by Josh Millar
Many professionals are strongly committed to the health of their businesses, but what about their own personal health? Especially for entrepreneurial professionals, the two go hand in hand. If you want a healthy business that can grow and thrive, you need to be in a place where you can create and support that. Health looks different for all of us, and I’m not here to try to define a picture of perfect health. Rather than thinking about a general idea of health, I think we all benefit personally and professionally when we pay more attention to what’s healthy for us. Here’s why I think it’s so important:
Our minds and bodies need the right fuel to function at their optimal levels. If we want to maximize productivity, deliver high-quality work, and maintain energy and focus throughout the day, most of us can’t expect a cup of coffee alone to get us through the morning. Though skipping breakfast to get to the office early or working through your lunch hour might feel like an investment in your business, in the long term, it’s probably doing more harm than good. This isn’t about a trendy diet or specific meal. Instead, it’s about paying attention to what works for your body. What foods leave you hungry halfway through the morning? Does caffeine energize you or give you jitters? Can a snack prevent an afternoon crash? When you pay attention to the way that food impacts your work performance, you can take advantage of the opportunity to provide yourself the right kind of fuel.
Again, there’s no one type of movement that’s right for everyone. You might be someone who likes a leisurely walk or someone who likes a quick 5k. Maybe you just need to stretch. Like with food, the idea is paying attention to your body. Maybe you’re stuck on a certain problem. Could a few stretches or a jog around the block help clear your mind? How can you de-stress after a challenging day? You don’t need to be a regular at the gym or even put on athletic clothes. Simply start to notice how movement can change the way you work and begin using it to your benefit.
Our health isn’t just about the physical body. Our mental health is just as important to our professional success. Some of the most common challenges professionals face are stress and burnout. Being driven and committed doesn’t have to equal working yourself to exhaustion or sacrificing your state of mind. Think about your attitude overall. Are you more positive or negative? How does stress influence your performance? Most importantly, what can you do to support your mental health? Maybe you journal, meditate, talk to a friend, get outside — the list is really endless here. It’s all about finding the strategies that support your own mental well-being so that you can show up to work at your best each day.
No matter what healthy means for you, when you invest in your health, you’re also investing in the health of your business. If health conjures up images of strenuous exercise and strict diets, perhaps you can expand your definition. When you pay attention to giving your body and mind what they need to thrive, you do the same for your business.