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The Importance of Physical and Mental Health for Your Career

Taking A Break While Working

When you think of what makes you prepared to excel at your job, you might think of your experience in your field, your dedicated work ethic, or your attention to detail when getting the job done. Have you ever asked yourself, “How does good health contribute to career success?” While it might seem hard to pin down, it has been proven that taking care of your physical and mental health can lead you to have more energy, be more productive, and have higher levels of effectiveness in the workplace. Today, companies worldwide are focusing more and more on a holistic view of their hiring process and what kind of energy potential employees can bring to the workplace, so it may be time to consider how improving your physical and mental health can contribute to enhanced career success.

Physical Movement Throughout the Work Day

Whether you commute to an office or work from home, sitting all day takes a toll on the body. Remaining in a sedentary position for hours on end sends signals to your brain that you are “powering down.” The best way to interrupt this process and tell your body that you are doing important work is to exercise during your workday. Some light exercise may include:

  • Dynamic stretching intermittently throughout the day

  • Taking a quick jog around the block on a lunch break

  • Take a few trips up and down the stairs

  • Try chair yoga on extra-long conference calls

A little bit of exercise or movement can go a long way in terms of improving your motivation and overall productivity in the workplace.

Mental Health Matters

As much as physical wellbeing matters, mental health is vital to maintaining balance. Here are some strategies you can use to boost your self-care routine:

Take Breaks When You Need To:

When you are in the middle of a difficult situation at work, or just finished a tense meeting, give yourself the space to decompress. Coming back to a problem with fresh eyes is sometimes all you need to see what you were missing. Even just taking a lunch break away from your desk can have significant effects.

Talk To Someone:

If you’re feeling stressed about work or your home life, make sure to talk to someone and tell them how you feel. Externalizing your emotions can relieve stress, and often, an outside perspective can show you something you might have overlooked.

Get Enough Sleep:

It may seem obvious, but if you want to be your best self in the workplace and the rest of your life, you need to get enough sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, try reading instead of using a screen before going to bed or optimizing your ‘pre-bed’ routine so that quality sleep can feel more attainable.

Try A Phone App:

There are hundreds of apps out there to help you balance your stress and achieve those rare moments of true relaxation. Apps such as Calm and Headspace give you access to guided meditations and features that help remind you how to take care of your mental health when it’s needed most.

Take Advantage of Your Days Off:

Whether you are into hikes in the woods, drawing in your sketchbook, or reading a book, make sure that your days off actually feel like days off. It’s easy to let our responsibilities add up so that our weekends are just workdays for different jobs. Ensure that some of your days off are your own by scheduling excursions, self-care dates, and activities that you can enjoy without stress.

Taking care of your body and mind is key to optimizing your workplace effectiveness or gaining a competitive edge when seeking a new job. Good mental and physical health can contribute to your career success in all sorts of ways, so try out some of the above strategies. If you are looking for other ways to keep yourself sharp while working remotely, check out these tips.