for Life Academy handbook, incorporated into your lifestyle can change the way you look at your workday and bring a positive change to your wellbeing.

Finding the Steps to Wellbeing

The best way to decide upon a course of action and figure out what will rebalance you is to listen to your body. Not with your ears but by paying attention to some of the subtler cues that our body’s sign post when we are not quite getting enough of what we need to operate. If you find you are disengaging at work, in social settings or elsewhere finding it difficult to concentrate – you should try and discern the cause. Brain fog is first and foremost usually caused by insufficient sleep. While burning the midnight oil on a professional project might seem like the only way to hit that deadline – your sleep is more important. Take the batteries out of the remote and it will not work, the same goes for you. While average sleep deprivation varies by occupation, 43% business leaders do not get a full nights sleep and this practice trickles down to their employees who will burn out trying to keep up with this unhealthy practice. Recharging with a full nights sleep, usually seven to eight hours for most people, will put you in a prime position to take advantage of the day. It goes without saying that alcohol, late night food and lots of screen time can affect our sleep so try switching out the iPad before bed for a book and see if you notice your waking concentration improve.

Maintain Digital Wellbeing

It’s not just the screen time at work that can affect your mental and physical wellbeing. Posture is important when sitting at work and if you find yourself feeling aches and pains in your muscles and joints, try moving around. Rather than staying sat down during your breaks in the staff area, go for a little walk or do some stretching. A decent break accrued from hours from screen time will mean not only your back thanks you, but your eyes and brain. While not as beneficial as a work out, keeping your body moving will keep your bloody flowing to all the important areas and will improve focus. And when it comes to fitting in proper exercise, it’s all about priority and attitude. Think of your half an hour workout the same way you think about an important meeting. You’d be prepared, switched on and ready to roll, get into that same mind-set for exercise and you’ll never skip another session.

Mindfulness Mornings

Finding time to centre yourself can be tricky, but setting aside ten minutes in the morning for some quiet meditation can reap many benefits. In 2020, countless advocates of meditation have shouted their support from the rooftops for this practice. A variety of mindfulness apps are available to help you get used to doing this but none are essential as the beauty of this tip is that it can be done anywhere without any equipment but your quietened mind. The benefits of meditation include an increased attention span, reduced stress and promotes healthy aging so with nothing to lose, mediation may offer more than you first realised!

Batch Cooking for Better Wellbeing

The best way to negotiate fitting in time for exercise and mediation is to shave time off other activities and chores. No one likes to compromise on quality but sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Skipping meals or settling for ready-made food with questionable nutrition is a prevalent habit for many working professionals. A trend that has made the rounds these last few years while always being a health and wellbeing specialist’s staple is batch cooking. Whether it’s overnight oats or something a bit more complex, crack out your Tupperware and get it filled with your coming weeks lunches (and dinners if you find yourself at the office past 5pm). While helping you keep healthy food in your rotation, batch cooking saves time and money with only a little planning required. Such meal prep is the perfect compliment to a routine that sometimes makes it difficult to look after the body. The assurance that comes from a cook, divide and store schedule will mean there is one less worry on your mind too.

It’s important to remember that it’s difficult to snap your fingers over night to realise the balance you are looking for. These changes will slowly adapt you to a more centred approach to your lifestyle and career. Persevering is the key ingredient to long-term lifestyle change where both body and mind are looked after in good measure. Everyday it gets a little easier, you have to do it everyday and that’s the hard part. But it does get easier.