If we want is to live a happy, healthy life and achieve our goals, then we will need to pay attention to our mental health. Let’s not wait until we find ourselves seriously struggling mentally or facing a diagnosed illness. Ignoring our mental health can play havoc on our everyday lives. It can drain our energy, motivation, focus and our concentration, and increase our stress. If left unchecked, it can lead to more deeper issues like anxiety and depression. Here are five ways that will help us keep mentally fit.
1. Stress Management
You know sometimes we don’t even realize how much stress affects our daily lives. Continuous stress builds up over time and slowly we find we are not sleeping well, skimping on our diet, or living in a state of fog. Living under stress can lead us to fatigue, hair loss, muscle pain, weight changes, infertility and a negative approach to life.
Certainly we can’t cut out every stressful situation in our lives. However, we can learn to let go of what we can’t control and mitigate those things that do cause us stress. For example, we can’t control how busy our office gets at certain times or how other people act. These situations may agitate us. When we feel that way, we can take a time out and focus on something else, preferably a happy though, a positive affirmation, or just smile at the situation.
2. Get Regular Exercise
Exercise is not only good for our bodies it is also good for our minds. A simple thing like scheduling a short workout to start our day will pay dividends in lifting our mood and spirit. A 20-minute cardio routine is a perfect way to kick off the day. Studies show that brisk ten-minute walk three times a day is as healthy as a 30 to 45 minutes workout.
3. Go Unplugged
These days it is so easy to be constantly connected. Our phones are practically tethered to our hands. Often, we turn to it and unconsciously open a social media app. Before we know it, we’ve wasted 15-minutes scrolling aimlessly. Not only that, we are jarred into reviewing the latest breaking news which in turn triggers an avalanche of emotions that seems to be outpouring from all corners of the world. Suddenly, we are caught in that avalanche and we feel our emotions escalating to a higher pitch. That’s just for starters. That doesn’t even take into account how we interrupt ourselves to look at a notification or attempt to multi-task. Always being connected encourages plenty of bad habits.
Let’s do ourselves a major favor and unplug for a few hours or maybe for a whole day. Can we take the plunge and just put our phones on the “do not disturb’ mode, and spend our day untethered? Hey, we may find that we are re-engaging with people face to face, communicating with others, and enjoying nature. Isn’t that novel?
4. Walk Away
It doesn’t matter what we’re dealing with it’s important to understand when to walk away (or take a break) from a situation. It’s easy to stick at it and give in to frustration, but a short break can make all the difference.
5. Make Healthy Choices
What do you do when you feel hunger pains in the mid-afternoon? Do you wander over to the vending machine and grab a candy bar or a bag of chips? Perhaps, you brought a snack with you, but it’s not much better for you than what you found in the vending machine.
By making a simple healthy choice in times like this, we can positively influence our mental health. The best thing to do is to choose a snack that’s low on the Glycemic index, offers plenty of fiber and moderate protein. This helps us regulate our appetite. For example, take a small handful of raw nuts or a piece of cheese and top it off with a piece of fruit is more healthy for us.
What we are attempting to do here is to train our brain to get the same pleasure from healthy choices as it does to the junk it’s become accustomed to. Achieve this one dietary behavior at a time. Oh, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water!
It may not be easy to follow the tips above, especially if you are struggling with a mental health episode. However, once you start taking steps to apply some of the changes suggested you will see the difference in how you feel. Others will notice, too. We all experience mental health struggles from time to time, but these five tips can help us stay on track in improving our mental health.
Thank you for Reading
Your thoughts determine how you live your life. They become your mindset and outlook, which impacts your actions, which changes the outcomes of your life. Your thoughts inform your beliefs about you and your relationships with others. Whatever you believe about yourself and others, then, can become your perceived reality.
Do you have dreams about where you would like to be in life? If you want to manifest those dreams and desires into life, you first have to believe that you can succeed. Once you think that you can achieve what you set out to do, your mind begins looking for solutions to problems rather than obstacles and challenges. The opposite is also true. If you believe you won’t succeed, you have set yourself up for finding blocks to your success. So, what happens when you believe negative thoughts about yourself?
How Negative Thinking Manifests Itself
If you think you can’t and if you focus on your faults and live in fear of possible outcomes in what you want to do, it impairs your ability to achieve your intended goals. When you think negatively about yourself and say such things as, “I don’t deserve to succeed”, you set yourself up to become less motivated to succeed.
Every time you come across something that is an obstacle to your success, you will think that is what you deserve and will likely give up trying. When you do this you are lowering your self-esteem and you can end up settling for less because you don’t believe you deserve to actually achieve your dreams. In short, you’ll keep getting in your own way until you fulfill your prophecy about your ability to achieve your goal.
How to Turn Negative Thinking into Positive Beliefs
Set the Tone
The first step to changing negative beliefs into positive manifestations is to quiet your mind and connect with yourself. Starting your day with a positive frame of mind is crucial and it will set the tone for your entire day.
Before getting into the tasks of your day, engage in quiet meditation. Meditation will help you focus your thoughts, calm your anxieties and fears, and create room in your mind and heart for positive thoughts.
Through meditation you touch silence, your inner self and the Spirit that makes you whole. It teaches you the 'interconnectedness' of all that exists as a sense of oneness. Some refer to this phenomenon as the coming together of the universe, others understand it as the dynamic grace of a loving God within all that exists.
Clarify Your Vision
Knowing what you want is vital to positively manifesting your goals. Focus on your bigger picture and what it is you are trying to accomplish. If you want to live a purposeful life, picture in your mind’s eye that purpose and visualize yourself actually having accomplished it. It is your vision that will drive you to a successful end.
Now, every time you need to make a decision, ask yourself, does this get me closer to realizing my vision or goal? Is this helping me to manifest my vision? If not, it’s not worth your time, so move on. Negative thoughts don’t have a place in this process, and they certainly don’t contribute to your ability to fulfill your goals.
Learning to be thankful for what you have in life is crucial for manifesting your dreams. When you are grateful for your abilities and achievements, you begin to love yourself more and strengthen your confidence in your ability to achieve your goals. Shift your energy toward gratitude, and you will notice that you will feel better about yourself and will have an improved focus for attaining your goals. (See my post on gratitude here)
Feed Yourself With Positivity
Staying positive is the key to manifesting what you want in life. Your negative thoughts about yourself will get in the way every time as your brain finds ways to make your fears and negative beliefs come true. If you believe you will fail, you will fail. If you think you don’t deserve happiness, you don’t deserve happiness. Focusing on positivity and working towards your goals means changing the way you feel about yourself so that you can make your dreams a reality.
The bottom line in all of this is how your mind works. In order to eliminate negative thinking you will need to reprogram our mind. The good news is that you already have the power within you to do it. All you need to do is open the door to a better way. Manifest what you want in life by changing how you think. Release all that power within you. Go here to find a way to reprogram your thinking.
How you think about yourself powerfully impacts your everyday decisions, which will influence your dream and the goals you set out to achieve them. Instead of believing the worst in yourself, chose to think only the best. It just may be your elixir for a better and more prosperous life.
Thank you for reading,
Richard P Fontanie
Any worker in America can attest to just how bad working can be on your health. Whether it's sitting at a desk for eight hours, looking at a computer screen or spending your shift on your feet, running around an emergency room treating patients. We risk repetitive strain injury, stiff joints, eye strain, and back pain. One of the biggest risks of our working life, though, is weight gain, especially for busy professionals.
Even those who are on their feet during their workday face challenges – they're busy, they turn to sugary food to keep them going and it's difficult to break the weight habit. There is good news, though, here are five fitness tips for the busy professionals among us.
It's the greatest thing you can do for your health. Not only does it improve your focus on overall performance the following day, but it means you are more likely to make the right dietary decisions. When you choose the right foods you feel better, you're more likely to have the energy to do those exercises, your mood improves, and it can even influence your sex life.
If you want to maintain your fitness you have to plan ahead. One of the biggest downfalls of any lifestyle is the inability to maintain it. So, if you know you're prone to grabbing junk at lunch, make sure you prepare your lunch the night before (the same goes for your breakfast and dinner). If you constantly forget to grab your gym bag, leave it at the door or somewhere you will see it for when you need it. The magic number when it comes to moderate exercise is 150 minutes – it is more easy to achieve than you think.
Switch Up Your Commute
Provided you live fairly close to your workplace – you can leave the car at home and hop on a bike or just walk. Not only will it save you money, it also helps protect the environment. Look at you, thinking of others and improving your health!
Lunch Break Performance
If this isn't possible, consider going for a walk on your lunch break – the fresh air will do you good. You can walk to a park to eat lunch or walk to a healthy eatery where you know there's time for you to dine well and get your steps in. It will also provide you with an energy boost, you will find your afternoon at work goes in quicker, too.
If travel is a regular part of your business, then you know just how difficult it can be to exercise and to eat well. The first thing you should do is start keeping a food diary – then you can track what you're eating while traveling, as it's easy to lose track. When it comes to exercise, check ahead to see if your hotel has a gym. If it doesn't, you can track a path to walk or jog and see if there is a gym in the vicinity.
Work gets busy, but there are plenty of ways you can find time for fitness. In addition to the tips above, you can skip the elevator and always choose the stairs. You may be surprised at how many calories you burn doing the housework. To save time, try to find a gym that's on your way home from work – you can slip in a few nights a week for a quick workout. Start your day with a short spiritual exercise, eat a healthy breakfast, and tackle the day with the energy and vigor it deserves.
Has this ever happened to you? You were thinking about a problem and no matter how hard you focus it seems that you're stuck. You've gone over the problem several times. You have tried to redefine it. You’ve looked at it from different angles. It seems that no matter what you do and regardless of when you think about the problem, nothing seems to happen.
A lot of this has to do with the fact that your conscious mind can easily get stuck in a holding pattern. If you've ever been on a plane that was trying to land at a busy airport, you probably have had the experience of being on holding pattern. Your plane would circle around a city several times delaying the moment of your arrival. When the runway clears and your plane is given the green light to land, your pilot will then break the holding pattern and start the descent. That’s how air traffic controllers organize planes for a safe landing.
It's not much different from your thoughts. When your mind is burning precious energy trying to achieve some sort of breakthrough because you find yourself at an impasse, it goes into a holding pattern. It's as if you can't think of anything new. You just keep revisiting the same things over and over again.
The mind works in almost the same way when you lose your keys. When was the last time you lost your keys? I’m willing to bet that when you were looking for your keys, you kept checking at the places that you checked before. At the back of your head, you know that your keys aren't there. After all, you just checked it a few minutes before, but you can't help yourself to keep checking in the same place over and over again.
Maybe you just didn't look properly. Perhaps it's stuck somewhere in the back. Possibly, you just didn’t pay enough attention so you keep repeating the same pattern. That's how your mind works.
Unfortunately, this habit doesn't get us any closer to the solution. How can it? You keep revisiting the same process. As the old saying goes, insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results each time. How can you achieve different results when you're doing the same thing?
When you focus on the present moment, you get the chance to focus on your issues right here, right now. In other words, you can train all your creative and imaginative resources to the right problem at the right time and at the right place. This is definitely better than worrying sick about stuff that may or may not happen or, worse yet, crying over spilled milk.
By learning to tap the present moment through mindfulness or meditation practices, you start looking at your situation differently. The reason why this happens is because your subconscious mind enters the picture. Your subconscious mind is very powerful. It enables you to achieve breakthroughs when you thought these were simply not possible. By the way tapping into your subconscious mind may be the first step towards connecting with your spiritual self.
Watch for more information and how to tap into your subconscious mind next month.
Thanks for reading,
Richard P. Fontanie
Widely held myths about sleep are damaging our health and our mood, as well as shortening our lives, say researchers.
A team at New York University trawled the internet to find the most common claims about a good night's kip.
Then, in a study published in the journal Sleep Health, they matched the claims to the best scientific evidence.
They hope that dispelling sleep myths will improve people's physical and mental health and well-being.
So, how many are you guilty of? Find them here
Linked to PriorityLink with permission
In a previous article I suggested six strategies for re-energizing on the front line. I pointed out that working on the front-line all day long can be draining. I also suggested that front line employees don’t know what a customer’s next question might be, what mood he or she might be in, or whether the organization will be able to satisfy the customer’s need. Answering telephones, responding to queries, finding solutions to problems, and keeping people satisfied can be rewarding but also quite challenging. When we are at it all day long, week in and week out we can feel the effects of stress on our body, mind and emotions. Here are four more strategies to help your day go smoothly and help you alleviate stress.
We get paid for our work. That’s not a reward but something we receive in return for doing good work. A reward is something we receive for going beyond the ordinary and sometimes just completing the ordinary in an extra ordinary fashion. Often, we don’t expect anything more for this work, except the satisfaction of knowing that we are doing good work. This is more about self-satisfaction than aggrandizement. Sometimes successful companies take note of this and highlight these individuals as role models and identify them as potential people they would like to promote. However this is not always the case nor should we expect the company to always take note. Sometimes we know we have done a good job and as a result we can reward ourselves. We don’t need to be extravagant about this. We just need to take time out to pat ourselves on the back. Do something simple like taking a five-minute break before moving on the your next big task, treating yourself with something special over the noon hour, doing a kind act for someone else (a kind act always gets rewarded), …..
Claim The Importance Of Your Work
Whatever you do is important no matter what position you hold. Someone is dependent on you fulfilling your responsibilities. If it wasn’t important then there wouldn’t be a position and you would be out of work. When you signed up with a company no doubt you signed up with intention to carry out your work with the best of your ability. This is something expected by both you and your employer. The best way to align yourself with your work is to ensure what you do is connected with your personal purpose and values. This raises your work to a higher purpose and adds value to you and your employer. A quote attributed to Steve Jobs reads, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” I suggest this means that we are not in it just for the paycheck. If the paycheck is the only thing that counts then sooner or later you will become bored, frustrated and unhappy. If this describes you, then you are doing a disserve to yourself and your employer. You are faced with a choice, claim the importance of your work or search for work that fits with your purpose or values. Your work is important, if you don’t see it that way, then make room for someone else who may experience a closer fit. As you sort through your work discontent explore your options with your employer or supervisor, seek career advice with a Human Resource specialist or talk to someone you can trust.
Avoid the Some-Day Stack.
The ‘Some-Day Stack” is that pile of stuff you put off for another time, day or week. If you consistently pile things on that stack, either on your ‘hard desk’ – the one on which your computer sits – or your ‘soft desk’ – the one on which your emails, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint sit – or both, they will eventually stress you out. There is an old axiom, “pick it up and decide what you are going to do with it before putting it down,’ and I suggest that we can now add “read it on your monitor and decide what you are going to do with it before going on to the next item’. The process is quite simple. Just decide to do it, delegate it to someone else, time activate it when you can do it, or trash it. If the item is important, set a priority to do it now or set a time when you can do it; if it’s not important and not urgent file it or trash it. If you are in a position where you have the opportunity to delegate consider that option, if you are not, then consider the other four strategies. Remember the process is simple but it takes discipline. And that my friend rests with you.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is something many of us have a modicum of control over but don’t follow appropriate sleep protocol. There are several bad habits that some of us fall into prior to retiring such as watching the late show or a heart thumbing drama on television, reading on tablets or on our phones, drinking an alcohol or coffee beverage, entering into a heated debate, not closing off your day. We have control over all of these items and once again it comes down to self-discipline. Here are some habit changes you can make if you see yourself committing anyone one of these poor sleep preparation habits. Thirty minutes to one hour before bedtime, switch off the television, put your reading tablet and telephone away, drink a cup of warm water or milk and avoid heated exchanges. In the early evening or before you leave work plan your next day by completing any quick activities left on your list; review unfinished business and set a date and time when you plan on completing them; identify your priorities for the next day and plan on completing at least one first thing in the morning. Proper sleep has the effect of improving fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness and cognitive functioning. Lack of sleep has an adverse effect on a host of physical health issues. Sleep deprivation is often cited as a primary or secondary cause of industrial and motor vehicle accidents. So the bottom line of getting ‘your best sleep’ results in improving both your physical and emotional wellbeing, your relationships and your work life. For more on sleep deprivation read articles on Webmd. https://www.webmd.com/search/search_results/default.aspx?query=sleep%20deprivation
Thank you for Reading
Richard P. Fontanie MSW
Many of us like a good cup of Joe at our desks but for some the mere sound of slurping coffee is really annoying. Read about a condition called 'misophonia' affecting people who have an out-sized emotional reaction upon hearing triggering sounds like crunching chips, slurping coffee, sniffling, pre-clicking and more. Read about it here.
Joe loses his Job. Follow him as he experiences emotional upheaval, regains confidence, prepares resumes and prepares for interviews and his new place of work. This is PDF file found in Resources
When we look up the definition of success, we find various interpretations of the word. It reminds me about how we look at art. Some people see beauty and feel up-lifted when they gaze on a piece of art. Others look at the same piece and don’t see any beauty nor are they moved by it. Beauty they say, “is in the eye of the beholder,” so too is success.
We use “success” to denote the achievement of a goal or purpose – as “Joan felt successful when she completed her Doctorate” or “Harry had a sense of successful accomplishment when he finished building his house.” It could also signify reaching a level of popularity or wealth; for instance, “people viewed George as successful when he gained notoriety,” or, “June accumulated great wealth and people saw her as successful.” Whether other people saw Joan and Harry as successful is another question; and perhaps George and June don’t regard themselves as successful.
Success is a state of being, an attribute or a feeling - not something we can place on our task list. It is often born out of miss steps, failures, and mistakes which suggests success may come through persistence, tenacity and a willingness to keep trying.
Success then doesn’t seem to come easy, but it is not always achieved because of something we did intentionally. It also can come about by sheer accident. Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson invented the telephone and telegraph after years of persistence and experimentation. Another Alexander, Sir Alexander Fleming, accidently discovered the ingredients for penicillin. Both men are regarded as achieving success.
It appears that the secret to success may be persistence, or not.
I mentioned above that success often relates to accomplishing goals. But what about the person who is not goal directed but living a full life in the "now." Is that person successful? And what about the accumulation of riches often viewed as wealth? I have known many people - and still do - who don’t have lot of money but who are wealthy beyond measure with their wisdom, love, joy and happiness. Are these people successful?
In a previous post I proposed that people are successful when they have a stated purpose in life. I suggested that a purpose statement should have intention with a bias for action, an intangible value and a focus on the other. Purpose statements are goal oriented. People may view themselves as successful when they fulfill their purpose.
Some people desire to live in the ‘now’ and accept whatever life throws at them with calmness, authenticity and integrity. They don’t seek fame, power, fortune, or popularity. They just want to be themselves in the ‘now’. Should we not these people be viewed as successful?
In our consumer-oriented society, we are pushed to become and viewed as successful. We hear phrases like "Dress for Success." "You must study to become successful." "Work hard and you will be successful."
Here success seems to be related to appearance, education and hard work. All laudable in and of themselves but do they tell the whole story? One could argue that our conventional acceptance of the phrases is more about the achievement of personal wealth and stature than about contributing to the social betterment of society. Unless social betterment is added to the mix, such as sharing personal wealth with this less fortunate or improving family life, can we really say we are successful?
When we talk about a successful business person, what are we talking about? The person who has accumulated wealth through business? The person who treats his/her employees well? The person who is well respected in the community? The person who shares his wealth with others? Or, Is it all these things?
Can a business person treat employees well, contribute to her community, or share her wealth without having first succeeded with a positive cash flow and an accumulation of money? Or, does she gain cash flow and personal wealth by achieving those ends? Perhaps the business person achieves success by doing more for others than for herself. In strengthening others is not the self, strengthened? And is not that success?
Is success about an inner strength that propels us to become the person we are meant to be, no matter what that is? When we try something and don't succeed, are we successful? Maybe we are if we learned something from the experience.
We come back full circle to the beginning of the article where it was pointed out that success may really be just a state of mind. My view of success may be different than yours. Does that make me unsuccessful? Maybe in your eyes, but not in mine. What counts most? My view or your view? Who lives’ within "me? Me, of course.
Perhaps success is not found in the accumulation of financial wealth, power, fame or glory but what one does with them. The point of this article is to ask how you define success for "you."
What gives you joy, happiness and satisfaction? To put it another way, what touches your most inner self, your soul? Define that, and you may discover your version of success.
Thanks for reading
Richard Fontanie, MSW, FCMC
Here are nine ways how people define success .
Working on the front-line all day can be draining. Take the example of the customer service professional who doesn’t know what the next question might be, what mood the next customer might be in, or whether the organization will be able to satisfy the customer’s need. Answering telephones, responding to queries, finding solutions to problems, and keeping people satisfied can be rewarding but also quite challenging. When we are at it all day long, week in and week out we can become stressed out. Consider the following six energizing saving strategies as a way to meet this challenge. (Note this post is a further elaboration of the post dated 2.1.17)
Set achievable personal and work goals.
When people set goals, conventional research shows that they live longer. However, if those goals are to be meaningful we should write them out in a way that shows action and measurement. Action means we are going to do something to achieve something; and measurement allows us to track progress along the way. So, when we write goals they should be SMART, that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Trackable. If goals are not SMART they usually fall into the category of a wish list.
Let's take a couple of examples. At work we can write something like "complete the policy on the wellness program." A laudable goal, but not fully measurable or trackable. There is no time line for completion, so I can say "I'll get to it when I can, and it will be completed sometime, maybe." A great incentive to procrastinate. The goal may be attainable, sometime, and may be relevant to our work. We need to ask, "How does it relate to our work?” And, “what is the level of priority?" If it is not relevant than why are we doing it; if it is, how important is it? Is it: necessary and urgent? urgent and necessary? necessary but not urgent? or urgent but not necessary?
Once these questions are answered we can write a SMART goal such as: "I will complete a draft policy statement on wellness and present it to management for approval by September 30, 2018." Once the goal is stated we can then break it down to achievable monthly tasks, such as: complete the research for the wellness policy by February 8; ask for input from colleagues and receive their comments by March 31; write the first draft of the of the wellness policy by May 31; circulate to colleagues for first review and receive their comments by June 31; make adjustments to the policy statement by July 31; circulate final draft to colleagues and receive their comments, by August 20; prepare a draft policy statement for approval by September 20,2018. Once we know where we are going, ambiguity is lessened, we can measure progress along the way, and we have a comfort level about its attainability. In the end our stress level is reduced.
We can use the same goal setting strategy for our personal life as well. Rather than saying "I'm going to lose weight this year," be more specific: "I'm going to lose 30 pounds/kilos by June 31, 2018." Then set out the tasks to achieve that goal.
Accept the givens.
Often, our anxiety level increases because we worry about things outside are control. Worry doesn't accomplish anything but personal grief, and sometimes grief for others. For instance, we can't control time, but we can control what we do within the time we have; we can't control the weather, but we can control how we plan for poor weather; we can't control how people will relate to us, but we can control how we relate to others. We will have less anxiety if we control those things that are in our control and accept those things that are outside our control.
Thinking positively means approaching our challenges with a positive outlook. It doesn't necessarily mean avoiding those things that make us uncomfortable or ignoring negative situations; instead it means approaching those situations in a positive light, or making the best of a bad situation.(a) We can improve our ability to think positively by affirming or actuating the positive for ourselves and others. Rather than thinking "I can't do this," affirm to yourself that "I can do this;" rather than thinking "I can't get along with this person," think about the positive aspects of the person and affirm those within your mind's eye; rather than thinking "this place is a lousy place to work," think about what I can do to make it a better place to work. Thinking positively is not Pollyanna, pie in the sky thinking. It is thinking that is realistic but tempered with a positive approach to life rather than a negative one.
Thinking positively works. According to the Mayo Clinic positive thinking can lead to a longer life span, less stress, lower rates of depression, increased resistance to the common cold, better coping skills, lower risk of cardiovascular disease, increased physical al well-being and overall better psychological health.
If your approach to life is more on the negative side, and you would like to change your approach take heart, because positive thinking can be learned. In essence you are learning a new habit and as is the case of any change in habit we need to develop habit changing strategies. In this case, identify what needs to change, name it and make a firm commitment to change; throughout the day take a time out and review how you are moving towards greater optimism; whenever you find yourself becoming negative, take pause, and rephrase your thinking or how you are verbalizing your thoughts; start the day with an affirmative or positive thought and reinforce it by verbalizing throughout the day; and, surround yourself with positive people.
Take energy breaks.
One of the hard lessons busy people learn is that their energy drains when they don't fuel up. They skip meals or skimp on meals, gobble down food while working the phone or their computer, and eat junk food rather than nutritious meals. They also learn that when they are at their computer long hours without ergonomic seating or the monitor is too close, they experience strain and pain from their eyes, backs, shoulders and wrists. When these things, happen their body is yelling out, "Take a break!" (For more information on the importance of an energy break for personal wellbeing and business read this Globe and Mail article)
Here are a few suggestions: Work in 90-minute sprints and take a five or ten minute break – in some instances work in fifteen and thirty-minute sprints and take a couple minutes out. Consider: standing up and stretching; taking a short walk down the hall; shifting your eyes from the computer to something else; moving away from your desk to eat properly; going for a walk over the noon hour; or taking five deep breaths, slowing down the mind, and after three minutes coming back to the work at hand. (Read more about 3 minute break}
Drink plenty of fluids.
Walk through any office or observe the reception area and you will find beverages in hand or on the desk – and not the right kind of beverage. We see soda beverages with high sugar content; lattes with high fat content, or coffees with high caffeine content. What's wrong with this picture? It's true our bodies need fluids, but they need the right kind of fluids. Too much of these types of fluids clog the arteries, add an inch or more to the waste and make us jittery. The health hazards are well known – well ok, maybe not so for coffee, but more than four cups of the stuff begin to take its toll. 1. 2.
Water should be at the top of the fluid list. An average adult body is 57%-60% water, lack of water drains our energy and leads to dehydration. Nearly all systems in our body depend on water. Water moistens tissues such as those in the eyes, mouth and nose; regulates body temperature; lubricates joints, helps prevent constipation, lessens the strain on the kidneys and liver and carries nutrients and oxygen to cells. Drinking water after waking helps activate internal organs, one glass before meals helps digestion, and one glass before bed time helps reduce strokes and heart attack. Make sure water is a major part of your fluid diet. 1
Our body is built to move, so move it regularly. We can be quite sedentary on the front line such as standing or sitting for long periods. Overtime this takes its toll on our bodies and we find fat rolls creeping around our stomach, back-end, and other places too numerous to mention. The antidote to this is exercise. Get up from the chair and walk around, take a walk over the noon hour, take ten-minute walks in the morning, afternoon and evening, take the stairs, if sitting, stand up and read or walk about while reading; join a gym; seek a life style coach or trainer. Do something, just don't sit and stand for hours on end. One more thing, reduce television time, get off the couch and do something in the yard, in the garage or in the park. Do one or two of these activities a day and you will find a change in your energy level.
These re-energizing strategies are not difficult, they just take a bit a self-discipline, and that just might be the hard part. Try one of the strategies each month and find out the difference in: your outlook on life, the strength of your body, the calmness of your mind, and the wholeness of your spirit.
Author Richard Fontanie MSW, FCMC