I've seen too many leaders work so hard they sacrifice their health, which is unfortunate because they are not strong when those who depend on them are in need.
Follow the safety advice from flight attendants: "Put your mask on first before helping others." This advice isn't just good for an in-flight emergency; it's also great for a leader to follow daily. What this means is, you should always take care of yourself first. And the best way to do this is to put your health on the agenda.
To stay in optimal health while getting all your work done, here are 7 tips to follow:
1. Get enough sleep.
We all know how important it is to get enough sleep, but how many of us actually get the sleep we need? One of the biggest hindrances to sleep is the stress and anxiety we carry with us from the office. To make sure you're getting enough sleep, give yourself time to wind down in the evenings. Minimize your exposure to screens and engage in a relaxing activity such as reading a magazine, listening to an audio book, or engaging in gentle yoga.
It's easy to find excuses not to exercise, especially when we're working long, busy days. But the benefits are so important to your health—you really don't have an option if you want to live a long, healthy life. If you're hesitant about exercising or don't know where to start, remember that there are a multitude of ways to get your blood pumping that don't involve running on a treadmill. You can join a dance class, participate in a rec tennis league, swim laps around the pool, or take a daily walk during lunch. Whatever you do, make sure it's enjoyable and fun—that way you'll want to keep up with it.
From the time we rush out the door to the moment we drag ourselves home in the evening, most of us simply aren't getting enough water. One way to keep hydrated is to carry a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go. This helps prevent dehydration by reminding you to drink throughout the day, instead of waiting until you're thirsty.
4. Increase fruits and vegetables.
It's hard to eat healthy when you're on the go and you just need a quick bite before the next meeting starts. Anticipating such moments is the best way to consume more fruits and vegetables. For example, you might plan out your lunches for the week or keep your work fridge stocked with a handful of healthy snacks to keep you going.
5. Surround yourself with uplifting people.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. One of the most powerful ways to stay positive and happy is to surround yourself with other happy people. Think about the friends and family members who are most inspiring to you. Make time to relax and enjoy their company and let their positivity keep your mind open and lifted.
6. Seek ways to simplify your life.
From staying organized to committing to minimalism, there are countless ways to simplify your life at any given time. To find out where you most need simplification, think about the biggest stressors in your personal life. How can you reduce this stress? What can you cut out? Ask yourself these questions to find out how to benefit most from a more simple lifestyle.
7. Take time to meditate.
Some people are skeptical of meditation because they may think it's too hard or that it takes too much time. In truth, engaging in just a few minutes of meditation each day can have a lasting impact on your psychological health. There are thousands of books, tapes, and videos designed for beginners, so anyone can start meditation and see results quickly.
How do you incorporate wellness into your day? Please add to the conversation—comment below or on Twitter at @gregbellspeaks.