I’m hearing more and more every day about executives and busy professionals who are increasing their doses of anti-depressants and making very poor lifestyle choices that are only increasing their stress levels. It’s a vicious circle. More stress; more depression. More depression; more anti-depressants. More anti-depressants; more lethargy. More lethargy; less exercise. Less exercise; more depression…and so on and so on.
Here are 7 simple tips for taking control of one’s health and one’s life — even if corporate America is your ’second’ home:
* Tip #1: Give yourself enough time in the morning to read a self-development book or listen to a motivational CD. If it’s a full hour’s program, just listen to it for 15 minutes — just enough time to get you into a positive flow for the day ahead. If it’s a lengthy book, read only one chapter. But, really think about how you will apply whatever ‘nuggets’ you uncovered into your current day and its challenges.
* Tip #2: Spend the next 15 minutes in an early morning, vigorous walk, ride a stationary bike or march in place rapidly to music. This will get your heart going and kick up your metabolism, which also reduces stress and increases the endorphins in the brain. Increasing endorphins in the brain will lower the potential for the onset of depression.
* Tip #3: Eat a high protein/low fat breakfast and drink a glass of orange juice. Better yet, eat an orange. Never underestimate the benefits of a good breakfast. This alone will also kick up your metabolism.
* Tip #4: Always take a lunch break — no matter how much work you have. Do NOT bring your lunch back to your desk. LEAVE your desk and eat in the lunchroom or cafeteria or go to a restaurant. Stay away from cheeseburgers and fries and hot roastbeef sandwiches. Eat salads and fruit for lunch or have a tuna sandwich on multi-grain bread. Don’t waste your calories on the white demon (white bread).
* Tip #5: Drink water throughout the day equal to 1/2 your body weight in ounces. This is not an option. Lay off of the soda, diet sodas, iced teas, and coffees. The acidic environments caused by teas and coffees inhibits weight loss and optimal weight maintenance. The sugars and sodium levels of soft drinks, especially “diet” soft drinks, also inhibit weight loss and cause many other health problems from cancers to high blood pressure to inflammation.
* Tip #6: Breathe deeply several times in a row several times during the course of your day. This is one of the best ways to detox our bodies and also stabilizes blood pressure and provides a calming effect.
* Tip #7: Remember that if you don’t take care of “you” you will not be able to take care of anybody else — nor will you be able to meet your responsibilities at the office. Listen to your body and if you need to take a 5 minute break and walk away from your desk to clear your head — then by all means walk away. Trust me, it will all be there when you get back.
Make every day count. There are no guarantees that we’ll have another one.