Staying healthy has become a huge priority and passion. When I am not healthy, everything falls off the tracks. I do confess that over the 15+ years I have spent working from home, health has not always been a focus. I have learned (sometimes the hard way!) that when health starts to decline – whether it be mentally, physically, or both – everything else declines as well, and usually rapidly. The old adage that says, “Your health is your wealth” is accurate!
So how do you stay healthy, or get on the track to a healthier lifestyle, while running a business from home? I went straight to the experts to answer this question for you! The following healthy tips and advice are from successful businesswomen who specialize in helping others foster a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
Maintain Your Mental Health
- Prioritize self-care and nurturing. When this is done, it allows us to give from a place of plenty, rather than depletion.
- Recognize that perfection is not possible. The reality is that there will always be some things we do really well, and others that we do less well. Do the best you can with what you have at the moment.
- Reach out for help when needed. No one is able to stand alone at all times. Whether it’s a personal or professional need, it is important to let people know that their help, support, and guidance are valued and necessary.
Contributed by Therapist Linda Menesez, MSW, LCSW . She focuses on helping women break limitations and increasing well-being in all areas of their lives.
Balance Your Work Day at Home
- Schedule in “Wellness Moments” during your work day. Instead of scheduling “wellness” appointments like the chiropractor on your day off, schedule them in the middle of your workday. This gives you a mental break to disconnect and reconnect with your own needs.
- Have an “Aromatherapy Moment”. Take a break and smell some of your favorite essential oils. Find one that appeals to you in the moment and put it in your diffuser. Many essential oils can be uplifting and mind-clearing.
- Take a “Weight Break”. Keep a set of weights and a mat nearby and give yourself a 10-minute break every hour or two to do a set of squats or bicep curls.
- Create better boundaries. Make a rule that there is no media during meal times (whether dining alone during the workday or with family members). Say “no” to clients who don’t respect your time.
Contributed by Eliza Bacot, RN, NP and founder of The Organic South. A wellness advocate and natural health expert, she educates and empowers individuals, families and groups on how to make critical steps that make a big impact in overall health and wellness.
Give Yourself 10 Minutes a Day to Make a Change
Carve 10 minutes out of each day (that is less than 1% of your week) to make small changes towards improvement in your overall health and wellness. The 10 minutes do not need to be continuous nor dedicated. Look for pockets of time and go for it. Consider that in 10 minutes you could:
- Complete 10 sit-ups and 10 push-ups.
- Prepare and drink a glass of water at the end of each hour throughout the day.
- Prepare healthy snacks and water bottles to grab and go for the next day.
- Jot down healthy meals for the week with a grocery list.
- Vacuum the carpet and you get exercise, cleanliness, and a peaceful environment all at once.
Contributed by Kristen Tinker, a fitness and nutrition coach who believes that the journey of health does not have to be hard. She helps her clients set the pace to improve their health, wellness and fitness.
As working women (and some of you mothers too), we naturally try to do it all. Staying balanced is the key to a healthy home and work life.
- Stay focused. It is so easy to get caught up in laundry or other home chores. Instead treat your work time as if you were going into the office. Learn to “let go” the chores that need to be done. A good way to do this is to create a work space / office that is secluded from the center of your house.
- Lose the guilt. No one is judging you on whether or not your apples are organic or what you’re serving for dinner. Do the best you can with what you have.
- Don’t miss out. Working from home gives you the freedom of not missing a precious moment about your kids – whether it’s a school conference, field day, or recital, GO! Your work will be there, but that chance to participate will not be there again.
Schedule in Exercise, Meals, and Me Time Too!
Working from home gives you lots of flexibility but the downside is that you do not have a set routine. Just as you would schedule work, also schedule in your diet and exercise.
- Set daily meal times. It is easy to skip meals or overindulge in snacking when working from home. Note the time of day you have breakfast and make sure you schedule lunch 4 to 5 hours after that meal. Dinner is often past the 4 to 5 hour range, so make sure you have a healthy mid-afternoon snack (see next point) to keep going. Eating regularly gives you energy, keeps your mind sharp, and your metabolism humming.
- Smart snacking. Practice smart snacking to keep your cravings in check. This will help you attain (and/or maintain) your weight loss goals. As a rule of thumb, choose a lean protein source and pair it with a fruit, non-starchy vegetable or whole grains. Great examples:
- Lean proteins: string cheese stick, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1/4 cup hummus, 2-3 turkey slices, hardboiled egg, 10 almonds, 2 tablespoons unsweetened nut butter.
- Fruit: apple, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, etc.,
- Non-starchy vegetable: cucumber, celery, beets, lettuce, arugula, jicama, peppers, zucchini, summer squash, etc.,
- Whole grain ideas: Wasa crackers, brown rice thins, air popped popcorn.
- Skip processed foods. Focus on lots of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. You don’t have to prepare a Martha Stewart feast for your family everyday. If you are busy, an easy go-to is to pick up a rotisserie chicken from your local grocery and make a side or two (salad, rice pilar, steamed veggies, baked potato).
- Move. Be sure to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Take your pup for a stroll. Join your local gym and attend their exercise classes or walk with your best friend.
- You time. Schedule in “You Time” at least once a week. It can be anything that you love (spa, reading, gardening, lunch with your girlfriends). This is a necessity for your physical, mental and emotional health. You will function your best when you are taking care of your own needs too!
Contributed by Erin Clifford, Certified Holistic Wellness Coach, partner at Clifford Law Offices and Founder of Erin Clifford Wellness, who who is deeply passionate about helping professionals create healthy lifestyles for a more fulfilling, happier existence.
Thank you so much Eliza, Erin, Linda and Kristen for sharing your health and wellness wisdom!