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“Health is wealth.”

You’ve heard the saying, but do you believe it? I absolutely do! Over and over again, I’ve seen my patients and coaching clients reap professional and financial benefits after adopting wise self-care practices.

The idea makes perfect sense when you think about it. Those who invest in their own wellbeing have the mental and physical energy needed to catapult their careers to the top. On the other hand, those who neglect themselves often move through the workday feeling unfocused, sluggish, or achy, and even show signs of mild depression. (Sound like anyone you know?)

Unless you learn to address your health with the same interest you give your job, you may find yourself a victim of fatigue, anxiety and other stress-related symptoms, pain—and even damage to your bottom line. That’s right, lack of attention to wellness is likely to make your wallet suffer right along with your health.

As we discussed in the last newsletter, there are many practices you can add to your routine that will help reduce your workplace stress level. Today, let’s take that checklist to a new level by adding 5 wellness secrets to boost your health and comfort while also increasing your productivity and earning potential.

1. Take a break every 45 minutes.

That’s about the limit of your full concentration and ability to get the job done well, so set your alarm. When it’s break time, spend 5 minutes—but not more than 10, or you might lose your momentum—doing something else. Turn your eyes away from the computer screen…your vision will thank you, too. (By the way, when was the last time you had an eye exam?) Don’t sit down for your break, either. Stand up and walk around.

2. Speaking of standing up, that’s the next secret.

Our bodies were just not designed to be in a seated position for long periods, certainly not entire work days. Being sedentary can take a toll on our hips, knees, shoulders, mouse-clicking arms, and other joints. Research shows that simply standing up while speaking on the phone or to another person can make a huge difference in our alertness, overall health, and productivity. Want to raise the bar? Hold in your abdominals and stand on one leg for a minute or two and then switch.

3. Learn moves that de-stress.

I know, you’re sensing a theme here: Movement is a key to wellness! As an acupuncturist, I treat so many individuals who are plagued by neck, back, and mouse-clicking arm injuries from tension on the job. Simple, quick, and completely inconspicuous exercises repeated throughout the work day can alleviate and even prevent discomfort from stress and poor posture at your desk. Two to try:

  • Shrug your shoulders up, then let them drop.
  • Clasp your arms behind your back and pull up.

4. Got snacks?

It’s wise to listen to your body when hunger strikes, but don’t rely on those overprocessed, fatty, or heavily salted items you’ll find in most vending machines. Instead, keep your own supply of nutritious goodies with you to eat during the day (but not at your desk—more on that next). Foods with high protein or high fiber, or healthful fats are often good choices. A crisp apple, peanut butter, veggies, nuts, or just some leftover lunch will do the trick. Keeping your blood sugar stable can make the difference between losing steam and feeling stressed, and having a super-successful day.

5. Don’t eat at your desk.

This advice may sound difficult to follow, but for many of us it’s mandatory for our wellness. Here’s why: Mixing eating with looking at the computer or even just thinking about work can contribute to poor digestion, feeling unsatisfied, and over- or under-eating. We can’t be fully present for meals when we’re concentrating on something else, so we lose track of what we’ve eaten, eat too quickly, and don’t give the act of nourishing ourselves the attention it deserves. Eating while you work can also lead to more stress-eating in general, weight gain, low energy, and fatigue. Please, leave your work area at lunchtime. Focus on your meal with the same attention you give to all the other things that are important to you. Your health and productivity depend on it.

If you want to make changes that can ultimately grow your bank account, start with your own wellness. Since it affects everything you do, your health is the single most influential investment you can make. Not sure how to get started with that? Contact me at roberta@robertamittman.com or 212-686-0939. I can help you identify the gaps and fill them with simple but powerful self-care techniques. And don’t forget to join me on my site for even more health-wealth tidbits [link to article/post 3].

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