Your health matters. As doctors and nurses, we base our entire existence off of how well we adapt and live. Success, work life, home life, relationships and hobbies are high on the priority list, but sometimes we neglect the most obvious – our health. It’s time to consider adding in more healthy habits and time for us, especially when our 9-5 seems to be slowly making its move to number one in our lives.
It’s almost time for work: you pull yourself out of bed after a restful night of sleep and stimulate your mind with a cup of coffee. The worst thing you can do next is induce stress on your body. You don’t need another reason, aside from the caffeine, to send your brain into overload. Here are five ways to add some healthy habits and practices into your day and put the potential freak-out session aside.
Meditate for 20 Minutes in the Morning
Give yourself a mental refresh by meditating in a quiet space with no interruptions. Choose a private corner – like a family room, bedroom, home office – that you feel comfortable in. If you need to make adjustments to your area to make it feel more zen, do so. Add a faux-fur hyde or tranquility candle. This space needs to be your own, so you can create your version of a sanctuary that will keep you coming back. Try not to fidget or let your mind wander during this time. If you do it right, you will notice a substantial difference in your brain power for the rest of the day. Meditation is the way.
Drop the Technology, and Get Outside
After a long shift at the hospital, the last thing your body needs is to become desensitized to your flat screen TV. Technology is slowly decreasing our attention spans. According to a recent study, our attention has dropped from 12 to 8 seconds – which is now just short of the average attention span of a goldfish (yikes!) You need to improve this. Instead of grabbing your iPad, grab a seat outside on the grass. There’s nothing better than taking in a little fresh air after a long day of being cooped up indoors. Plus, you’ll soak in that much-needed vitamin D.
Detox and Eat Healthy
Your doctor wasn’t wrong when he encouraged the “apple a day” theory. Fruits and veggies are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, all of which boost your immune system, turn your food into energy and enrich your overall health. Maybe a detox drink in the morning is your cup of tea. Ginger and apple cider vinegar are ingredient go-tos. Ginger helps with digestion and acv aids in weight loss and lower blood sugar levels. By building up your immunity, you’ll also reduce the risk of catching illnesses from patients or coworkers in the workplace. Save those sick days (so you don’t end up in the walk-in clinic!)
Pencil in Your Workout of Choice
Whether it’s cycling, rock climbing, yoga, running or lifting, find what gets your heart pumping, and run with it. Once you do that, create a schedule that works for you. If Tuesday’s at 6:30 p.m. are the most realistic, (even if it’s NOT ideal) try to maintain this schedule consistently for a few weeks. Keep in mind, it only takes 21 days to make healthy habits stick, so you need to pursue it more than once or twice to get there. Don’t forget the essentials! Always come prepared with your workout bag so you can hit the gym once your shift is over.
Make Time for Friends
Everyone needs a day during the work week to kick back and let your guard down. Grabbing a brew with a couple of besties might be an ideal way to blow off some steam. These meetups are critical to attaining work-life balance. If you neglect them, it’s more likely you’ll build up stress over the week and let it out in an unhealthy way. Bottom line: Follow-through with your friend dates!
Maybe you didn’t get a chance today to make it to the gym to burn some calories (wah, wah). That’s okay, you’re already one step ahead since you’ve read through these healthy improvement ideas. Now that you’re armed with the gear, you can be proactive and make minimal modifications to improve your health and well-being. Your body will thank you.