1. Recognize Your Patterns
First, recognize your patterns. You need to see what you are lacking. Maybe you sit inside your house alone all day, every day working. It starts during the week and then project deadlines have you working weekends. You realize, the video chat you had with your peers at the beginning of the month was the last time you saw people. Or perhaps you have a spouse and three kids and your schedule means you telecommute a few days a week to make sure the kiddos get to soccer and gymnastics on time, only to rush home to put dinner together for the family. Then it’s bedtime and you’re exhausted. What we have here is the potential for loneliness from isolation and burnout from a hectic schedule that leaves no time for yourself. Both scenarios can cause menacing health impacts.
So. Picture is painted. What can you do? The perks of telework far outweigh the disadvantages, but the challenges do need to be managed to make sure you are sustaining a healthy lifestyle and well-being. Today, I focus on personal health.
Most people have to schedule their lives in some manner. It is a reality. Even digital nomads schedule time to get work done. So, like the daily check-ins and weekly conference calls on your calendar, make room for some exercise. You don’t need to be a Crossfit junkie (while this is also awesome) to get healthy. But you do need to make movement a priority, time to yourself a priority. If you can squeeze in an hour on IG, you can fit in an hour of exercise. Do it together! Find a workout buddy if that is what will hold you accountable. Follow-through is critical. And if it’s on your calendar, you are more likely to do it. And now, there are “deskercise” tips!
Science tells us that cardio and weight-lifting have so many benefits to our health. For example, cramming in nine straight hours of work on the daily can actually make you less productive. You become stagnant. Exercise is good for the heart and lungs, your bones and muscles. You trigger neurotransmitters (releasing endorphins) and you naturally become happier, more energetic, sharper and more creative. You become a better employee and become a better you. Here is a great recap for the many how-to’s and benefits of endorphins.
3. Making Connections
Relationships are important to our health as well. In fact, they are necessary. The need for human connection is primal; it is in our dna.
We Are Interdependent Creatures
Grounded in the emerging field of social neuroscience is the idea that we are interdependent creatures, hardwired for empathy and relationship through neuron systems.
We Are Spending Less Time with Others
Americans today are spending less time with family and friends, have fewer close friends and confidants, and are less socially involved in civic groups and communities.
Happiness is Important
Good relationships are associated with enhanced happiness, quality of life, resilience, cognitive capacity, and perhaps even wisdom.
Tool Tip for Making Human Connections
RemotelyOne is the link for people to make friends, find love, and join networks for mentorship and professional communities. RemotelyOne will foster a place where there are no barriers to meeting people anytime, anywhere you want. Most importantly, RemotelyOne exists to help prevent feelings of isolation for location-independent professionals as a place to connect and establish meaningful relationships.
4. Food is Medicine
Being healthy also means making good food decisions. Eating properly allows your body to function the way it is meant to. Food is filled with vitamins and nutrients which “talk” to your cells. It can prevent disease. All you need to do is make good decisions about how and what you eat. Eat out less. Buy groceries that are healthy and unprocessed. Make Sunday’s meal-prep day so when you fit in a meal during the workday it’s a nutritious one. Fact is, there is a direct [scientific] connection with food and optimal brain health and overall well-being. And if you are like me and you love food, making it functional in your life is everything.
More Healthy Tips
Proper sleep is crucial. It is necessary for the brain and body to go into rest mode. This is how we recover and reboot. Also, make sure you keep up with vision and dental appointments and annual physicals. Getting old is no joke!
Taking care of your emotional and physical well-being is necessary. You will begin to find that you are the best version of you doing work and non-work activities. So close the laptop, go for a jog, and meet up with a friend for some good ole’ fashion board games and convo.