With the busy autumn season fast approaching, now is the time to develop a game plan to keep yourself in top form, says Emma Nicolson, a Hamilton, Ont.-based occupational health and safety specialist with the Canadian Centre for Occupation Health and Safety (CCOHS).
“If you are in a healthy frame of mind,” Nicolson says, “the likelihood that you will make healthy choices increases.”
Nicolson offers four tips to get you started on your wellness plan:
> Manage your workflow
Be honest with what you can reasonably accomplish in any given day. Working yourself into the ground, ultimately, won’t serve you or your clients well.
One strategy to help you avoid becoming overwhelmed is to create a master chart of all the tasks you are currently managing. You can choose to do this on a spreadsheet or a whiteboard.
Create three columns: what has to get completed today; what you would like to get done today; and longer-term projects.
Segment your tasks into those columns and cross them off as you complete them. Take five minutes every morning to update your chart.
> Eat well
When planning to meet clients for lunch, choose restaurants that offer healthy options. On days when you are not meeting clients for lunch, prepare a healthy, tasty meal the night before and take it to the office.
Keep healthy snacks handy in your office, so you can indulge in fresh fruit, fresh vegetables or a handful of nuts when hunger pangs strike.
Keeping your head in the game, Nicolson says, requires good fuel for your body.
Nicholson suggests consulting Canada’s Food Guide (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php) to help you make healthy food choices.
> Get sleep
During the hectic months, a good night’s sleep is a necessity for good health and a healthy business.
Plan to get between six to eight hours of sleep every night in order to feel rejuvenated for the next day.
“When we are feeling our best, we are prepared to make the right decisions,” says Nicolson. “So, by taking care of yourself, you are also taking care of your clients.”
> Get your body moving
Studies have repeatedly shown that sitting all day is detrimental to your physical and mental health.
Sitting for long periods can be bad for your posture. One way to overcome being sedentary is to get up occasionally and actually walk to one of your team members’ desks to deliver a message instead of sending an email.
Also, Nicolson recommends you plan short “mental breaks” throughout the day, when you can refresh yourself. Take a walk around the block. You might find that this will help you avoid getting “brain lock” and help you return to your desk with fresh perspectives.