The Corporate Thriver: Four Steps to Achieving Better Work-Life Balance
Let’s start with a simple question: how do you start your day?
If you’re like most of us, you might grab a muffin and coffee on the way to the office after sitting in traffic or being on the commuter train.
While this might not seem like a big deal (“come on Meg, it’s just a muffin!”), if this is your pattern every day of the week, it can really add up. Just by being more mindful about making healthy nutritional choices, you can enact major changes in how you feel. Set yourself up for success by taking control of the food you consume!
With a series of small changes, it’s not hard for even the busiest professional to achieve a more healthful work-life balance.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Raise the Bar on Nutrition
No, not the granola bar! Like we talked about with your breakfast muffin, food plays a big part in how you feel every day. Sometimes taking care of yourself means putting good food in your body.
Take a few minutes to have a healthy breakfast – whole grain toast with a little bit of almond butter for protein, a piece of fruit, or some roasted nuts, and you’re on your way.
Do you make your own lunches? Pack your lunch with food that “comes from a plant, not made in a plant”. Wholesome, real food nourishes you and gives you the energy you need to be at your best.
2. Move Around
Have you heard that they’re calling sitting the new smoking? If you don’t believe me just check out this Globe and Mail article on the subject, “Sitting is the new smoking, and it’s time to quit”.
Think about your daily routine. We sit during the commute, at the office, on the commute back home. And then many of us park ourselves on the couch when we get home and sit some more.
The evidence is in and the verdict is unanimous: sitting is bad for you! Do yourself a favour; get up and move around once every hour, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
3. Take Breaks
Through our work day we draw a lot of mental energy. Our brain naturally needs a break every 90-120 minutes. Watch for these signs to signal when YOU need to “push away from the desk”:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Making mistakes
When we experience these signals, our first instinct is to reach for caffeine or sugar. Stop! Instead, carve out mini-breaks through your day. Disconnect and try these instead:
- Walk around or better yet, walk outside (remember, it’s good to get up from your desk!).
- Listen to music.
- Meditate for a few minutes.
- Clear the clutter in your space and your mind.
If you can’t leave the work area then take four deep breaths and hold for a count of four before your exhale. This will help you shift from your left brain to your right brain and become more present.
4. Fix that Posture!
Whether you’re sitting down and working or taking a break and standing, it’s important to have an ergonomic posture. Slouching can cause spinal misalignments, muscle tension, aches, pains, headaches…the list goes on.
Right now, pay attention to your posture when using your laptop or handheld device. Are you hunched over? Is your back straight?
Counteract that hunched position with this easy stretch – clasp your hands behind your back and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
Take Care of Yourself
You don’t need to make massive changes to your routine or your life to have a better work-life balance. Just these small changes can bring positive changes to your health, your energy levels, and your life.
Don’t wait for stress to manifest. Manage your “bounce back factor” by making healthy choices now!
Put YOURSELF on your priority list.
Meg Soper is a stand-up comedian and motivational humorist speaker who can help you learn to take on life’s stressors, create positive workplaces, and achieve work-life balance. Get in touch with Meg today!
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