The rewards to adopt healthy behaviors can be game-changing. A healthy lifestyle not only changes your outer body but also your mind and attitude towards things. Healthy habits increase your productivity, your ability to stay focused; it enhances your creativity and decision-making skills. Implementing a holistic healthy lifestyle helps you think clearer, sustain relationships, achieve more, be motivated and you have more passion and excitement for both work and life in general.
But in a forever rushing work life, where stress is at the order of the day, we hardly get time to create healthy habits and see them as restrictions rather than lifestyle changes. In essence, there are 3 groups of energy increasing habits that you can concentrate on to improve healthy workdays:
Physical or bodily habits – A poster once read “Workout because you love yourself, not because you hate your body.” Physical exercise is not only for when you want to lose weight but work wonders when you are stressed. It helps you get rid of irritation, frustration, and negativity. Also, remind yourself to drink enough water, and opt for the healthier meals instead of junk food. Sometimes all you need is to think before you do.
For example: pack a healthy lunch or snack instead of buying a takeaway or a Lunchbar at the cafeteria. Put a bottle of water on your desk instead of drinking coffee all the time. You don’t have to go to the gym to exercise. You can merely take the stairs instead of the elevator, or walk around the block after work.
Emotional or feeling habits – Most of us ignore our emotional well-being. Do you know how to build up your self-esteem when someone hurt your feelings or boost your confidence when someone criticized you? Can you self-motivated and turn a negative thought into a positive one?
People often neglect creating healthy emotional habits. They often don’t realize how emotional health impacts the quality of life, productivity and a holistic well-being both professionally and personally. Don’t criticize yourself and weaken your self-esteem, but build it up by practicing healthy habits of having compassion for yourself. See failure as a learning experience and a stepping stone to greater things, rather than a fatal setback.
Attend motivational talks and skills training in self-confidence and emotional intelligence. It is like attending the gym, but for your emotions. You have to invest in your emotional well-being to complete the full circle to holistic health.
Mental or state of mind habits – Mental health is not only when you ‘lose your marbles’, no pun intended, but also refers to things like depression, anxiety, stress-related mental illnesses etc. According to an article on Mental Health in the Workplace by Law@work published on skillsportal.co.za: “Depression in the workplace is on the rise and employers are battling to manage this costly illness.” There are numerous studies that verify that depression can affect the employee’s decision making abilities, concentration and problem-solving skills, to name but a few.
Other things like reminiscing and pondering conspiracy theories of what people might not even think or do, also create a neurotic and anxious state of mind where the employee is fixated on issues that are not worthwhile and take irrational decisions.
Distract your thoughts, refocus and get professional help to medicate mental illnesses. At the end of the day, you need to function what is deemed normal in a society that is continuously stressed and anxious.
Healthy habits are essential to increase the value of a balanced work-life. For optimal health in the workplace, employers can bring in rewards-based programs and work on the physical layout and work environment of the office. They can introduce a healthy workplace lifestyle by investing in constant training and motivational workshops.