We all know that it's important to keep fit and healthy. Yet when you're under continual pressure trying to meet deadlines and juggling priorities, it's easy to trust in your ability to just keep going and ignore what your body and mind might be telling you differently.
Of course, you may be able to 'soak it up' short term, however doing it for too long and the stresses and strains of professional life will take their toll, no matter how hard you try and deny it.
Most successful people who maintain long-term careers know the importance of managing their health, in fact it's one of the non-negotiable pillars for their success. After all, what is the point of creating something amazing in your life or business if you can't enjoy it during your life time?
So, here are eight tips to help you take care of your own wellbeing ... before it's too late.
1. Do a reality check.
A quick self audit of 'you' can reveal how well you are right now. And if there's a nagging feeling that something's not quite right don't just ignore it and try to tough things out. While many minor ailments will get better on their own, a persistent symptom shouldn't be ignored. So, if something's troubling you, seek medical advice, either for much-needed reassurance or to get the diagnosis you need to get back in shape sooner rather than later.
2. Keep your body moving.
It goes without saying that you need to exercise regularly, and particularly when you're under pressure, as this will not only distract you from worries but also release endorphins into your system - the good mood hormones that will make you feel better. And taking exercise doesn't mean you have to spend hours running or at the gym. The latest scientific research reveals even moderate levels of exercise - just a brisk 20-minute walk every day - can have major health benefits. So there's no excuse.
3. Create healthy boundaries.
That means taking a look at your diet to see that it's not filled with calorie-rich fast food; ensuring you're getting enough sleep; and limiting your alcohol consumption. Also look at your social life. Which activities and relationships are energising and which are draining you? Simply increasing your awareness and making even minor changes can have a beneficial impact on your health and other areas of your life.
4. Accountability matters.
Find a partner to share your journey to better fitness and wellbeing. When you have somebody to 'keep you honest', not only are you more likely to achieve your goals, but you'll also have more fun.
5. Think fitness in multiple dimensions.
While it's easy to think just in terms of getting physically fit, for many professionals it's actually mental and emotional wellbeing that's most needed, since stress and unhappiness have the greatest impact on your job performance and career success. Remember, in the UK a quarter of the population will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year! So make sure you watch out for the signs such as insomnia, tiredness, frequent colds, upset stomach, depression or physical aches and pains that don't go away. Identifying and addressing the causes of stress and anxiety is a lot easier when you admit that you need some help.
6. Bring mindfulness to your day.
Create 'me' time in your diary so that every day you spend some time alone, allowing space for your thoughts to evolve and for planning the day ahead. Also, take five-minute 'breathing breaks', sitting down quietly and just enjoying the relaxation that comes from focusing on 'breathing in and out'. Then finish your day by expressing gratitude for all that you have accomplished and just for being alive and well right now.
7. Use technology mindfully.
Don't add to your busy schedule through 'technological overload'. Instead, embrace the 'joy of missing out', or JOMO, by disconnecting yourself from your mobile phone, emails and computer screen as much as possible, so that you're in control of your digital consumption, rather than feeling the ongoing pressure to be switched on 24/7. That means switching your mobile off at weekends and after work.
8. Be honest with yourself.
If your working life is affecting your wellbeing, decide whether you are in the right job or career altogether. When you've invested so much in it, letting go can be difficult, however, getting out and moving on really could be the best for you right now. So, instead of damaging your health expand your horizons by changing jobs, or starting your own business - one of the best ways to get back in control of your life.
You know that once you lose your health it may take a long time to get it back so whatever you decide to do, if you want to be wealthy and wise, make sure you give your health the priority it deserves.
Now, I would love to know what do you think in the comments box below.
What action can you consciously take 'today' to invest in your fitness, health and wellbeing?