Designers’ Mind: improving your health can improve your work

How improving your health can improve your work – Let’s sit with that thought for a moment. 

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Now be honest.  For how many of you would this be a mindset shift? 

Or I imagine for many, you know this is true but still don’t quite manage to make your wellbeing a priority.

This article appeared originally on Designers Mind

Work is important.  No question about it.  It not only provides us with financial security but can also provide our lives with purpose, connection, collaboration, creativity and confidence.  (All the ‘C”s!) Feeling like you’re part of something and giving your life in many cases deep meaning.

But how is it that we tend to prioritise work over other areas of our lives?  Quite often way above our wellbeing.  Who hasn’t grabbed something unhealthy to eat to save time and meet a deadline?  Or answered emails late into the night forgoing good quality sleep?  Unfortunately, these habits tend to become the norm, sacrificing our overall health in the process.

Often time is cited as a top reason why many people don’t prioritise their health.  But if by putting our wellbeing first we could be more productive, have improved focus and motivation wouldn’t this actually save us time at work?

Wellness leads to other things in our life.  

In regards to work, it leads to improved performance, more energy, creativity, focus & motivation. 

That all sounds great doesn’t it? 

So, what if we really start thinking about our health & wellness first?

Too often health gets slotted in around a long work day, family commitments, our partners, even life admin.

What if we flip this around and start with our health instead.  Build a really strong healthy foundation to then go after our goals.  Our healthy habits creating the energy we need to show up the way we truly want every day, keeping our motivation strong.

What could we achieve in our day if we slept well, ate well, moved?  How would our performance at work improve?

So, let’s take a closer look at how prioritising your health can improve your work.

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Sleep:

Lack of sleep has been linked to lower performance, focus and even creativity at work.  You can’t think as clearly and feeling tired can really affect your concentration.  Who hasn’t struggled through an afternoon meeting because they felt tired?

Make sure you’re getting 7-9h of sleep and giving yourself enough time to switch off before bedtime. Try switching off all devices an hour before going to bed as the blue light they give off can keep you awake. 

Taking breaks:

Taking breaks throughout the day and ensuring time to relax at the end and at weekends can really benefit your work.  Taking time away to recharge can really help you to focus and be more creative.

How many times has a great idea come to you when you’re not at your desk?

Schedule breaks in if you need to.  Or set reminders in your phone to step away from your computer regularly throughout the day.

“We take such pride in our work ethic.  Isn’t it time we take equal pride in our rest ethic?”

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Nutrition & Hydration:

Be intentional about fuelling your body and drinking loads of water to stay hydrated.  You’ll notice that your energy levels don’t tend to drop as often and you can think more clearly when you eat whole foods throughout the day instead of relying on sugary snacks to pick you up.

Take time away from your desk to eat your lunch.  This will provide you not only with a break but eating mindfully will also help with your food choices (not grabbing that takeaway) and help your digestion too.

Keep a water bottle or glass of water at your desk and keep healthy snacks on hand as reminders.

Movement:

Movement includes exercise but also ensure you’re moving more throughout your day.  This can vastly improve your energy levels, mental health, managing stress, and help you have more clarity and motivation.

Try and get up once an hour even to make a tea.  Setting a reminder can be helpful.  Do some stretches in the morning and at lunch.  Try and get outside for a walk as the fresh air will help rejuvenate you. 

Managing Stress:

Stress not only affects your mental but physical health too.  It can affect your ability to make decisions and problem solve as you can’t see situations as clearly.  Long term chronic stress also leads to sickness and burnout.  Resulting in needing time out completely from work.

Having regular practices of meditation, journaling, yoga, exercise and getting outside in nature can all help.  As well as getting regular sleep, eating well and time to connect with your loved ones.

Your Energy:

Your energy is actually an excellent measure of your current level of wellbeing and linked to motivation, productivity, focus and creativity.

Imagine what you could accomplish if you woke up feeling energised, motivated and ready to take on the day?

Meditation, yoga, sleep, relaxation, exercise, eating whole foods, keeping hydrated, getting outside, connecting with loved ones and setting healthy boundaries are all activities that can help improve your energy levels.

For many, work is so much more than simply financial security. It plays a role with life satisfaction and feelings of purpose. 

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Bad days at work can affect our relationships, food choices, stress levels and sleep. Work plays a very important role in our overall wellbeing.

I’ll let you in on a little secret here.  The different areas of our lives are deeply connected and affect one another.  You’ve probably even noticed the connections in the different topics mentioned in this post.  Our health is actually more of a holistic puzzle with each piece playing an important role. 

Once we acknowledge that the different areas of our lives aren’t separate, that one affects another, we can start to change our mindset about our health and consider that it creates a solid foundation to thrive in our entire life. 

By making the time to take care of ourselves and prioritise our overall wellbeing we can absolutely improve and spend more quality time on our work.

Would love to know in the comments if you struggle with prioritising your health over work and if this is something you’re ready to commit to change.  

Kaye Preston

  • Founder of Designers Mind
  • Interior Designer | WELL AP | Holistic Health & Lifestyle Coach
  • Learn more about Kaye at www.kayepreston.com
  • Post Image Original by Ron McClenny for Unsplash.

As a trained Interior Designer & WELL AP with over 15 years experience, a Health Coach & Wellness Consultant, Kaye’s passionate about design and how it can play a role in our overall wellbeing. For more information about Kaye, her work and her journey please go to www.kayepreston.com.

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