The pressures of cash flow, job security, new technology, the ongoing financial crisis, and our rapidly changing marketplace can more than take their toil on today’s professional. How you handle the transition from home to the office and back home again, each day, impacts your performance, how you are perceived by others, and how you see yourself. Whether your full time job is finding work, or you work full time at one job or part time at two, the strategies for increasing your personal health and satisfaction at work are the same. Finding a healthy sustainable 24 x7 balance is the end goal for everyone.
For some reason, as adults, we require our children get adequate sleep each night so they are fresh, invigorated and sharp at school. Yet, we often don’t hold ourselves accountable to the same standard of rest to maintain our edge at work. Sleep is a mandatory precursor for the brain to function at its best, no matter our age. When your body and mind are at rest, your body temperature and heartbeat regulates, your muscles relax and repair, your blood supply increases, hormones are released for growth and development throughout your body, memory consolidation occurs, and your body’s energy is restored. Sleep not only affects how you feel and function, but also how you look. While adult human sleep needs vary, the magic sleep number remains at 8 hours, throughout our lives.
If you drove your car to work without gas, would you get there? While it may sound like parental advice, perhaps even trivial, skipping meals means your not going to be running at full speed. Simply put, food is your body’s fuel. Finding and maintaining a regiment of good sleep, and eating the proper quantity and quality meals for your body to run at its optimum are the winning strategies of Olympians, professional athletes, and just us plain old professionals.
Exercise: Body & Brain
It only makes sense to maintain the best health possible for your body, since it is the carrier for your brain, the physical vehicle that enables your brain to function properly and move you forward. In addition, there are a variety of exercises you can do to take your own mental temperature, challenge, analyze, reflect and regulate your work identity, as follows:
- Spend a half hour each day completely unplugged – no phones, radios, televisions, or “i-whatever”s. Sometimes your answers are screaming over the noise, but can’t be heard. Miracles and greatness are discovered in the quiet.
- Make a tape recording of yourself during a phone call. Pay careful attention to the words you use (I, me), and how you actually sound. What do your spoken and written words really say about you? Our reality if most often a combination how we see ourselves and how the world sees us.
- Journaling is nearly a lost art, but its usefulness is not. Keep a personal journal for self analysis, a place to download frustrations in order to clarify and release them, and a place to clearly and concisely document your dreams and goals.
National Sleep Foundation: What Happens When You Sleep
AOL Jobs: 5 Surprising Ways toBe Happier at Work, by Ashley Lutz